Harini Nagendra is a Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University. Her recent book "Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future" (Oxford University Press India, 2016) examines the transformation of human-nature interactions in Bangalore from the 6th century CE to the present, addressing the implications of such change for the urban sustainability of fast-growing cities in the global South. The book was listed by the science journal Nature as one of the five best science picks of the week in its issue of July 28 2016.
Prof. Nagendra is an ecologist who uses methods from the natural and social sciences - satellite remote sensing, biodiversity studies, archival research, GIS, institutional analysis, and community interviews, to examine the sustainability of forests and cities in the global South. She completed her PhD from the Centre for Ecological Sciences in the Indian Institute of Science in 1998. Since then, she has conducted research and taught at multiple institutions, and was most recently a Hubert H Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2013. She is a recipient of numerous awards for her research, including a 2017
Web of Science 2017 India Research Excellence Award as the most cited Indian researcher in the
category of Interdisciplinary Research; a 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award for her research and practice on issues of the urban commons, and a 2009 Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (with Elinor Ostrom).
Harini Nagendra has authored two books, and over 150 peer reviewed publications, including in Nature, Nature Sustainability and Science. She writes extensively on her research for the public via newspaper and magazine articles, science blogs, and has given a number of public talks for science communication. She also engages with international research on global environmental change, She is a Steering Committees member of the Future Earth Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society and a former Steering Committee Member of the Global Land Project, Diversitas and a Capacity Building Committee member of the Asia Pacific Network for Global Environmental Change. She has also been a Lead Author of the 5th IPCC Report - Working Group III.
Dec. 1998: Ph.D., Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science
March 1995: M.S., Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science
July 1992: B.Sc., Bangalore University
Ecology and Development in India; Understanding Land Use/Land Cover Change; Remote
Sensing for Sustainable Development
Areas of Interest
Urban sustainability; Ecology and Development; Forests; Commons; Biodiversity and conservation; Satellite remote sensing
Harini's research has three major strands. First, she examines the impact of rapid urbanization on ecological sustainability in India, drawing on a long term programme of research, education and outreach conducted across multiple Indian cities. Second, she studies the drivers and outcomes of land change in forested landscapes in South Asia. Third, she explores the use of satellite remote sensing technology for biodiversity assessment and conservation.
Publications and Writings
- H. Nagendra (2016). Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future. Oxford
University Press, Delhi, India.
- H. Nagendra and J. Southworth, eds (2010). Reforesting Landscapes: Pattern and Process.
Springer Landscape Series, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Recent Journal Articles
- H. Nagendra (2018). The global south is rich in sustainability lessons. Nature 557: 485-488.
- H. Nagendra, X. Bai, E.S. Brondizio and S. Lwasa. The urban south and the predicament of
global sustainability. Nature Sustainability 1: 341-349.
- M. Jaganmohan, L.S. Vailshery, S. Mundoli and H. Nagendra (2018). Biodiversity in sacred
urban spaces of Bengaluru. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 32: 64-70.
- R. DeFries and H. Nagendra (2017). Ecosystem management as a wicked problem. Science
- S. Paul, F. Jordan and H. Nagendra (2017). Communication networks and performance of
four New Delhi city parks. Sustainability 9: 1551.
- M. Derkzen, A.J.A. van Teeffelen, H. Nagendra and P. Verburg (2017). Shifting roles of urban
green space in the context of urban development and global change. Current Opinion in
Environmental Sustainability 29: 32-39.
- S. Mundoli, B. Manjunatha and H. Nagendra (2017). Commons that provide: the importance
of Bengaluru’s wooded groves for urban resilience. International Journal of Urban
Sustainable Development 9: 184-206.
- H. Unnikrishnan, S. Sen and H. Nagendra (2017). Traditional water bodies and urban
resilience: a historical perspective from Bangalore, India. Water History 9: 453-477.
- S. Agarwal, A. Marathe, R. Ghate, J. Krishnaswamy and H. Nagendra (2017). Forest
protection in Central India: Do differences in monitoring by state and local institutions result
in diverse social and ecological impacts? Biological Conservation 26: 2047-2066.
- H. Nagendra (2016). Ecological wisdom in the new urban era. Current Science 111: 1283-
Recent Keynotes and Public Talks
- Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future. Public science talk at India
Biogeography, Bangalore, 27 September 2017.
- Resilience and sustainability. Closing keynote panel at Resilience 2017, Stockholm, 23
- Sustainability in an urbanizing world: The role of people. Keynote at Global Land Project
Open Science Meeting 2016, Beijing, 24 October 2016.
- Hiding in plain sight: urbanization and conservation. Keynote at Student Conference in
Conservation Science, Bangalore, 22 September 2016.
- Urbanization: a new frontier for conservation. Keynote at Conservation Asia 2016,
Singapore, 1 July 2016.
Selected Science Outreach
- The urban south and the predicament of global sustainability. With X. Bai and K. Simpkins.
Future Earth Research for Global Sustainability blog, 16 July.
- Street trees are an integral part of a city’s ecology. An interview with Bangalore Mirror
Sunday Section, 15 July. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/opinion/sunday-read/street-trees-are-an-integral-part-of-a-citys-ecology/articleshow/64992153.cms
- Is planting saplings a solution to the felling of trees? Yes, No, It’s Complicated – Op Ed, The
Hindu, 13 July 2018. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/is-planting-saplings-a-solution-to-the-felling-of-trees/article24403077.ece
- Sacred, secular and domestic: Living with street trees in Bangalore. With Suri
Venkatachalam. The Nature of Cities, 1 July 2018,
https://www.thenatureofcities.com/2018/07/01/secular-sacred-domestic-living-street-trees-bangalore/ ; reprinted in TheNewsMinute.com,
- India’s colonial legacy almost caused Bangalore to run out of water. With H. Unnikrishnan
and V. Castan Broto. The Conversation Global, June 20 2018,
- Biodiversity and the city: challenges for India. Eternal Bhoomi, May 11 2018,
- How nature is nurturing cities: A conversation with National Geographic Society’s Andrew
Hurley. National Geographic Explorers Journal, 20 November 2017,
- When cities were Nature's haven: a tale from Bangalore. The Conversation Global, 25
October 2017, http://theconversation.com/when-cities-were-natures-haven-a-tale-from-bangalore-85411.
Harini Nagendra CV