Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

Tamanna Kalam






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Rudower Chaussee 16, Room 2'233

+49 (0)30 2093-

+49 (0)30 2093-6848

Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany


Tamanna Kalam_Sept 21

About me

I am a wildlife conservationist from India and I study the drivers, patterns, and impacts of human-wildlife conflict on both humans and wildlife.  

My interest in this conservation issue began during my Masters, where I surveyed 78 tea plantations in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, South India, to assess the presence, and opinion of local communities towards 12 mammalian species. Post my Masters, I worked with Greenpeace India, where I conducted outreach programmes for different sectors (e.g., corporates and schools) to sensitise them towards global issues like deforestation and climate change. I later worked with Care Earth Trust, where I studied the drivers of land use and land cover change and its impact on human-wildlife conflict in southern India.

In 2016, I worked with WWF-India in Assam, North-east India. I studied the different types of damages caused by wild Asian elephants in tea plantations and also identified the locations of lethal electric fences (installed to deter elephant forays) and sagging power lines. I also developed localised mitigation measures to prevent incidents of conflict from arising in the future. From 2017 to 2020, I worked at Pondicherry University, wherein I assessed the genetic diversity and gene flow among different elephant populations across central and southern India.

Over the years, I grew more interested in understanding how habitat loss influences wildlife distribution and human-wildlife conflict. For my PhD, I will be studying how tropical dry forests have changed in India since the 20th century and how this has affected megafauna distribution and human-wildlife conflict.


Curriculum Vitae

Since 2021

  Doctoral researcher, Department of Geography, Humboldt University



Senior Project Assistant, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India


  Elephant Conservation Internship, WWF-India, Assam, India


  Junior Research Fellow, Care Earth Trust, Chennai, India
2012- 2014   Outreach Officer, Greenpeace India, Hyderabad, India


Kalam, T., T.A. Puttaveerasawamy, R.K. Srivastava, J.P. Puyravaud & P. Davidar (2020): Spatial aggregation and specificity of incidents with wildlife make tea plantations in southern India potential buffers with protected areas. Journal of Threatened Taxa 12(11)

Kalam, T., Baishya, H.K., & Smith, D. (2018): Lethal Fence Electrocution: A Major Threat to Asian Elephants in Assam, India, Tropical Conservation Science (8), 1-8

Diengdoh, B.H., & Kalam, T. (2018): Climate Change Mitigation and the Sacred: Can REDD+ Renew Interest of Local Khasi Communities in Conserving Sacred Groves in Meghalaya? Culture and Sustainability: A Value-based Approach to Development. Synergy Books, New Delhi.

Bennathaniel H.D., Lasara, L.M.L. & Kalam, T. (2018): “Can Redd+ and Ecotourism Coexist? Integrating Redd+ and Ecotourism in Meghalaya: Potential and Implications” in Climate Change and the Developing Countries, Cambridge Scholar’s Publishing, UK

Kalam, T. (2016): “Trailing elephants in Assam: The journey of a South Indian” The Fine Print, Tezpur Central University, Assam

Bhaskar, A. & Kalam, T. (2016): “Tropical mountain wetlands” Current Science, 1446-1447