Madhuri Ramesh

Areas of Interest & Expertise

Nature-Society relations, Conservation and Development, Environmental subject-making (including Policy and Education)


Madhuri is a faculty with the School of Development.

She works on nature-society relations in coastal spaces and is interested in inclusive, interdisciplinary approaches to conservation and sustainability. She began by studying the ecology of rare reptiles but with field experience, became interested in political ecology. Hence her recent work weaves together strands from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities. Her research has spanned diverse landscapes ranging from hill forests in the Western Ghats to arid grasslands in the Thar desert and densely inhabited islands in the Bay of Bengal. She has also taught in a school, worked as a copy editor and managed projects in a commune. All of these experiences have enriched her worldview and research practices.

Publications and Writings

Research Articles (Published)

  • Oommen, M. A. Cooney, R., Ramesh, M., Archer, M., Brockington, D., Büscher, B., Fletcher, R., Natusch, D. J. D., Vanak, A. T., Webb, G., and Shanker. K. 2019. The fatal flaws of compassionate conservation. Conservation Biology
  • Oommen, M. A. and Ramesh, M. 2019. Tides of change in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Ecology, Economy and Society — the INSEE Journal 2(1): 145 – 149.
  • Ramesh, M. and Namboothri, N. 2018. Maximum sustainable yield: a myth and its manifold effects. Economic & Political Weekly 53: 58 – 63.
  • Bijoor, S., Sharma, D., and Ramesh, M. 2018. Management of Marine Protected Areas in the Andaman Islands: Two case studies. Technical report. Dakshin Foundation, Bangalore. 40 pp.
  • Ramesh, M. 2018. Conservation amidst development in a nonequilibrium environment: a study of marine turtles in Odisha, India. PhD dissertation: Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment and Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
  • Ramesh, M. and Shanker, K. 2018. From fishe to flagship. Seminar 702: 37 – 40.
  • Muralidharan, R. and Ramesh, M. 2017. Marine protected areas in India: Protection for whom? In: Occupation of the Coast: Blue Economy in India. Programme for Social Action, New Delhi. 102 – 104.
  • Ramesh, M. and Rai, N. 2017. Trading on conservation: A marine protected area as an ecological fix. Marine Policy 82: 25 – 31.
  • Ramesh, M. and Sankaran, R. 2013. Natural history of the Indian spiny-tailed lizard Uromastyx hardwickii In: Faunal Heritage of Rajasthan, India. (Eds: BK Sharma, S Kulshreshtha and AR Rahmani). Vol I: 295 – 310. Springer, New York.
  • Deepak, V., Ramesh, M., Bhupathy, S. and Vasudevan, K. 2011. Indotestudo travancorica (Boulenger, 1907) – Travancore tortoise. In: Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A compilation project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (Eds: Rhodin et al). Chelonian Research Monographs No.5, pp 054.1054.6.
  • Ramesh, M. 2008. Relative abundance and morphometrics of the Travancore tortoise Indotestudo travancorica in the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, southern Western Ghats, India. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 7:108 – 113.
  • Ramesh, M. and Parthasarathy, N. 2006. A note on the diet of the Travancore tortoise (Indotestudo travancorica). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 103 (1): 106.
  • Ramesh, M. 2004. Long distance dispersal by a Travancore tortoise (Indotestudo travancorica). Hamadryad 27 (1): 105.
  • Ramesh, M. 2002. Observations on the Travancore tortoise (Indotestudo forstenii) in captivity. ReptileRap, South Asian Reptile Network Newsletter 44.


  • Ramesh, M. and Chandi, M. 2017. Walking is a way of knowing: In a Kadar forest. Tara Books, Chennai.
  • Chandi, M. and Ramesh, M. 2017. Speaking to an elephant and other tales from the Kadar. Tara Books, Chennai.

Outreach articles:

  • Bijoor, S., Ramesh, M. and Sharma, D. 2019. Why is marine conservation still an uncharted zone? Mongabay-India (June122019).
  • Sharma, D., Ramesh, M. and Bijoor, S. 2018. Development in Andaman and Nicobar Islands: for tourism or by tourism? Andaman Chronicle (Oct 52018).
  • Ramesh, M. and Shanker, K. 2018. Turtle and I. Current Conservation 12.4
  • Ramesh, M. 2018. Tracking tortoises. Current Conservation 12.3.
  • Shanker, K. and Ramesh, M. 2017. Turtle song. Current Conservation 11.2.