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My dad taught me to watch birds and my family regularly vacationed in sanctuaries. So, it was only natural for me to be fascinated by wildlife since my childhood. During my high school I founded a club in Salem, also my hometown, called “The Wild Savior Club”. With support of the local forest department, school students and nature enthusiasts, we conducted public awareness and conservation rallies involving the nearby forest area of Yercaud. Rebelling to join the rest of family in their medical profession, I registered into a Bachelors’ program in Forestry. However, there was a lot of scope to learn more about the one thing I was truly passionate about: wildlife; and so happened the Masters program!

The two years at NCBS taught me a lot of lessons, especially the ones you only learn by doing and experiencing. I worked on conservation genetics for my dissertation. I employed genetic tools to trace origins of illegally traded leopard skins under Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan and Mr. Sanjay Gubbi.

My interest lies in conservation, and hence using science for solving problems on field. Other interests (or potential future pursuits) include mangrove ecosystems, entomology and ecological processes.

Personally, the take home from the course was different for me: no matter the amount of knowledge or expertise (and love) you hold for conservation, “power” might help make an immediate difference on field. That brought me to where I am today as a member of the Indian Forest Service, batch 2012.

Today, as a DFO, I can feel how useful I am in the greater scheme of things. I urge all budding conservationists to genuinely consider joining the IFS and to create the change we want to see in the world.

My other interests include Bharathanatyam, art, piano and photography.

Current Designation/Affiliation

 

Deputy Conservator of Forests,

Mayabunder Forest Division,

Indian Forest Service, Batch 2012,

Dept. of Environment & Forests,

Andaman Nicobar Islands.

Work Experience 

May 2015 – Present: Divisional Forest Officer, Mayabunder, Andaman Nicobar Islands

Sep 2014 – April 2015: Training ACF at Andaman Nicobar Islands

Sep 2012- Aug 2014: In service officer at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun

Feb 2012: Inducted into Indian Forest Service 2012 batch; AIR 17.

July 2010- August 2012: Masters student, NCBS-TIFR-WCS, Bangalore

February 2010 – July 2010:

Research assistant with Coimbatore circle, Tamil Nadu Forest Department; Keystone foundation, Kotagiri.

February 2005 – September 2012: Organized awareness activities for the general public as part of self-owned student’s club, Salem, TN

 

Reports and Publications

Tracing the Geographic Origin of Traded Leopard Body Parts in the Indian Subcontinent with DNABased Assignment Tests; Conserv Biol. 2015 Apr;29(2):556-64. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12393. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

Article on Margaret Cockburn in the Keystone Newsletter, June 2011.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Four-leopards-killed-every-week-Study/articleshow/16816820.cms

http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/agenda/sports-feature/ladakh-needs-care.html

http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/agenda/wilderness/gujarats-wild-side.html

http://www.southasiaornith.in/search.php?bib_search_list=KW&bib_search_word=r&page=930

 

Conference / Seminars/ Workshops

Student Conference on Conservation Science – Bangalore (SCCS-BNG). Poster presentation based on my dissertation work titled: “Tracing geographic origins of traded leopard products using genetic tools”.

Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Biodiversity Asia Conference. Presented a talk titled: “Tracing geographic origins of traded leopard products using genetic tools

 

Awards and Scholarships

SCCS Bangalore 2012 – 2nd place in poster presentation

 

Contact
vanju313@gmail.com

vanjulavalli.ifs@gmail.com

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