Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture

Researchers And Students

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Noel is a PhD candidate at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His interests are in water and natural resource management and has been working with the Water Management Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan for the past two years on watershed assessment.

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Anthropology and Global Affairs

Priyankar Chand is from Kathmandu, Nepal and is Program Assistant to the Yale Himalaya Initiative. He is pursuing a double major in Global Affairs and Anthropology, and is also a Global Health Fellow. He is currently conducting research on sickle cell disease in the western-Terai of Nepal. 

Deepti Chatti, Ph.D.

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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Deepti Chatti is a doctoral student at Yale University in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is interested in the interactions between environmental protection and poverty alleviation in developing countries. Her current research is focused on rural household energy transitions in India, particularly studying households moving from traditional biomass burning cookstoves to ‘improved’ technologies and fuels in Himachal Pradesh. She conducts interdisciplinary research, using her background in the natural sciences, and her current training in the social sciences, to better understand the drivers and context of energy decisions in rural India. She studied environmental engineering at Stanford University, and civil engineering at Osmania University. She worked for several years before starting her PhD at Yale; as an environmental engineer in the San Francisco Bay area, and most recently as a researcher and adjunct faculty at The Energy and Resources Institute, one of the leading environmental think tanks in India. 

Yong Cho, Ph.D.

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History of Art

Yong is interested in Tibeto-Mongol, Sino-Tibetan religious visual culture, material culture, East Asian Buddhist art and architecture; Religious and cultural pluralism in pre-modern Central Eurasia 

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A third Year PhD Anthropology and FES student, Luisa is interseted in the area defined by the rivers coming from the Himalaya towards the Ganga (particularly within the administrative boundaries of North Bihar). She is working on the area’s recurrent floods and connected historical ecosystem changes, its inhabitants’ understanding of their natural environment and its waters, and the significance of water within the complex socio-political and environmental landscape.

Sangay Dorji, M.E.M.

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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Sangay specializes on Human Dimensions of Environmental Management with a particular focus on climate change adaptation. He is also interested in Religion and Ecology. Back in Bhutan, he works with the Department of Agriculture. 

Julia Famularo, Smith Richardson Foundation Predoctoral Fellow

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International Security Studies

In addition to her work at Yale as an ISS Fellow, Julia Famularo is a research affiliate at the Washington, D.C.-based Project 2049 Institute and a seventh-year doctoral candidate in modern East and Central Asian political history at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on Chinese Communist Party policies in ethnographic Tibet and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

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Linguistics

Christopher studies the phonetics-phonology interface (sound systems) and historical linguistics, particularly as they apply to Tibeto-Burman/Trans-Himalayan languages of the Himalayan region. He is also interested in the documentation and revitalization of endangered and less-studied languages, and have worked with Tibetan, Gurung, and Koro (spoken in Arunachal Pradesh) with communities in India and New York City. 

Anobha Gurung, Ph.D.

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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Anobha Gurung is a Doctoral Candidate at FES. Her research focus is on air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. At present, Anobha is investigating the health effects of air pollution and looking into traffic exposures as they are one of the main sources of air pollution in the valley. Anobha is also looking at how seasons influence exposures to air pollution and is interested in working with both governmental and non-governmental organizations in creating awareness regarding the ill-effects of air pollution to human health.

Tiying Huang, Ph.D.

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East Asian Studies

Tiying used to study Tibetan kinship in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Now he is mainly interested in local political mechanisms and local political elites in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Amy Johnson, Ph.D.

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Anthropology and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Amy Leigh Johnson is a doctoral student in the combined degree program in Anthropology and Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her research studies Nepal’s move from a centralized Hindu monarchy to a federalist state, and the politics of environment informing the state restructuring process. 

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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Mohammad Aatish Khan is a Fulbright Nehru Master’s Fellow 2014. He is focusing on the ‘application of advanced analytical approaches for understanding complexities and synergies between environment-development program design and policy implications in the developing countries’. He started his professional career as a volunteer working in the tribal areas of Bastar, CG. Since last five years in an International non-profit, he worked with government agencies, international bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations and private firms on more than 30 thematically diverse projects focusing on natural resources, climate change, poverty alleviation, governance, Gender, REDD plus and development. Prior to Yale, he studied MBA in Environmental Management from Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal and Bachelors of Engineering in Electronics and Communications from Rajiv Gandhi Tech. University, India.  

Tara Meyer, M.E.Sc.

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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

For her master’s research Tara carried out a camera and DNA-based study aimed at documenting snow leopards for the first time in western Tajikistan and examining the genetic connectivity of snow leopards in the region. She also conducted interviews with hunters, shepherds, and community leaders to examine the socio-economic and cultural context for carnivore conservation and administered surveys on human-wildlife conflicts in the region to quantify livestock depredation losses to wild carnivores. She will use these results to evaluate current wildlife management practices and make recommendations for improvements to my partners in Tajikistan (Panthera and the Tajikistan Academy of Sciences).

Luke Wagner, Ph.D.

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Sociology

Luke is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology. He is broadly interested in the forms and formations of democratic cultures and in the role of religion in state-formation and political transition. His dissertation research is focused on contemporary debates about secularism in Nepal.

Peter Woods, M.A.R.

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Asian Religions

Peter’s work at Yale has focused on the construction of sacred place, biography, and ritual and material culture in the Himalaya and Tibet. He also studies Sanskrit and Classical Tibetan language and continue to hone my skills in the translation of Tibetan Buddhist literature.