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Madhu Mysore
Independent Consultant
South India, India
Ecologist and conservation scientist with 25 years experience in rigorous research, on-ground conservation practice across diverse ecological and cultural contexts, and policy engagements with governments and international organisations. Cofounded and led programmatic and institutional aspects of building a globally respected conservation NGO, Nature Conservation Foundation (
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Area of Expertise:
  • Administration, Management, Finance/Accounting, Procurement
  • Director, CEO, COP, President
  • Environment, Climate, Energy, Water, Sanitation
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research, Analysis
  • Private Sector, Social Enterprise, Corporate Social Responsibility
Professional Experience:
Over my career, I've navigated the intricate landscape of conservation science and practice with a multidisciplinary approach, blending rigorous scientific research with hands-on conservation efforts. My journey began with field research, where I investigated the impacts of human activities like hunting and grazing on wildlife. This work led to a broader understanding of the complex relationships between humans and nature, prompting me to explore participatory conservation models that respect both ecological and cultural contexts.

I've had the privilege of contributing to groundbreaking discoveries, such as identifying a previously unknown monkey species in Arunachal Pradesh. This experience underscored the value of integrating traditional ecological knowledge with scientific research, an approach that has informed much of my work since.

In response to the challenges of human-wildlife conflict, I spearheaded initiatives like establishing a cooperative with marginal dryland farmers to mitigate crop losses due to wildlife, while ensuring the protection of the animals. This project not only addressed immediate conservation challenges but also offered insights into the socio-economic dynamics of conservation.

My leadership role at the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) allowed me to influence conservation at a strategic level, developing and implementing models that marry ecological knowledge with societal needs. Here, I emphasized building an organizational culture grounded in teamwork, diversity, and respect, principles that I believe are crucial for effective conservation.

Engaging with public policy has been another critical aspect of my work. I've actively participated in dialogues around significant legislation, such as the Forest Rights Act, and served on key regulatory bodies, balancing developmental and conservation priorities. These experiences have highlighted the importance of informed governance in conservation success.

Throughout, I've remained committed to mentoring the next generation of conservationists, ensuring that the field continues to evolve with a blend of scientific rigor and social responsibility. My diverse professional journey reflects a deep commitment to fostering coexistence between humans and wildlife, guided by the principles of science, equity, and justice.
My academic journey began with a deep-seated fascination for the natural world, leading me to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Biology. This foundational course laid the groundwork for my understanding of ecological systems, setting the stage for more specialized study. I furthered my education with a Master's degree in Wildlife Biology, where I delved into the complexities of animal behavior, conservation biology, and ecological research methods. This program was instrumental in shaping my research skills and my approach to conservation science.

Driven by a desire to contribute meaningful insights to the field of conservation, I embarked on a PhD in Ecology. My doctoral research focused on the interactions between human activities, such as hunting and livestock grazing, and wildlife populations. This period was transformative; it expanded my perspective beyond viewing local communities merely as threats to wildlife, to understanding them as integral actors in the conservation narrative. This shift in viewpoint was pivotal, guiding my subsequent research towards exploring the socio-ecological dimensions of conservation.

Throughout my academic career, I've been committed to interdisciplinary study, recognizing the importance of integrating ecological science with social sciences to address complex conservation challenges. This approach has enabled me to engage with diverse methodologies, from empirical field research to participatory models of conservation, and to contribute to the development of novel analytical frameworks.

My education has been more than just a series of degrees; it has been a journey of learning and unlearning, of challenging existing paradigms, and of constantly seeking to align scientific inquiry with ethical and equitable conservation practices.
Available for:
  • Consulting assignments
  • Job opportunities
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    Years of Experience:
    More than 20 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, Hindi, English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu
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