Divya Vasudev

email: vasudev.divya@gmail.com

Divya is interested in the confluence of behaviour and wildlife conservation. She strongly believes in science-based conservation and is continuously seeking improved ways of organically moving from knowledge (science) to conservation action. 

Divya obtained her Master's in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from the multi-institutional post-graduate program of Manipal Academy for Higher Education, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Wildlife Conservation Society, Centre for Wildlife Studies and National Institute for Advanced Studies, in 2006. She went on to obtain her doctoral degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida in 2013. She was a Senior Scientist at Wildlife Conservation Society India Program between 2014 and 2019.

Today, Divya loves listening to gibbons, can watch social interactions of elephant herds for hours, loves visiting new and exciting places, and is constantly motivated by people she meets who work, sometimes against the current, for conservation. Divya has a sense of deep gratitude for multiple brilliant scientists and conservationists who have contributed to her professional growth over the years. 


Selected Publications 

​Vasudev, D. & Goswami, V.R. (2019) A Bayesian hierarchical approach to quantifying stakeholder attitudes toward conservation in the presence of reporting error. Conservation Biology, in press. doi 

Joshi, B., Syiem, B.L.N., Kuotsu, K., Menon, A., Gogoi, J., Goswami, V.R. & Vasudev, D. (2019) Records of the marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata and the Asiatic golden cat Catopuma temminckii from the community forests surrounding Dzükou Valley in Nagaland, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 11, 14363–14367. doi

Goswami, V. R., Yadava, M. K., Vasudev, D., Prasad, P. K., Sharma, P. & Jathanna, D. (2019) Towards a reliable assessment of Asian elephant population parameters: the application of photographic spatial capture–recapture sampling in a priority floodplain ecosystem. Scientific Reports, 9, 8578. doi 


Syiem, B. L. N., Goswami, V. R. & Vasudev, D. (2018) “In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings”: Woodlands in an agricultural matrix maintain functionality of a wintering bird community. PLoS ONE 13, e0201657.


Vasudev, D., Nichols, J. D., Ramakrishnan, U., Ramesh, K. & Srinivas V. (2018) Assessing landscape connectivity for tigers: concepts and practice. In: Methods for Monitoring Tiger and Prey Populations (K. U. Karanth and J. D. Nichols, eds). Springer, India.


Karanth, K. U., Srivathsa, A,. Vasudev, D., Puri, M., Parameshwaran, R. & Kumar, N. S. (2017) Spatio-temporal interactions facilitate large carnivore sympatry across a resource gradient. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284, 20161860. doi


Goswami, V. R. & Vasudev, D. (2017, invited article) Triage of conservation needs: the juxtaposition of conflict mitigation and connectivity considerations in heterogeneous, human-dominated landscapes. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4, 144.


Fletcher, R. J., Burrell, N. S., Reichert, B. E., Vasudev, D. & Austin, J. D. (2016) Divergent perspectives on landscape connectivity reveal consistent effects from genes to communities. Current Landscape Ecology Reports 1, 67. doi 


Vasudev, D. & Fletcher, R. J. (2016) Mate choice interacts with dispersal limitations to shape effective dispersal between populations. Ecological Modelling 327, 65-53.


Jathanna, D., Karanth, K.U., Kumar, N.S., Goswami, V.R., Vasudev, D. & Karanth, K.K. (2015) Reliable monitoring of elephant populations in forests: analytical and practical considerations. Biological Conservation 187, 212-220.


Vasudev, D. & Fletcher, R. J. (2015) Incorporating movement behavior into conservation prioritization in fragmented landscapes: an example of western hoolock gibbons in Garo Hills, India. Biological Conservation, 181, 124-132.


Vasudev, D., Fletcher, R. J., Goswami, V.R. & Krishnadas, M. (2015) From dispersal constraints to landscape connectivity: lessons from species distribution modeling. Ecography, 38, 967–978. doi 


Goswami, V.R., Vasudev, D. & Oli, M.K. (2014) The importance of conflict-induced mortality in designing multiple-use reserves for wide-ranging species of conservation concern. Biological Conservation, 176, 191–198.


Vasudev, D., Kumar, A. & Sinha, A. (2008) Resource distribution and group size in the common langur Semnopithecus entellus in South India. American Journal of Primatology, 70, 680–689.



Conservation is Divya's passion. She is dedicated to using the best available science and knowledge, in a participatory, adaptive and evolving manner, to achieve conservation. She is continuously looking to develop ways to more seamlessly translate our scientific knowledge to on-ground conservation action and policy. Below are some conservation projects she is involved in. 

Landscape-scale conservation: Species like the Asian elephant require conservation plans at the scale of large landscapes. This is particularly true in fragmented landscapes, where movement between forest patches can determine the future of threatened species. At the same time, elephants and other wildlife, interact and sometimes come into conflict with people while they disperse. Whereas, conflict-mitigation strategies sometimes block movement pathways, ultimately with detrimental impacts on the species. Divya looks for innovative and science-based ways to better incorporate knowledge on movement or dispersal into connectivity conservation; and searches for solutions that allow animal movement while minimising conflict. 

Conserving the western hoolock gibbon: The western hoolock gibbon, an endangered and charismatic ape, is slowly vanishing. One of the habitats where it still holds on are community forests in the hill tracts of Northeast India. In some of these landscapes, inspired by the captivating morning 'duet' of these apes, there is a growing movement to safeguard forests on community lands, forests that still house gibbons. Divya works to support the community in this movement, through awareness programs, mapping the forest and surveying gibbon populations, and helping develop wildlife-friendly livelihood options. 


Teaching and Mentoring

Divya teaches a Landscape Ecology course, and co-instructs a Population Ecology course at the National Centre for Biological Sciences. She conducts workshops and lectures, as the opportunity arises, on various issues related to conservation science. She has mentored multiple aspiring conservationists.


Guide/Advisor: 1 MSc student (completed), 2 PhD students (ongoing)

Co-Advisor: 1 PhD student (ongoing)

Committee Member: 2 MSc students (completed), 1 PhD student (ongoing) 


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Contact us

1, Mukunda Path

Suruj Nagar, G.S. Road Six Mile

Guwahati 781022, Assam, India

Email: conserv.initiatives@gmail.com

Content and Design: Divya Vasudev, Varun R. Goswami
Photo credits: Varun R. Goswami, Bhavendu Joshi, Pragyan Sharma, Divya Vasudev, Zorba Z. Laloo
Logo design: Arjun Srivathsa
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