Speakers

Brij Gopal
Aquatic Ecologist and Environmental Scientist

Dr Brij Gopal, is an aquatic ecologist and environmental scientist with nearly 50 years of experience. A Ph.D. in plant ecology from Banaras Hindu University, Dr Gopal served Agra College and Rajasthan University (1972-85) and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1986-2009) before retiring as Professor of Environmental Science in 2009. He was a Humboldt Fellow (1982-83) at the Max-Planck Institute of Limnology (Germany) and Visiting Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (1984) - one of the world’s oldest schools of vegetation science. Dr Gopal’s has investigated all aspects of plant ecology, biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, water quality, economic valuation, conservation, restoration and management of all kinds of ecosystems from mountains to coasts, He considered also the traditional management by local communities, socio-economic aspects, climate change and issues related to policies and law in the context of integrated water resources management. He has published over 220 research / review papers and authored or edited 40 books. He was one of the lead authors of the chapter on Ecosystems for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning-IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007). He served on numerous governmental and international committees related to wetlands, rivers, lakes, fisheries, forests, EIA, etc. He was a Member of the Planning Commission’s Working Groups on tribal development and environment for the 10th Plan and for environment for the 11th Plan. He was also a member of EAC (of the MOEF) for non-coal mining projects. He was associated with many universities and research institutes of the MOEF, MOWR, ICAR, etc. He served as Executive Vice President (2007-2013) of the International Society of Limnology (SIL) and Member, Board of Directors of the International Society for River Science (2009-2013). He has been a reviewer or projects, theses and faculty of several foreign universities and organisations such as the IUCN, UNESCO, WWF and the World Bank. He is currently a Member of the Rajasthan State Biodiversity Board, Vice President of the National Institute of Ecology, Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR), Member of the International Scientific Committee of the Brazilian National Institute for Wetland Science and Technology (INAU), Chairman of the SIL Working Group on Inland Waters of Tropical Asia, and Coordinator of the Centre for Inland Waters in South Asia. He serves on the editorial boards of several international journals on ecology. He has also been a Member of the Expert Committees for environmental litigations (PILs) in the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, Supreme Court of India and the National Green tribunal. He is the only recipient of the Naumann-Thienemann Medal (2004) of the International Association of Limnology (SIL) outside Europe and North America and only the second Asian recipient of the International Fellow award (1997) of the Society of Wetland Scientists. He has travelled to over 50 countries in all continents and has been a Plenary Speaker at several International Conferences.