Neelakantan Amrita Copy

Amrita Neelakantan

Conservation Scientist

As a Conservation Scientist at the Center, Amrita leads projects across Asia and Africa that assess capacity to reconcile development and conservation goals in some of the most fragile landscapes on the planet – with vulnerable peoples living in and around the last refuges for endangered wildlife.

Amrita brings over fifteen years of experience in building inclusive conservation strategies that focus on human well-being alongside conservation goals and has studied faunal taxa across 3 biodiversity hotspots – Ecuador, Kenya and Madagascar. As a part of her PhD research, she studied the post-resettlement impacts on landscape level conservation in human dominated central India especially with regards to food security, livelihood strategies and impacts on natural resources. Her areas of research interest include faunal assemblage recoveries along habitat restoration gradients, conservation of wildlife within human contexts of development and human-wildlife coexistence.

Prior to joining as a Conservation Scientist, Amrita was a regional planning expert and the Capacity Assessment team lead for the LISA project at CLLC. She is also the network coordinator of NCCI (Network for Conserving Central India) – a multidisciplinary network that is helping realize a vision for planned thriving social-ecological systems in central India’s tiger landscapes.

In her free time, Amrita is involved with multiple sustainable fashion efforts and can be found exploring trails near her house in the Himalayas.


  • Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, U.S.A.
  • M.Sc. in Applied Ecology and Conservation, University of East Anglia, U.K. 
  • B.Sc. in Zoology Stella, Maris College, University of Madras, INDIA

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