Dr Hemant G. Tripathi

Dr Hemant G. Tripathi

Profile

I am a community and landscape ecologist with a background in studying the effects of land-use land-cover transitions on biodiversity, food production-biodiversity tradeoffs, ecosystem functioning and services, and pollination ecology in socio-ecological, agricultural, and mosaic landscapes of Southern Africa and India. 

I am currently working as a Research Fellow on the GCRF-AFRICAP project which focusses on building resilient and sustainable agricultural systems in Southern Africa. As part of this project, I investigate pest damage and control, ecosystem services and disservices, and biodiversity change in agricultural landscapes of South Africa, Tanzania, and Malawi. Specifically, I try to understand the ecological effects of interventions such as Agri-parks (South Africa), Climate Smart Agriculture (Tanzania), and Conservation agriculture (Malawi). 

Prior to moving to Leeds, I was based in Edinburgh where I worked on a range of research and consultancy projects. My assignments included analysing a large vegetation plot dataset obtained through a network of >5000 sites in southern African woodlands for SEOSAW, modeling the distribution of Lilian’s’ lovebirds (Agapornis lilianae, a mopane woodland endemic) for the World Parrot Trust, and consulting on the Satellite Monitoring for Forest Management (SMFM) Project in Mozambique for the World Bank. I also worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher on the ESPA funded Abrupt Changes in Ecosystem Services where I used biodiversity and spatial datasets for the analysis of changes in ecosystem service provisioning in African woodlands. 

I have a PhD from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh, and an MSc in Environmental Botany from the University of Mumbai.

My PhD under the supervision of Dr. Casey Ryan (Edinburgh) and Dr. Kate Parr (Liverpool) focused on investigating the effects of dominant land use activities- selective logging for charcoal production, agriculture expansion, and habitat disturbance by elephants - on multiple taxonomic groups – trees, mammals, birds, and ground beetles - in the savanna woodlands of Mozambique and Zambia. I studied biodiversity patterns using1km landscapes in southern Mozambique – where charcoal production is the main activity, northern Mozambique – where subsistence farming dominates and commercial agriculture is steadily growing, and eastern Zambia – where charcoal production and agriculture both occur interspersed between major protected areas – Zambezi and Luangwa. 

Before starting my PhD in 2013, I was based in India where one of my research projects involved studying the role of beekeeping using indigenous bee Apis cerana on crop production in the tribal farms of Western Ghats. This project highlighted the positive impact of beekeeping on crop production and generation of alternative sources of income from bee wax and honey. 

Research interests

My research interests primarily comprise understanding, modeling and predicting the effects of land-use land-cover transitions on biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning and services with an objective of identifying trade-offs and, accordingly, informing land and biodiversity management policy and practices. I study biodiversity change by observing the patterns within and between ecological communities. How species and functional traits at multiple scales (temporal or spatial) respond to different disturbances (land use, climate, herbivory, and others), and how their responses underpin and affect the functionality of ecosystems intrigue me. 

Sampling and estimating biodiversity is expensive, time taking, and complex. Therefore, I am also inclined towards identifying, developing and using non-invasive and rapid biodiversity survey techniques such as camera trapping, acoustic monitoring, and remote sensing, and automated species identification algorithms.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • PhD 2018, University of Edinburgh
  • MSc, University of Mumbai

Research groups and institutes

  • Ecology and Evolution