Forest Restoration in India: Opportunities and Realities

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Trisha's doctoral research focuses on the climate mitigation potential of forest restoration in India. Her proposal includes (1) spatial explicit analyses of where natural regeneration of forests can occur and the resulting climate change mitigation potential (2) untangling the reforestation vs afforestation debate in India’s forgotten savannah ecosystem and (3) pushing the one dimensional narrative of forest restoration beyond climate change mitigation, by spatial prioritization of multiple ecosystem benefits. She is completing her research as an Oxford Indira Gandhi 2019 Scholar at the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, Somerville College.

Before starting her doctorate studies at the School of Geography and Environment, Trisha worked as an applied scientist in the global climate change program at an international environment non-profit called The Nature Conservancy in Washington D.C, quantifying the potential of forest systems and other "Natural Climate Solutions" to mitigate climate change. Specifically, her work identified opportunities for reforestation and "climate smart" logging practices, globally and in key countries in the tropics. Her scientific work at the Conservancy informed international and country specific climate related policies and on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Trisha holds a Masters in Environmental Management, with a focus on Ecosystem Science and Conservation from the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. She is certified in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and primarily uses GIS, remote sensed imagery and statistical methods in her research. For her Master's research, she quantified the composition, diversity and structure of tropical forests under pressures of bushmeat hunting and selective logging in Central Africa (Gabon and the Republic of Congo). With a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, she found her calling while doing field work in the Western Ghats of India, that included frog diversity in coffee plantations and traditional ecological knowledge of the indigenous tribes of the Nilgiris.

Trisha is always open to collaborations on a variety of topics, please get in touch with her trisha.gopalakrishna@ouce.ox.ac.uk. She can be followed on Twitter and Linkedin.

Please access Trisha’s peer reviewed publications via her Google Scholar page.