The distribution of large herbivores over time and space in South and Southeast Asia
About the talk
The large herbivores of South and Southeast Asia comprise an ancient and diverse guild with a long history of association with humans. To this day, our knowledge of the mechanisms that have shaped the distribution of these herbivores over space and time, and the ecological roles they play in ecosystems, remains largely inadequate. I will attempt to synthesize and integrate past and ongoing research on large herbivores in the region, and highlight directions for future research that is critical for the management of large herbivores in South and Southeast Asia. Given the dramatic population declines and range contractions of large herbivores in the region, there is an urgent need for scientifically based management efforts to ensure both their continued persistence as well as the integrity of the ecological services they provide in ecosystems.
About the speaker
Farshid S. Ahrestani is a wildlife ecologist who studies the mechanisms that drive the distribution and dynamics of populations and communities in space and time. Farshid is interested in understanding how species and ecosystems are coping and responding to global change. Farshid has studied large herbivores (deer, antelope etc.) for nearly two decades, and is a leading global expert on large herbivores in Asia. He is the lead editor of the volume titled “The ecology of large herbivores in South and Southeast Asia” published in 2016. In 2016-1017, Farshid spent nine months in India as a Fulbright Scholar studying large herbivore ecology with the WCS-India program.
Farshid has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in: Columbia University, USA; Pennsylvania State University, USA; and the Institute of Bird Populations, USA. He defended his doctoral research, “Asian Eden: Large herbivore ecology in India” in 2009 at Wagenegin University, The Netherlands. Farshid has also completed an: MS in Ecology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, USA: MS in Computer Science at Syracuse University, Syracuse, USA; and BE in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at BITS, Pilani, India.
In addition to his work as an academic and a conservationist, Farshid has worked as a: software engineer on Wall Street, USA; naturalist at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, India; manager of a rubber estate in Kerala, India; knowledge management consultant at the United Nations, New York; mathematics teacher for inner-city high school students, Jersey City; and a radio DJ of reggae music, State College.