Head of Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Member, CSaP Management Committee
Professor Bhaskar Vira is the Head of the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge. His research interests centre on the changing political economy of development, especially in India; and on political ecology, focusing on forests, wildlife and landuse change and the social and political context for biodiversity conservation.
His work on incentives for natural resource use and management deals with trade-offs and discourses relating to the concept of ecosystem services, and how this overlaps with poverty and human well-being, as well as values for biodiversity conservation. Research into the policy process in this sphere has included work as a Coordinating Lead Author with the Responses Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.
His research on the political economy of development in India focuses on the distributional consequences of changes in the Indian urban and rural economy since the 1990s, with a particular interest in labour relations, as well as alternative strategies for land-use and the management of resources.
Dr Vira has worked with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, and the Global Food Security strategic research initiative at the University of Cambridge, and also works with the the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is a member of the Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment, an Associate Editor of Environmental Conservation, Editorial Board Member of Global Environmental Change, and Advisory Board Member for Conservation and Society.
Prior to his current role, Bhaskar was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Environment, Ethics and Society, University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.