Research Staff

Anwesha Dutta

Post-doctoral Researcher

Political Ecologist using ethnographic methods,focusing on environment, notably ecology approaches to forestry, wildlife conservation and resource extraction and governance

Anwesha has a PhD in Conflict and Development Studies from Ghent University, Belgium. Her PhD research focused on political ecology of resource extraction, conservation and livelihoods in the reserved forests on the India-Bhutan borderlands in Assam, Northeast India. During her doctoral research she explored the intersection between (violent) ethnic conflict and environmental/biodiversity conservation by focusing on issues of (il)legal timber trade, access to forest land and resources, local indigenous politics and green militarizarion.

She has been a visiting researcher at the Dept. of Anthropology at Yale University, U.S.A, the Dept. of Anthropology, Aarhus University, Denmark and Dept. of Humanities, La Trobe University, Australia

She has a Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India with a specialization in caste and tribe studies. She has done extensive fieldwork across rural India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Assam) on issues of rural livelihoods, indigenous rights and social movements. 

As a postdoctoral researcher (tenure track) at CMI, she is the principle investigator on an NFR (NORGLOBAL) project, "Prioritising the Displacement-Environment Nexus: Refugee and IDP Settlements as Social- Ecological Systems." The project uses a multidisciplinary approach using remote sensing, historical and ethnographic approaches to study long term ecological associations of refugee and IDP settlements in Kabul, Afghanistan and Karnataka, India.

She is part of an USAID funded project called "Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC)" with research in Kenya and Uganda.

She leads the India work package  on an NFR (UTENRIKS) project titled, "The political economy of river sand mining in South Asia: A commodity chain approach", in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin.

She is also enagaged in a Swedish Research Council (FORMAS) project,"Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Forest Resource Use by Rural Communities in India".

She continues her theoretical enagement on issues of green militarization and wildlife conservation through a side project for which she has carried out research in the Kaziranga National Park in India focusing on forest rangers and park-people relationship. She is broadly interested in issues of  natural resource extraction and governance, biodiversity conservation and climate change, specifically in the South Asian context.

Most recent publications