यावत् भूमण्डलं धत्ते सशैल वन-काननम् । तावत् तिष्ठति मेदिन्यां संततिः पुत्रपौत्रिकी ।।
(दुर्गासप्तशती, कवचम्, श्लोक ५४)
“As long as, the Earth bears the mountains, rivers, jungles and forests, only till then,
Mother Earth will be able to sustain the nourishment of human beings with future generations”
Dr. Ankur Patwardhan
Ankur Patwardhan is an Associate Professor and Entrepreneur. Currently he is heading Annasaheb Kulkarni Department of Biodiversity at MES Abasaheb Garware College (Link), Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India . He holds a doctorate in Environmental Sciences.
His main activities focus on recovery, including ex-situ and bio-prospecting of threatened plant taxa from Western Ghats of India, one of the 34 global biodiversity hot spots. Quantification of plant resources and mapping of biodiversity, besides documenting traditional knowledge and community conservation practices are the significant contributions from this research. Assessment of ecosystem services, understanding impact of climatic factors on phenological changes in plants, plant-insect interaction and seed biology are other key areas he is working in. He has been associated with grass root level NGOs and CBOs. Another key area he is interested in is understanding human-nature relationships.
He undertakes ‘Ecological Surveys’ and drafts ‘Biodiversity Management Plans’ (essential for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and ‘Sustainability Audit’) for various Industrial establishments and developmental projects.
He coordinated the The Indian Urban Resource Millennium Assessment by Naturalists under the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Initiative (Link).
In the honorary capacities, he is associated with various State Level and National Level bodies working in the field of Environment. He also guides research activities at RANWA (Link), an NGO active in the field of biodiversity research and conservation.
• Chairman, High Level Monitoring Committee constituted by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, GoI, for Eco-sensitive Zone of Mahabaleshwar-Pachgani.
• Chairman, Board of Studies in Biodiversity, Savitribai Phule Pune University.
• Member, Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board.
• Member, IUCN SSC Western Ghats Plant Specialist Group.
• Member, Plant Expert Committee, Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board.
• Life Member, Maharashtra Education Society.
• Member, Committee for Draft Wild Life Action Plan for Maharashtra.
• Hon. Secretary, RANWA, Pune.
Honors & Awards
Honors & Awards received:
Recipient of Elsevier Foundation and ISC3 ‘Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge Award’ for an innovative idea – ”developing butterfly attractant for pollination and ecosystem health”
Plant–pollinator interactions play a vital role in maintaining ecosystem health and stability. It is prerequisite for successful reproduction and in establishing the ecosystem resilience. Climate change is known to affect pollinators’ interactions with flowering plants. This coupled with excessive use of insecticides has adversely affected beneficial pollinator community thereby decreasing their visits to the flowers. Many agri-horticultural crops and wild plants whose yield relies on pollination thus have experienced decreased yields. It has been observed that Butterflies are next to Honey Bees as pollinators. Re-establishing pollinator-plant relationship has thus become an urgent need for maintaining ecosystem balance. One way to address this is to develop natural attractants to enhance floral visits of the pollinators. Several attempts have been made to develop synthetic attractants for honeybees. Limitations of these synthetic ‘pheromone based lures’ can be overcome if natural attractants are developed. However, there are no reports for developing such lures for butterflies. We therefore intend to take insights from nature by observing plant species that are frequently visited by butterflies, understand their nectar composition and develop natural attractant formulations for butterflies. Such formulations can increase efficiency of pollination and are environment friendly.