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Sarmistha Pattanaik


Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay


Sarmistha Pattanaik is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Her academic training is in Environmental Sociology and she has worked extensively in the areas of Political Ecology, Land Acquisition, Mining-induced Displacement, Governance and ecological conflicts. During her PhD she studied the social, cultural and ecological aspects of Chilika Lake, the largest lagoon in India and one of the largest in Asia; she was also actively engaged with the small-scale fishing communities of the Lake, their lives and livelihoods who were economically marginalized and ecologically displaced due to the commercialization of fish economy and politicization of the lake and its rich coastal resources. Since 2008, Sarmistha teaches and guides students of IIT-Bombay in Masers and PhD programmes in the interdisciplinary aspects of Environment and Development, Social and Political Ecology in the Third World, Conservation-induced Displacement and Social and Environmental justice. In the past, prior to joining IIT-Bombay and after her PhD, Sarmistha worked as a fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore where she was researching the environmental, social and political aspects of water resources (Baitaranai River Ecosystem in Odisha) and Land acquisition and conflicts in the mining areas in Tribal belts of remote Odisha in India. Sarmistha’s current research focuses on the Risk, Vulnerability and Environmental justice of coastal commons and she has published her research findings in the interdisciplinary journals in the areas of ecological conflicts and environmental movements, land Policies, customary rights and community based natural resource management in the protected areas, environmental vulnerability and coastal zone regulation violations in Mumbai, urban environmentalism and transformation of city in the wetlands and fishermen’s local knowledge in the face of climate change in coastal Tamil Nadu.

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