Manish Kumar

PhD Scholar & Senior Project fellow,

PhD research topic:
Ecohydrology of Sikkim Himalaya and its Future in a Changing Climate

Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Senior Fellow, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, ATREE,

Advisory Committee:
Dr. Gladwin Joseph, Conservation Biology Institute, USA,
Dr. Himanshu Kulkarni, Executive Director, ACWADAM,
Dr. Shrinivas Badiger, Fellow, Land, Water and Livelihoods Programme, Centre for Environment and Development, ATREE,
Dr. Sumit Sen, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee,

Research interests
My study focuses on characterising the ecohydrology of the Sikkim Himalaya in the context of climate variability and climate change. It involves understanding plant-water relations in key Himalayan species, the interactions between vegetation, soil, precipitation and atmosphere; and its effects on spring and stream hydrology. The study is based in selected catchments within protected areas of Sikkim and dry parts of southern Sikkim. The instrumented sites have more than 30 data-logger based instruments collecting high-resolution data on parameters ranging from weather, precipitation, streamflow, soil moisture and tree-transpiration. The study will attempt at assessing probable responses of different ecosystems based on future climate change scenarios and identify vulnerable hydrological processes. The work is being carried out as part of the DBT-Sikkim project supported by the Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.
Key words
Ecohydrology, Integrated Water Resources Management, Forest Hydrology, Hydrogeology & Micro-meteorology

MSc Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, 2007
BSc Zoology (main), Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 2005

Work experience

May 2010—current: PhD Scholar & Senior Research fellow, ATREE

June 2007 – April 2010
CHIRAG is a grassroots-level rural development organisation working in the Central Himalayas for the past 22 years. My past work responsibilities with the organisation included:

  • Central coordinator of the Spring Recharge programme which is aimed at recharging the springs in the region by understanding their hydrogeology.
  • Coordinator of the “Nature Trail” programme which was aimed at promoting community-based ecotourism in the region, which included training village youth as tourist guides, developing homestays (3 villages) and establishing a forest patch as a natural bio-diversity park.
  • Technical expert for community forestry programme and water programme spread across 4 districts of Uttarakhand.


  • Research experience in forestry and ecohydrological monitoring in Himalayas for more than 8 years.
  • Establishing hydrological monitoring stations on montane springs/streams and flood-plain rivers.
  • Conducting hydrogeological mapping in complex Himalayan geology.

Training Experience:

  • Conducted 5-day training workshop on "Spring Hydrology - Data management and analysis" with staff of CHIRAG from 13th – 17th March 2016 at Simayal, Uttarakhand.
  • Resource person in a training workshop on "Introduction to Field Hydrology" organized by ATREE, National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore, Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning (FERAL), Puducherry from 13th – 15th August 2015 and from 10th - 14th November, 2014.
  • Conducted 3-day field-workshop on Understanding Groundwater & Spring Resources in Sikkim Himalaya for the field facilitators of Rural Management & Development Deaprtment (RMDD), Gov. of Sikkim. At SIRD, Jorethang, Sikkim as part of the local capacity building exercise, 31st May – 3rd June, 2010.
  • Conducted multiple capacity building exercises for CHIRAG staff on the spring recharge initiative on field hydrogeology from 2008-2010.

Awards and Workshops

  • Presented poster at American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, 2016 held in San Francisco, USA from 12th-16th December’2016 titled “Intraspecific and Interspecific Variability in Transpiration by Three Co-occurring Species from East Himalayan Wet Temperate Forests in Sikkim Himalaya, India”
  • Presented poster at American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, 2016 held in San Francisco, USA from 12th-16th December’2016 titled “Remote Sensing-based Rainfall Estimates in Data-Scarce Himalaya: Performance Assessment of TRMM_3B42v7, TRMM_3B42RTv7 & GPM_3IMERGHHv03 using Ground Rainfall and Stream Hydrographs in Sikkim Himalaya, India”
  • Awarded the Himalayan Research Fellowship under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies, MoEF&CC, Govt. of India in April'2016 for conducting work in Sikkim Himalayas.
  • Awarded the ‘South Asian Exchange Programme’ Fellowship under the 13th Biennial International Conference of the International Association of Commons (IASC), Hyderabad. Presented an oral talk on the topic ‘Vegetation surveys and institutional analysis for understanding the selected Van-panchayats systems in the Kumaun Himalayas’ at the conference. 7 –17 Jan 2011.
  • Participated in a 17-day training conducted by ACWADAM, Pune on ‘Planning, Development and Management of Groundwater with special reference to Watershed Management Programmes’. 14– 30 Jan 2008.


  • Post Graduate Dissertation – "Socio-ecological appraisal of Van panchayats in selected villages of Kumaon Himalaya" in association with CHIRAG, Dec ‘06– Apr ‘07