Krithi Karanth

Executive Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies

Dr. Karanth is Chief Conservation Scientist and Executive Director at CWS, Adjunct Faculty at Duke and NCBS. She has a Ph.D. from Duke (2008), a M.E.Sc from Yale (2003) with B.S and B.A degrees from the University of Florida (2001). She has also completed executive education courses at Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford. As a scientist, her research in India and Asia spanning 24 years encompasses many issues in the human dimensions of wildlife conservation. She has conducted macro-level studies assessing patterns of species distributions and extinctions, impacts of wildlife tourism, consequences of voluntary resettlement, land use change, and understanding human-wildlife interactions. She has published 100+ scientific and popular articles in English and Kannada. Krithi served on the editorial boards of Frontiers
in Ecology and Environment, Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Conservation Biology, and Conservation Letters. Krithi has mentored over 250 young scientists from India, US, Chile, UK, Australia, Indonesia etc. and engaged 750 citizen science volunteers in her research and conservation projects. As a conservationist, she has designed Wild Seve, Wild Shaale, Wild Surakshe and Adopt a PHC programs.As a storyteller Krithi has collaborated with painters, illustrators, film-makers, and photographers.
Krithi’s conservation and research work has been featured in 3 award-winning BBC Series - The Hunt, Big Cats, and Dynasties, and in documentaries by CBC and PBS. She has co-produced 5 documentaries Wild Seve, Humane Highways, Wild Shaale, Flying Elephants and Wild Surakshe. In 2020 she co-starred with Kevin Pietersen in Save This Rhino: India by Disney Hotstar and National Geographic. She has written a
bilingual children's book with artist Raghava KK and is actively working on various other collaborations with artists.
Krithi's work has been covered by over 250 media outlets such as Washington Post, Time Magazine, Al Jazeera Television, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, GQ India, Harper's Bazaar, Mongabay, Monocle, National Geographic, NPR, New York Times, Scientific American, All India Radio, Deccan Chronicle, Deccan Herald, Down to Earth, Kannada Prabha, LiveMint, New Indian Express, Prajavani, The Hindu, and Times of India.
Krithi is National Geographic Society’s 10,000th grantee and a 2012 Emerging Explorer. Her more than 45 awards and recognitions include the Eisenhower Fellowship, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, University of Florida’s Outstanding Young Alumnus, INK Fellow, India's Power Women by Femina, Women of the Year by Elle India, Vogue Women of the Year and Seattle Zoo’s Thrive
Conservation Leadership Award. In 2019, she received the WINGS Women of Discovery Award for Conservation, GQ Man of the Year-Environmental Hero, Beyond Duke University Alumni Award for Service and Leadership. She was also chosen as one of the five 2019 Rolex Award for Enterprise Laureates. In 2021, she became the first Indian and Asian woman to be chosen for the Wild Innovator Award and was also selected for the 2021 Aspen Ananta Fellowship and Government of India’s Invest
India Women Achiever. In 2022, she won the 'Varshada Kannadiga' (Kannadiga of the year) award for her contributions to science and technology.

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