TITLE: Advisory Board Member
FUNDING AREAS: Animals and Wildlife
PROFILE: Dr. Ullas Karanth is an advisory board member for the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, but he is most famous for his work in conservation and wildlife biology focussing on saving India’s endangered tigers from extinction. His Conservation India bio shares:
Dr. K. Ullas Karanth Although originally trained as an engineer at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, Dr. Ullas Karanth was fascinated by wildlife ever since childhood. He founded the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) in 1984 to actively engage with conservation. Inspired by Dr. George Schaller of WCS, Ullas Karanth decided to become a professionally-trained wildlife biologist, thereafter obtaining his Masters degree from the University of Florida (1988) and Doctorate from Mangalore University (1993). He was selected by Dr. Schaller to join WCS staff in 1988, where he continues to work as a Senior Conservation Scientist. Dr. Karanth has adjunct teaching faculty status at NCBS-TIFR, Bangalore and at the Department of Wildlife Biology, University of Minnesota, and, also supervises doctoral candidates at Manipal University, Karnataka.
Dr. Karanth has conducted pioneering long-term research on the ecology of tigers, sympatric predators and other large mammals. He has also studied predator-prey population ecology in the Indian wildlife reserves of Pench, Kanha, Panna, Kaziranga, Namdapha, Sundarbans, Ranthambore, Melghat, Tadoba, Kudremukh, Nagarahole, Bhadra, Bandipur and Anshi-Dandeli. His expertise includes chemical capture of large carnivores, radio-telemetry, advanced methods in field survey assessment, modeling and estimation of animal populations. Dr. Karanth also studies mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts and conservation policy issues. Dr. Karanth has traveled widely to provide expertise to research/conservation projects in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Indonesia, Russia, as well as in Africa and Latin America.
Dr. Karanth has published over 75 peer reviewed papers including in journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Ecology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Ecological Applications, Journal of Animal Ecology, PLOS Genetics, Journal of Zoology, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Oryx and scientific books published by Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia, Elsevier, Springer and Island Press. He has authored the books The Way of the Tiger (2001) and A view from the Machan (2006) and co-edited Monitoring Tigers and their Prey (2002) and Camera traps in Animal Ecology (2010). He has written over 50 popular articles in English as well as popular articles and 3 books in Kannada. He serves on the editorial boards of Oryx and Journal of Applied Ecology and on IUCN/SSC specialist groups on Cats, Elephants, Wild Cattle and Small Carnivores. He chairs the steering committee of multi-institutional graduate level academic program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at NCBS-TIFR Bangalore. He is a member of the Indian Government's Forest Advisory Committee, National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Governing council of the Wildlife Institute of India, besides serving Karnataka Government's Tiger Conservation Foundation and Tiger Steering Committee. Dr. Karanth serves as a Vice-President of the Bombay Natural History Society and as a Scientific Advisor to several conservation advocacy groups in India. His work has been extensively featured in world's media including Nature, New York Times, National Geographic, BBC, CNN, Discovery etc.
In recognition of his contribution to wildlife conservation, Dr. Karanth has won several prestigious recognitions: the Sierra Club's International EarthCare award (2006); World Wildlife Fund's J. Paul Getty Award as well as the Sanctuary Lifetime Achievement Award (2007) and Bombay Natural History Society's Salim Ali National Award for Conservation (2008). Dr. Karanth was elected a member of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 2008.
Son of the acclaimed Kannada writer Kota Shivarama Karanth, Dr. Ullas Karanth is married to Dr. Prathibha Karanth, Professor of Speech Pathology with whom he lives in Bangalore. Their daughter Dr. Krithi Karanth is a post-doctoral ecologist at Columbia University, New York.