Seema Purushothaman

Areas of Interest & Expertise

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Social, Polices in the Emerging Economies, Ecological and Economic Change in Studying Livelihoods


Seema Purushothaman is a faculty with the School of Development.

Seema has spent nearly 25 years in a research dominated career — across government, corporate and not-for-profit organizations. Her research spans across the concept and issues of sustainability in and around forests and family farms. Her teaching interest includes sustainability as a concept, as agrarian concern as well as from an economic perspective.

Publications and Writings



Edited books

  • Purushothaman S. and R. Abraham (eds.) 2013. Livelihood Strategies in Southern India — Conservation and Poverty Reduction in Forest Fringes. Springer, New Delhi, India. (Flyer)

Peer reviewed Journals

  • Purushothaman 2019. Sustainability: challenges in teaching. Ecology, Economy and Society – the INSEE journal. 2(2):33 – 36.(PDF)
  • Purushothaman 2019. The science and economics of family farms. Guest editorial. Current Science. 117 (11): 1763 – 1764.(PDF)
  • Patil S, Dhanya B, Vanjari R S and S Purushothaman (2018) Urbanisation and New Agroecologies — The story of Bengaluru’s Peripheries. Economic and Political Weekly, 53(41): 71 – 77. (PDF)
  • Purushothaman S and S Patil (2017). Regional Economies and Small Farmers in Karnataka. Economic and Political Weekly, 52(46): 78 – 84. (PDF)
  • Purushothaman et al (2016). Sustainability in Higher Education for the Global South: A Conversation across Geographies and Disciplines. Sustainability in Debate. 7(1): 156 – 173. (PDF)
  • Dhanya B.; B.N. Satish; Syam Viswanath and Seema Purushothaman. (2014). Ecosystem services of native trees: experience from two traditional agroforestry systems in Karnataka, Southern India. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management. 10(2): 101 – 111.
  • Purushothaman, S; Sheetal Patil; Irene Francis; Iswar Patil and Ingrid Nesheim. (2013). Policy and Governance for sustaining livelihoods and natural resources in small farms — a case study in Karnataka. Ind. Jn. of Agri. Econ. 68 (2):240 – 257. (PDF)
  • Purushothaman, S; Bejoy K Thomas, Rosa Abraham and Uppeandra Dhar (2013). Beyond money metrics: Alternative approaches to conceptualising and assessing ecosystem services. Guest editorial to the INSEE special section. Conservation and Society 11(4): 321 – 325. (PDF)
  • Hannes Jochen Konig, Sandra Uthes, Johannes Schuler, Lin Zhen, Seema Purushothaman, Utia Suarma, Mongi Sghaier, Stella Makokha, Katharina Helming, Stefan Sieber, Le Chen, Floor Brouwer, Jake Morris, Hubert Wiggering (2013) Regional impact assessment of land use scenarios in developing countries using the FoPIA approach: Findings from five case studies. Journal of Environmental Management 127S56-S64.
  • Dhanya, B, Viswanath, S and Purushothaman, S (2013) Crop yield reduction in Ficus agroforestry systems of Karnataka, southern India: Perceptions and realities. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 37(6): 727 – 735.
  • Dhanya B, Viswanath S, and Purushothaman S. (2012). Ficus trees in rainfed agricultural systems of Karnataka, southern India: An analysis of structure, benefits, and farmers’ perceptions. Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 50(1 – 2): 59 – 62.
  • Purushothaman S, Patil S and Francis I. (2012) Assessing the impact of policy-driven agricultural practices in Karnataka, India. Sustainability Science. DOI 10.1007/s11625-0120188‑y
  • Purushothaman S, Patil S, Francis I, Konig HJ, Reidsma P & Hegde S (2012): Participatory impact assessment of agricultural practices using the land use functions framework: case study from India, International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, DOI:10.1080/21513732.2012.721.
  • Purushothaman, S., Patil, S. and I. Francis. (2012). Impact of policies favouring organic inputs on small farms in Karnataka, India: a multicriteria approach. Environment, Development and Sustainability, DOI: 10.1007/s10668-01293401.
  • Patil, S., et al., (2012) Comparing conventional and organic agriculture in Karnataka, India: Where and when can organic farming be sustainable? Land Use Policy, doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2012.01.006
  • Purushothaman, S and Abraham R (2011). Scaling up and Sustainability: the experience from rural India. Sustainability in Debate. 2(2):21 – 42. (PDF)
  • Reidsma, P; Konig H; Feng, S; Bezlepkina, I; Nesheim, I; Bonin, M; Sghaier, M; Purushothaman, S; Sieber, S; Ittersum, M and Brouwer, F. (2010) Methods and tools for integrated assessment of land use policies on sustainable development in developing countries. Land Use Policy. 28 (2011):604 – 617.
  • Viswanath, S, Dhanya, B, Puruhsothaman, S and Rathore, S (2010). Financial viability of sandal based agroforestry practices in southern India. Indian. J. of Agroforestry. 12 (2): 14 – 22. (PDF)
  • Dhanya, B. Viswanath, S and Purushothaman, S. 2010. Sandal (Santalum album L.) conservation in southern India: A review of policies and their impacts. Journal of Tropical Agriculture 48 (12): 1 – 10.
  • Purushothaman, S and Kashyap, S. 2010. Trends in land use and crop acreages in Karnataka and their repercussions. Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 23 (2): 330 – 333. (PDF)
  • Purushothaman, S., S. S. Hegde, S. Patil, and S. Kashyap. 2009. People’s perception on benefits from a protected catchment: A case study of Gundal command in Karnataka. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 64(4): 573 – 584. (PDF)
  • Purushothaman, S. 2005. Land-use Strategies for Tribals: A Socio Economic Analysis. Economic and Political Weekly. 53: 5611 – 5619. (PDF)
  • Swaminathan, L.P and Purushothaman, S. 2000. Forest Conservation, Tourism and Extraction: An Economic Perspective. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 55(3): 398 – 411. (PDF)
  • Purushothaman, S, Viswanath, S and Kunhikkannan C. 2000. Economic valuation of extractive conservation in a tropical deciduous forest in Madhya Pradesh, India. Tropical Ecology .41(1): 61 – 72.
  • Purushothaman, S, Viswanath, S and Mukundan, K. 1997. Economic impact of cement kiln dust on rural agriculture. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 51(3): 407 – 411.
  • Purushothaman, S and Viswanath, S. 1993. Protecting biological diversity: An operational model to compare and contrast. Indian Journal of Tropical Biodiversity.1 (2): 161 – 166.

Chapters in Books and published proceedings

  • Patil S and S Purushothaman (2018) Methods for Integrated Sustainability Assessment: The Case of Smallholder Farming in Karnataka, South India. In Brinkman R and Garren S (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability: Case Studies and Practical Solutions, Palgrave MacMillan. pp- 261 – 281
  • Purushothaman, S., Abraham, R and Patil, S. 2013. Tropical farms as social-ecological systems: Tools for assessment. In Christinck and Padmanabhan (Eds). Cultivate Diversity! A Hand Book on Transdisciplinary Approaches to Agro Biodiversity Research. Margraf publishers. Welkersheim, Germany. Pp.163 – 183
  • Purushothaman, S., Patil, S., and Kashyap, S. (2012) Agrarian crisis and policy links: a framework for Karnataka, India. In: Floor, B, Mc Neil, D and Nishiem, I (ed). Land Use Policies for Sustainable Development: Exploring Integrated Assessment Tools. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham.
  • Muriel, B., Coudel, E., Cisse, Y., Feng, S., Ounalli, N., Purushothaman, S., Rodrigues Filho, S., Sghaier, M., Tonneau, J.P. And Xiaoping, S. (2012) Comparing land use policies in emerging and developing countries. In: Land Use Policies for Sustainable Development: Exploring Integrated Assessment Tools. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham.
  • Purushothaman S. 2012. Evaluating the Green Revolution” in Jacquet P, Pachauri RK and Tubiana L (ed) Development, the Environment and Food: Towards Agricultural Change?. TERI Press, New Delhi. ISBN 9788179934432. (PDF)
  • Kumar, A, Arvind, NA, Shaanker R Uma, KN Ganeshaiah, Purushothaman, S and Kashyap, S. 2009. Herbal exports from India- Trends and implications. In Shaanker, R.U, Hiremath, A, Joseph, C G and Rai, N (eds.). Non-Timber Forest Produce- Conservation, Policies and Management in the tropics . ATREE and UAS. Pp: 129 – 138.
  • Purushothaman, S and Viswanath, S. 2009. Sustaining livelihoods based on NTFPs — the Indian context. In Shaanker, R.U, Hiremath, A, Joseph, C G and Rai, N (eds.) Non-Timber Forest Produce- Conservation, Policies and Management in the tropics . (PDF)
  • Dharmarajan P, Purushothaman, S, Krishnan, S, Kiran, MC, Deepak and Jojo, TD 2008. Strengthening Communities and Instituions for sustainable management of Vembanad backwaters, Kerala. In Sengupta and Maldwani (eds). Proceedings of the 12th World Lake Conference. PP. 1158 – 1163. ATREE and UAS. Pp:199 – 210. (PDF)
  • Purushothaman, S, Jojo TD and Sheetal P 2007. Ecotourism Policy: A framework for India in Radhakrishna, G (Ed) Tourism: Perspectives and Issues.” ICFAI press, Hyderabad. pp 51 – 78.
  • Purushothaman, S; S. Pachauri. 2001. User valuation of natural Resources in semi arid Rajasthan in Reddy, V.R. (Ed). User Valuation of Renewable Natural Resource: The User Perspective, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York.
  • Pearce, D.W. and Purushothaman, S.1992. Protecting Biological Diversity: The economic value of pharmaceutical plants. In Biodiversity and Botany: the values of medicinal plants, Swanson, J (Ed) CUP.U.K (PDF)

Popular, semi technical

  • Purushothaman, S., Patil, S., & Shwetha, A.R (2019). Agriculture and Urbanisation in Karnataka (Karnatakadalli krushi mathu nagarikarana). Yojana. 5(35). 29 – 33.(PDF)
  • Dhanya, B; Viswanath, S, Purushothaman, S and Suneeta, B. 2010. Ficus trees as components of rainfed agrarian systems in Mandya district of Karnataka. My Forest. 46 (2):161 – 165. (PDF)
  • Krishnan, S and Purushothaman, S .2008. Value of Deforestation? Down To Earth. 17(6):52 – 53.
  • Purushothaman, S and Dharmarajan, P. 2005. Upland paddies, foliage hillocks and multi-storeyed horticulture: an ecologically sustainable agro-ecosystem. APANews. FAO. 27(11 – 13).
  • Purushothaman, S and Hegde, S. 2010. Forest and farms- a thankless delink. Spectrum, Deccan Herald, Feb 22010.
  • Purushothaman, S. 2010. Fringe benefits taxed. Down to Earth. Jan 2010. (PDF)
  • Phalkey, N and Purushothaman, S. 2010. The tourist does leave a footprint. Down to Earth, Feb, 2010.
  • Purushothaman, S. 2004. Economic Value of Bio diversity: a Rural Perspective for Sustainable Realisation. In Sim, H.C, S. Appanah and Youn Y.C 2004. Proceedings of the workshop on Forests for Poverty Reduction: Opportunities with CDM, Environmental Services and Biodiversity” Seoul National University and FAO, pp.107 – 113. (PDF)

Working papers and policy briefs

  • Purushothaman, S; Patil, S; Lodha, S. (2016). Social and Environmental Transformation in the Indian Peri-Urban Interface — Emerging Questions.
    Azim Premji University (Working Paper No. 1). Bangalore.(PDF)
  • Purushothaman, S and Kashyap, S. 2008. Conversion of Agricultural land in Karnataka- a status paper (submitted to the parliamentary subcommittee on land reforms)
  • Lele, S, Kashyap, S and Purushothaman, S. 2008. Status paper on the Common lands in Karnataka (submitted to the parliamentary subcommittee on land reforms)
  • Nesheim, I., D. McNeill, F. Brouwer, P. Reidsma, H. Konig, R. Verburg, J. Imbernon, M. Bonin, Y. Cisse, L. Gcahimbi, M. Sghaier, S. Feng, S. Purushothaman, M. W. T. Estuning, S. Rodrigues, and M. Bursztyn, (2008a). Integrative Policy Brief from LUPIS project, EU 6th Framework Programme, www​.lupis​.eu.
  • Nesheim, I., D. McNeill, F. Brouwer, P. Reidsma, H. Konig, R. Verburg, J. Imbernon, M. Bonin, S. Feng, S. Purushothaman, and M. W. T. Estuning, (2008b). Regional policy brief for Asia. LUPIS project, EU 6th Framework Programme, www​.lupis​.eu.
  • Purushothaman, S. 2005. Land-use strategies, economic options and stakeholder preferences: A study of tribal communities in forest peripheries. Working Paper 13 – 05, South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Purushothaman, S. 2006. Making Tribal Land Profitable — A study from the Western Ghats of India. Policy Brief, SANDEE. (PDF)
  • Pearce, D.W. and Purushothaman, S.1992. Preserving Biological Diversity: The economic value of pharmaceutical plants. Discussion Paper, 92 – 27, CSERGE, London.