Graduate Student Research Funding | 2022 - 2023 Academic Year
Understanding Land Use Change as Pathways to Socio-ecological Development: with Evidence from Indian Trans Himalaya
Our understanding of the impacts of climate change on cropland vegetation in rural montane areas is sparse. Our research focuses on agriculture in the western Trans-Himalayas, a fragile ecosystem characterized by low productivity and high mountains. The landscape is home to iconic wildlife (snow leopards, ibex, blue sheep) and is undergoing rapid transition from a livestock to cash-crop dominated system. We ask how new risks/opportunities play out against climate change, and how they impact people and biodiversity. The objectives are: 1) to investigate the response and vulnerability of indigenous crops (barley and black peas) versus cash crop (green peas) to changing climate regimes; and 2) to combine data from ethnographic work, time-trends in local agriculture and weather patterns, with mathematical models to develop a socio-ecological framework for the region. We hope to employ multi-pronged approaches (ethnography, modelling, nutrition, DNA-sequencing, economic analysis) to help small-holder farmers weather the impacts of climate variability and preserve culturally important indigenous crops. The work is being done in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation in India.
Harman Jaggi, Department of Biology
Harman Jaggi is a PhD student in Biology and is advised by Shripad Tuljapurkar. She is currently working on socio-ecological research dimensions in the Indian Trans Himalaya (funded by Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability). She is examining the response and vulnerability of indigenous crops (versus cash crops) to help improve smallholder farmers adapt to climate change and preserve culturally important indigenous crops. Prior to joining Stanford, Harman did her BS and MS in Math in India. Her research interests include population dynamics, biodiversity conservation, and role of migration in climate change adaptation.