Congratulations to Rajapandian Kanagaraj (Raja) who won a German Research Foundation (DFG: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) under the Individual Research Fellowships program to work with Miguel Araújo.

Raja received his PhD from Saurashtra University, India in 2011. He did his PhD research at Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under Surendra P Goyal and at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Germany under Thorsten Wiegand. His PhD research focused on assessing the habitat suitability and connectivity for tiger (Panthera tigris) in the Teri Arc Landscape (TAL), located along the Himalayan foothills of India. He has since then worked as a post doc at Thorsten’s lab.

During his post doc at Araújo’s lab, Raja will focus on developing an integrated approach for the conservation of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and tiger in the TAL. These two species have served as keystone species to generate worldwide conservation attention for Asian forest biodiversity. He will use an integrated hybrid modelling approach that links remote sensing, species distribution models (SDMs) and spatially explicit, population dynamics models to assess the impacts of climate change and land-use change on the spatial distribution and survival of these two species in the TAL. His research affiliation with WII under Surendra P Goyal and Gopi GV and collaboration with Christy Williams (World Wide Fund For Nature) will provide an immense opportunity for him to work with species specialists, especially during the development of the models. Besides focusing on conservation of these species, the inter-disciplinary perspective adopted by this study is also aimed at contributing to critical enquiry into the development and uncertainty aspects of the hybrid SDM-population modelling framework.