Madhav Gadgil obtained his BSc (1963), MSc in Zoology (1965) from Bombay and PhD (1969) from Harvard University, USA. He has been a Lecturer in Biology at Harvard University (1969-71), a Research Officer at Agharkar Research Institute, Pune (1971-73), a Visiting Professor of Human Biology at Stanford (1991) and a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley (1995). He worked at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1973-2004) and was responsible for the establishment of the Centre for Ecological Sciences (1983). Since his retirement in 2004, he is associated with Agharkar Research Institute, Pune.
Academic and Research Achievements: Madhav Gadgil has taught at Harvard, Stanford and Pune Universities and at Indian Institute of Science. His scientific interests span over population biology, conservation biology, human ecology and ecological history. His contributions include modelling of trade-offs in evolution of life histories, documentation of the tradition of protection to sacred groves, initiating censuses of wild elephant populations in India, careful scientific documentation of patterns of overexploitation of forest resources, and promoting the discipline of ecological history in India by co-authoring, with Ram Guha, the first ever book on the subject. He has been active in developing a programme of participatory, decentralized monitoring of biological diversity with the involvement of students, teachers and community members. This methodology and the supportive Relational Database Management System called PeBInfo has been recommended for country-wide adoption in the preparation of People's Biodiversity Registers as a follow up of the Biological Diversity Act by National Biodiversity Authority. He has published 230 research papers, 250 popular scientific articles in English and Marathi, and six books. He has guided eleven doctoral students.
Other Contributions: Madhav Gadgil founded the Centre for Ecological Sciences which developed strong traditions of working with other researchers, teachers, policy makers as well as NGO workers, farmers and citizens. His studies on the management of the Karnataka's bamboo resources stimulated the withdrawal of perverse subsidies to forest based industries. He was a member of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, and served as the Chair of the Science and Technology Advisory Panel of Global Environment Facility.
Awards and Honours: Gadgil is the recipient of SS Bhatnagar Prize, Vikram Sarabhai and Iswarchandra Vidyasagar Awards, Rajyotsava Award by Government of Karnataka and Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the President of India. He was an IBM Fellow (1969) and was awarded GSAS Centennial Medal (2002) of Harvard University and Volvo Environment Prize (2003). He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Member of British and American Ecological Societies.