“Native or Invasive.” Orion Magazine, creative non-fiction essay. On lantana, invasive species, and being multiracial in an increasingly walled-off world. March 2017.
“Bridging the gap between humans and elephants: from anthropology to ecology.” Current Conservation, non-fiction essay. Exploring the new discipline of ethnoelephantology, where anthropologists and ecologists work together to find new ways of thinking about elephants in the Anthropocene. November 2016.
“Untitled.” Tehelka, memoir-type essay. Article under “personal histories,” on the experience of bridging the cultural and linguistic gap as an Indian-American ecologist in rural South India. May 2009.
Non-fiction News Articles
“Genetic diversity key to tiger survival.” Deccan Herald, news article. Most of the world’s remaining tigers live in tiny, guarded fragments, each of which is precarious on its own. Even in the absence of major threats such as poaching, isolation can leave animals at serious risk. October 2017.
“Celebrity advocacy and development.” Current Conservation, news article. Charitable causes have increasingly begun to enlist celebrity support, a phenomenon that Daniel Brockington correlates with the increased dependence of NGOs on corporate interests. March 2015. (This piece won the Current Conservation Science Journalism Contest in 2015)
“Bushcricket duets combine discreet vibrations with sound to elude predators.” IndiaBioScience, news article. Predation pressure pushes bushcrickets to evolve new mating strategies. September 2015.
“The diminishing songbird islands of the Western Ghats.” IndiaBioScience, news article. Songbirds in the Western Ghats driven to high altitude “sky island” refuges by ancient climate upheavals now face further genetic isolation, as human action continues to partition the habitats of birds with nowhere else to go. July 2015.
“Study catalogues priority issues in conservation.” IndiaBioScience, news article. Co-written with Harini Barath. Survey by researchers produces a list of the public’s top concerns about the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems in India. June 2015.
“The story of a river: tracking lantana’s relentless spread.” IndiaBioScience, news article. The adaptable garden plant Lantana camara has been spreading across India and edging out native species for two hundred years now, despite all efforts to control its growth. Scientists suggest that we could more effectively manage the plant by focusing our attention on riverside habitats. October 2014.
Review of Harini Nagendra’s Nature in the City for H-Net. How can we foster an urban community that has a sense of agency over its surrounding environment, and that works together across differences of language, religion, class, and caste to rejuvenate and protect that environment? January 2018.
“Rereading Walden.” Public Books, book review. Pete Seeger once said, “If there’s one thing worse than banning a song, that’s making it official.” One could say something similar about good books: the one thing worse than banning the book is making it required reading. Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, which chronicles the 19th century transcendentalist’s efforts to live a simple woodland life, has been spoken of so extensively in the past 160 years that it can be hard to see the actual book behind that wall of words. November 2014.