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who we are

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Founded by the visionary ecologist, economist and ornithologist Shri Prakash Gole, the Ecological Society has carved a name for itself in the field of ecological approach to sustainable development and nature conservation. 

The genesis of the Society goes back to March 1982, when a group of concerned individuals held discussions and formulated plans to set up a trust to further ecological research and education.

Mr Prakash Gole

Dr. (Mrs.) Swati Gole

Mrs Wadia

Late Mr. L.G. Rajwade

Late Mr. Keskar

Late Mr. J.S. Tilak

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Dr. Swati Gole

Dr. Swati Gole is the Chairperson of ES. She retired as Head of department of Geography, and has been in the founding team of Ecological Society. She has been deeply involved in the Society's projects and has contributed to development of the education program. She has several publications in journals. (See publications)

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Shri Vishwas Sawarkar

Shri Sawarkar was the Director of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. He is a well know researcher and conservationist and has been assisting government departments in this. He has published several research papers in international journals (see here)


Rajas Phadke

Started her career in Software and worked in MNC for ten years before joining her husband in startup focused on maritime industry. Today their company leads in innovation in maritime logistics industry. She is Interested in nature and environment. Associated with Ecological Society, Pune. Keen follower of vegan lifestyle.


Ajay Phatak

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Ajay is a consulting IT professional. He headed the Harman Pune operations and is a passionate energy-ecologist. His research interest is energy economics and sustainable economy.

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Dr. Gurudas Nulkar

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Gurudas is an academician. His specialisation is environmental sustainability in industy and has a PhD and a post-doctorate in sustainable development. He has published three books and several papers. (see here)


Kedar Bhagwat

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Director at Ecological society. Alumni of Ecological Society, 2022-23 batch. His specialisation is transportation and mobility. Worked in transport infrastructure industry extensively for 20 years before moving to academics. His areas of interests are sustainability and mobility.  


Parul Lakhani Ghuge

Administrative and Course Coordinator. She is an ex banker and Alumni of batch 2020-21. She is a graduate in Cosmetology and her interest is introducing ecology and sustainability in school students. she aims to foster a curriculum that not only educates but also empowers the younger generation to make informed choices for a greener, healthier future.


Manasi Karandikar

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Manasi is the co-founder of Oikos, an organisation undertaking ecological restoration. She has been on several government and municipal bodies on biodiversity. Manasi has authored books and articles.She is a recipient of the 'Unch majha zoka' award of Zee TV. (See publications)


Ketaki Ghate

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Ketaki is the co-founder of Oikos. Ketaki has worked on several government and municipal projects on biodiversity and with Manasi has authored books and articles. She is a recipient of the 'Unch majha zoka' award of Zee TV.

(See publications)


In order of appearance in the program schedule

  1. Ajay Phatak – Ajay is an IT professional. Ajay is an alumnus of IIT-Bombay and was the head of Harman Connected Systems, a Samsung group company. Ajay’s research is in sustainability and more specifically in energy and renewable energy. He has written several articles. He is also the trustee of TERRE Policy Centre. Ajay is on the board of Trustees of Ecological Society.

  2. Dr. Gurudas Nulkar – Gurudas is a Professor and Director of Centre for Sustainable Development, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. His research is in sustainability and ecological economics. He has a post-doc as the Endeavour Fellow 2018, of Government of Australia. Gurudas is a full Professor (Visiting) at IIT-Kanpur. He has published 5 books, several academic papers and writes regularly in vernacular magazines. Gurudas is on the board of Trustees of Ecological Society.

  3. Prof. S. D. Mahajan – a well-known botantist and author, Prof. Mahajan was the Head of Botany at Kolhapur. He is popular for his writing style and his lecturing ability. Besides others, Prof. Mahajan has written three major books in Marathi, on native and non-native flora of India. He was a part of various research projects and workshops initiated by Prakash Gole.

  4. Ketaki Ghate – Co-founder of Oikos for Ecological Services, Ketaki has a double B.Sc. in Chemistry and Botany. She has been involved in ecological restoration for the last 15 years and has worked closely in many of Ecological Society’s research projects. She has several publications and has co-authored books with Manasi. She was member of Pune Tree Authority of PMC and is currently the member of the JFMC. Ketaki is on the board of Trustees of Ecological Society.

  5. Manasi Karandikar – Co-founder of Oikos for Ecological Services, Manasi is an Instrumentation engineer and has done her MSc in Environmental Sciences from Pune University. She has been involved in ecological restoration for the last 15 years and has worked closely in many of Ecological Society’s research projects. Manasi was a member of Matheran Conservation Committee. She has written several articles and has co-authored books with Ketaki. Manasi is on the board of Trustees of Ecological Society.

  6. Dr. Swati Gole – retired as a professor of Geography in the S.P.College. She has participated in taken most of Ecological Society’s research programs and expeditions, since inception. Dr. Gole has several publications to her credit and has been instrumental in designing the course along with Shri Prakash Gole. Dr. Gole is the Chairperson of Ecological Society.

  7. Dr. Sanjeev Nalavade – retired as the Head of Geography, Fergusson College. Dr.Nalavde is a well-known researcher in fauna and has published several papers and undertaken many important research programs.

  8. Dr. Asim Auti – Senior Teaching Associate, Center of Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CoESME), IISER Pune. PhD (Microbiology), Post Graduation in Biodiversity & Graduation in Microbiology. He has been teaching Life Science courses at UG & PG level for the past 10+ years and has been a part of curriculum designing for SPPU affiliated colleges. He has academic interests in the field of Microbiology, Ecology & Evolution, and Conservation of Biodiversity. He has worked on various projects engaging labs as well as field components, some of which resulted in popular as well as scientific publications. He was a National Academies (USA) Education Fellow in the Life Sciences 2013-14 and takes keen interest in developing and implementing various pedagogical tools centered on Active Learning.

  9. Dr. Mandar Datar – is a scientist and researcher at Agharkar Research Institute, Pune. Mandar has done extensive research in Goa and Western Ghats and published several papers. He has also authored several books and writes regularly in Marathi publications.  He is a core faculty at the popular Field Botany course at ARI.

  10. Bharati Kelkar – Bharati Tai is a retired banker. She has travelled extensively in India and her special interest is in traditional water conservation systems of India. She has visited many sites to observe the traditional measures of conservation in India. 

  11. Parineeta Dandekar – Parineeta is a researcher at SANDRP and has widely studied and written on rivers in India. She is on several committees and institutions and travels widely.

  12. Prof. Vishwas Sawarkar is the retired Director of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, one of the world’s leading research institutes on fauna. He is the advisor to the Ministry of Environment, office of the Prime Minister and on boards of several NGOs and institutions. He was a leading member of the Tiger Conservation project and has recognized contributions to the Bustard and other conservation programs in India. Prof. Sawarkar is on the board of Trustees of Ecological Society.

  13. Nima Pathak – Nima is a core member of Kalpvriksh, a reputed NGO. Her work is in community conservation and management. She has led several internationally funded projects on it and has several publications to her credit.

  14. Dr. Aparna Watve – Aparna is a visiting faculty at Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has undertaken extensive studies on rocky plateau ecosystems and has international research collaborations. She has published in reputed journals.

  15. Girish Abhyankar – is a retired businessman and now tries to lead a sustainable life. He has several inventions to his credit. His focus is on energy and entropy.

  16. Dr. Rajashri Joshi – Rajashri, works with BAIF, an NGO, is a Social Scientist and a professionally trained social worker with thorough knowledge on development issues and required development interventions in different settings.Have relevant skills for planning interventions on livelihood development, Natural Resource Management, NGO management.

  17. Dr. Himanshu Kulkarni – is a well-known authority on ground water management. He is on several high-level committees and an advisor to ministry of environment. Dr. Himanshu is the founder of ACWADAM, a reputed NGO working in the field of water conservation.

  18. Dr Pramod Moghe – is a retired scientist from the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune and has done seminal work on toxins in daily use products. He has been experimenting with a toxin-free lifestyle for several years and has published his experiences. He has several formulations to his credit and some of them have been commercialized by companies.

  19. Adv. Amogh paralikar – is a practicing advocate and his core capabilities include environmental litigation and social causes. Amogh has helped in several major environmental causes and helps NGOs and citizens in their fight against environmental injustice.

  20. Ar. Malak Singh – Malak is a practicing architect and a professor at Rachna College of Architecture, Mumbai. He works in the field of sustainable architecture and has being doing innovative experimentation in it. He has experimented with several forms of sustainable architecture and has mentored many students to take up such practices.

  21. Dr. Priyadarshani Karve–Founder of Samuchit, Dr. Priya has several noteworthy inventions for rural and urban communities, in the field of biofuels. She conducts workshop on sustainable living and has been a part of several committees on sustainability.

  22. Ashish Kothari – founder member of Kalpvriksh, Ashish is a well-known environmentalist in India. He has written several books and been a part of many UN funded projects and programs. He is well known for his work in Biodiversity laws.

our advisors
  1. Prof. S.D.Mahajan, Ex. Head of Department of Botany & Biology.

  2. Dr. Subhash Bhave, Professor, IndSearch

  3. Shri Girish Abhyankar, Entrepreneur, Energy expert, author of books on energy and technology.

  4. Shri Girish Sohani, President, BAIF

  5. Dr H.M. Desarda, Professor-Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics

  6. Dr Aparna Watve - researcher and trustee BIOME

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