Trisha Gopalakrishna

Matric Year: 2019 – Subject: DPhil Geography and the Environment – Scholarship: Indira Gandhi Scholar

Trisha’s doctoral research focuses on the climate mitigation potential of reforestation strategy in India.

Her proposal includes spatial analyses of where reforestation could be done without compromising India’s endemic open ecosystems (grasslands and semi-arid savannahs), shed light on the socio-political challenges of implementation of reforestation activities and determine the trade-offs and synergies between climate change mitigation, biodiversity and water services on doing reforestation activities. Trisha primarily uses geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensed imagery and statistical analyses in her research using a variety of open source softwares. She is completing her research as an Oxford Indira Gandhi 2019 Scholar at the Oxford India Center for Sustainable Development, Somerville College.

Before starting her doctorate studies at the School of Geography and Environment, Trisha worked as an applied scientist in the global climate change program at an international environment non-profit called The Nature Conservancy in Washington D.C, quantifying the potential of forest systems and other “Natural Climate Solutions” to mitigate climate change. Specifically, her work identified opportunities for reforestation and “climate smart” logging practices, globally and in key countries in the tropics. Her scientific work at the Conservancy informed international and country specific climate related policies and on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Trisha holds a Masters in Environmental Management, with a focus on Ecosystem Science and Conservation from the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. She is certified in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and primarily uses GIS, remote sensed imagery and statistical methods in her research. For her Master’s research, she quantified the composition, diversity and structure of tropical forests under pressures of bushmeat hunting and selective logging in Central Africa (Gabon and the Republic of Congo). With a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she found her calling while doing field work in the Western Ghats of India, that included frog diversity in coffee plantations and traditional ecological knowledge of the indigenous tribes of the Nilgiris.

Trisha is always open to collaborations on a variety of topics, please get in touch with her . She can be followed on Twitter and Linkedin.


Ramesh, V., Vijayakumar, S.P., Gopalakrishna, T., Jayarajan, A. and Shanker, K. (2020) Determining levels of cryptic diversity within the endemic frog genera, Indirana and Walkerana, of the Western Ghats, India. PloS one, 15(9). e0237431.
Ellis, P.W., Gopalakrishna, T., Goodman, R.C., Putz, F.E., Roopsind, A., Umunay, P.M., et al. (2019) Reduced-impact logging for climate change mitigation (RIL-C) can halve selective logging emissions from tropical forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 438: 255-266.
Goodman, R.C., Aramburu, M.H., Gopalakrishna, T., Putz, F.E., Gutiérrez, N., Alvarez, J.L.M., Aguilar-Amuchastegui, N. and Ellis, P.W. (2019) Carbon emissions and potential emissions reductions from low-intensity selective logging in southwestern Amazonia. Forest Ecology and Management, 439: 18-27.
Putz, F.E., Baker, T., Griscom, B.W., Gopalakrishna, T., Roopsind, A., Umunay, P.M., et al. (2019) Intact forest in selective logging landscapes in the tropics. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2. 30.
Umunay, P.M., Gregoire, T.G., Gopalakrishna, T., Ellis, P.W. and Putz, F.E. (2019) Selective logging emissions and potential emission reductions from reduced-impact logging in the Congo Basin. Forest Ecology and Management, 437: 360-371.
Fargione, J.E., Bassett, S., Boucher, T., Bridgham, S.D., Conant, R.T., Cook-Patton, S.C., Ellis, P., Falcucci, A., Fourqurean, J.W., Gopalakrishna, T., et al. (2018) Natural climate solutions for the United States. Science advances, 4(11). eaat1869.
Fisher, J.R., Montambault, J., Burford, K.P., Gopalakrishna, T., Masuda, Y.J., Reddy, S.M., et al. (2018) Knowledge diffusion within a large conservation organization and beyond. PloS one, 13(3). e0193716.

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