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Trishant Simlai BSc, MSc

Trishant Simlai BSc, MSc

PhD Student, Department of Geography and Selwyn College

Conservation researcher primarily interested in the politics of wildlife conservation in India.

I have been working in the field of conservation for close to a decade at the international, national and local scales. I am primarily interested in the rising discourse of conservation militarization and its socio-political implications. I am also interested in the way conservation is practiced in violent environments and links between the illegal wildlife trade and armed conflicts. I also have a very keen interest in animal geographies outside traditional protected areas and in human dominated landscapes.



  • Founder Member at Kumaon Maati, Uttarakhand, India (2017-Present)
  • Project Consultant at Aaranyak, Assam, India (2016-2017)
  • Project Consultant at Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), Gujarat, India (2014-2016)
  • Support Officer and Consultant at the United Nations Environment Program- World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), Cambridge, UK (2013-2014)
  • Project Officer and Research Biologist at Tiger Watch, Ranthambore, India (2011-2012)
  • Research Assistant at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, UK (Jun 2010-Aug 2010)
  • Research Biologist at Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS), Pune, India (2008-2009)
  • Camp Instructor and Wildlife Resource Person at Pugmarks Eco Tours and Ecologics, Pune, India. (2002-2008)


  • PhD Candidate in Geography, University of Cambridge (2017-Present)
  • MSc Conservation and Rural Development (Distinction), University of Kent (2013-2014)
    Dissertation: Spatial Conservation Prioritization of Grassland Ecosystems in Maharashtra, India.
  • BSc Wildlife Conservation and Management (hons), University of Kent (2009-2012)
    Dissertation: Predicting Human Wildlife Conflict using a Maximum Entropy Approach.

Awards and prizes

  • The Maurice Swingland Prize awarded to the best postgraduate student taught at the master's level in the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, UK.
  • Highly Commended Talk at the Student Conference on Conservation Science, Brisbane, Australia 2015
  • Highly Commended Poster at the Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge 2014
  • Best Poster, Second runner up at the Student Conference on Conservation Science, Bangalore 2012


PhD Research: Provisional Title- Panopticons in the Forest: the social and political implications of using surveillance technologies in conservation

My PhD research will aim to explore and understand the complexities that lie behind using surveillance technologies for conservation in India, specifically how the use of such technologies can affect local residents as well as the tripartite relationship between government conservation agencies, local and international conservation organizations. I intend to investigate the role these technologies play in the creation of spaces of control and the unequal power equations that shape their use. My research will also investigate the effectiveness of such methods in areas where they are already being used. I will also attempt to explore the possibilities of a more ethical and participatory approach towards the use of surveillance technologies in conservation.


Selected publications

Popular media publications

Book chapters

  • Punjabi,G. and Simlai, T. Bhimashankar- Shiva's forest. Wild Maharashtra, Sanctuary Asia Publication 2012


  • Simlai, T., Khandal, D., Rathod, P. Nerlekar, A., Kulkarni, K., Jha, R. et al. 2010. A preliminary survey of the Indian wolf in the ravines of the greater Ranthambore landscape. Report submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Rajasthan, India.

External activities

  • Member, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)
  • Postgraduate Fellow, Royal Geographic Society
  • Joint Vice-President, The Cambridge South Asia Forum (CAMSAF)