Field: Pollination Biology & Ecosystem services
Priya Davidar is a conservation biologist. She worked for more than two decades working on forest ecology, pollination biology, and endangered species conservation. She retired as a professor from Pondicherry University. She is also an author who has authored a few books including Whispers from the Wild, co-authored with E.R.C Davidar, and published by Penguin India books. She was very passionate about the conservation of the ecological environment and forest ecosystem including the wildlife.
After completing her MSc. from Madras university she went on to pursue Phd from Bombay University and later moved on to acquire an S.M. from Harvard University in 1985. Under the guidance of the naturalist, Salim Ali, who is known as the “bird man of India”, she worked on the pollination of the hemi-parasitic mistletoes by nectar-feeding birds for her doctoral thesis.
Her father is a conservationist E.R.C. Davidar and his brother Mark Davidar is one of the founders of the Sigur Nature Trust (SNT), in Masinagudi, Tamil Nadu, India which is a 30-acre wildlife reserve.
She married Jean-Philippe Puyravaud who is a research scientist trained in remote sensing. They have collaborated on many research papers.
The major challenge for her was in 1970s not many women took up a subject like ecology conservation that involved trips to the forest. Her male colleagues would often remark that as a woman, she should just confine herself in the house and her place was in the kitchen! This would often stress her out a lot. But a resilient spirit never made her take a back seat. Allison Snow, who was a fellow postdoc in Panama remarked, “Priya was … unfazed by all the practical difficulties.”
In 2009, she was the President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. In 2012, she was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
My one -line take away: Not bowing down to prejudicises is the real strength.
PS: I have planned to take up non-fiction this year as my theme for the A2Z challenge, where every day in the month of April ( except Sundays) I will be writing about women in the stream of science and their contributions. Disclaimer -The information collected is from different sources available online.
The main objective is to draw inspiration and share information about such great lives who did it, despite all difficulties in their life.
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z