Dr. Godbole is the founder Director of AERF and has more than 20 years of experience in the field of conservation and natural resource management. She was awarded the Whitley Associate Award for her long term work on sacred groves. She is also an invited NGO member representative of the Clinton Global Initiative and AERF’s commitment on Safeguarding Forests and Biodiversity of Northern Western Ghats has been felicitated in CGI annual meeting of 2011. Under her able guidance, AERF has completed a number of research and implementation projects, contributing to the objectives of AERF and to the process of biodiversity conservation.

Joint Director

An innovative enviropreneur and conservation practitioner, Mr.Jayant Sarnaik is a founding member and joint Director of the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF)-a conservation NGO based out Pune, India. He has over 18 years of on ground experience in the field of biodiversity conservation and cross-cutting issues such as energy, livelihoods and climate change. He constantly works on developing approaches and strategies for making conservation socially sustainable and economically viable. He is recipient of Alcoa Practitioner Fellowship in conservation and sustainability 2008 and the Conservation Leadership Award 2016


Mr. Bhalchandra Wadke
Admin Officer

Mr. Umesh Hiremath
Sr. Research Officer

Ms. Suchitra Naidu
Communications Incharge

Mr. Hasit Trivedi
Program Officer ( Energy & Biodiversity )

Miss. Shruti Sarode
Innovation and Sustainability Associate

Mr. Kumar Wadke
Sr. Accounts Officer

Mr. Purvil Khakaria
Technical Associate

Ms. Prabhashini Mohapatra
GIS Expert

Ms. Pooja Shinde
Jr. Field Researcher


Mr. Gunwant Mahajan
Sr. Project Incharge

Mr. Sanjay Pashte
Project Incharge

Mr. Sachin Parsharam
Project Assistant

Mr. Mangesh Khamkar
Project Assistant

Mr. Rajesh Jadhav
Project Assistant

Mr. Akash Patil
Trainee Field Researcher

Mr. Akshay Gawade
Trainee Field Researcher

Mr. Omkar Pai
Jr. Field Researcher


Mr. Kundalik Kondhawale
Field Assistant

Mr. Vishwanath Wayal
Field Assistant

Mr. Dnyneshwar Virnak
Field Assistant

Mr. Tanaji Lohokare
Field Assistant

Mr. Indraneel Vartak
Jr. Field Researcher


Mr. Kailas Gawand
Field Assistant

Mr. Devidas Patil
Field Assistant

Mr. Arun Bhonkar
Field Assistant

Mr. Karn Mahadik
Jr. Research Officer


A geography student from University of Tuebingen, Germany. Susanne got interested in working with AERF due to the organization's diversified portfolio and its special presence in rural renewable energy sector. During her six week stint at AERF, Susanne visited the VESP test project village- Kusarpeth from Velhe Block of Pune district and discussed the issues related to Natural Resource Management and energy needs of the communities with the villagers. She also contributed to the documentation and proposal writing work of AERF. Susanne wishes to work with AERF as liaisoning support from Germany in future.

Susanne Wirth

Supriya Kulkarni and Prerana Devsthali arts students from Mumbai, volunteered to work with AERF for some days in April 2007. They visited Devrukh and surrounding villages in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra to get the feel of the work done by AERF.

Supriya Kulkarni and Prerana Devsthali

A post graduate student from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Chembur, Mumbai worked with AERF, Pune in April 2007 as a part of his block placement. He worked with AERF team in Alibaug tehsil of Raigad district of Maharashtra for Development of Decentralized Bio-fuel Resource Centres project. He appreciated the project and work being done by AERF in the area through his report submitted to the organization.

Dominic Leo

A student of Geography from the University of Cologne, Germany. Volker works as a professional cameraman for a private channel in Germany. After visiting AERF, he expressed his wish to offer his skills in film making for promoting the remote village electrification project of AERF.Weagreed on the fact that documentary films could become an excellent PR strategy for promotion of renewable energy in rural India as well as for promoting AERF's mission among the donor agencies.

Volker Pruefert

An Environmental Science student from Bharati Vidyapeeth , Pune has been doing his dissertation work with AERF since last six months . Dipak has completed a case study to assess the potential impact of biomass gasifier technology on local biodiversity in a pilot village selected under VESP near Pune. Dipak is a keen bird watcher and initiated a study on vultures in Kusarpeth.

Dipak Sawant


Mr. A.M. Gokhale, Recipient of Padmashri for his outstanding work on traditional of Village Development Councils in Nagaland, this former chief secretary of Nagaland has coordinated a participatory resource enhancement project, the Nagaland Environmental Protection and Economic Development, through People’s action (NEPED), since 1995 in Nagaland. A keen plant photographer and a taxonomist, Mr. A.M. Gokhale also served as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) and as the Chief Secretary at the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy (MNES) . At present he is the Special Adviser to the Planning Commission for North East region.

Mr. A.M. Gokhale

Dr. Govindasamy Agoramoorthy, a world renowned primatologist has been guiding officials, technical and research staff members for over 25 years in the field of ecology. He currently teaches at the College of Environmental Sciences in Tajen University, Taiwan. He has served in various global environmental conservation organizations. His research and conservation activities are spread across the globe including India, Liberia, USA, Venezuela, Taiwan, Trinidad, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Peru, Brazil and China. He has been awarded with numerous awards and memberships including best scientist award, National Environmental Science Academy (2007)

Dr. Govindasamy Agoramoorthy

Dr. Alan Hamilton, PhD, ScD, FLS, has been in the field of professional conservation and has also worked as university lecturer in the UK and Uganda for many years. His research specialty is the history of climate, forests and land use in central Africa. He was a founder of the People and Plants Initiative, a joint programme of WWF, UNESCO and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, designed to raise global capacity in applied ethnobotany . In 2009, Alan was made an Honorary Professor in the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences in recognition of his collaboration on conservation with Chinese scientists.

Dr. Alan Hamilton

Jean Phillipe is a well known ecologist contributed to understand vegetation patterns and peculiar species from various regions in the Southern Western Ghats. He is a rare combination of a researcher and a conservation practitioner.

Dr. Jean Phillip Puyravaud

Mark Lethbridge has research interests in wine quality detection using active optical instruments, wine yield estimation, chain of supply issues in agriculture, vegetation condition monitoring using field and remote sensing, optimization algorithms, decision support tools in production and natural resource management and ecological, movement and spatial modelling. Together with Dr Micheal Westphal, he developed OPRAH, a landscape restoration prioritization algorithm used in NRM. Dr Lethbridge has 15 years of field biology experience in radio tracking, mark recapture and mark resighting and has undertaken everything from small mammal pitfall trapping to medium-sized mammal treadle trapping to perfecting camel immobilization techniques with Dr Wayne Boardman. He is currently developing new and innovative ways to capture species vital rate and population growth rate data remotely using camera traps and improved aerial survey techniques.

Dr. Mark Lethbridge

Dr. James Danoff Burg is the Director and Founder of Big Sky Consulting and is dedicated to providing creative, science-based conservation and education solutions for NGOs, zoos, and aquariums. His twenty years in grant writing, strategic planning, evaluation, community-based conservation, biodiversity surveys, curriculum creation, and public outreach help him to be a global leader in conservation, education, and strategy. Dr. Danoff-Burg’s graduate training focused on insect and marine invertebrate conservation evolution and ecology. For the past two decades, his research, teaching, and conservation implementation actions have focused on reducing the negative effects of human activities on biodiversity through conservation education

Dr.James Danoff Burg

Sanjay Upadhyay, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, is the founder and managing partner of the India’s first environmental law firm, Enviro Legal Defence Firm. He also established the charitable arm of the Law firm through the Environment Law and Development Foundation. Mr. Upadhyay has over 20 years of experience in environmental law and is an advocate at the Supreme Court of India - the Apex body for legal matter in India. He has substantial experience in rules and regulation related to forest governance and is currently member of the committee formed by the Government of India to study the regulatory regime related to felling of trees grown on private lands in India. He has been part of Drafting Committees of several forest, wildlife and biodiversity related legislations both at the national and state level. This exemplary work record of Mr. Upadhyay and ELDF will be very useful for handling the capacity building aspect of forest governance and in policy analysis which is an important part of AERF's projects.

Mr. Sanjay Upadhyay

Dr. S. Natesh is a Senior Consultant and Project Coordinator at the DST Centre for Policy Research at IIT-Delhi. His book on the iconic trees of India is slated for publication in 2021. He received the Biospectrum Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) for his contribution towards taking the Indian Biosciences Sector to new heights. He started years ago by teaching Botany at the University of Delhi for almost a decade, after which he moved to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Government of india. In DBT he headed several divisions and oversaw the launch of important programmes on conservation and management of bioresources, human resource development, innovation and entrepreneurship. He built robust international collaborations for DBT and also launched and led a campaign to bring overseas Indian bio-scientists back to India. He has also served as Consultant-Advisor at the National Institute of Immunology, Delhi in the past. His current interests include tracking and mapping of the heritage trees of India, and plants that influenced history.

Dr. S. Natesh


Dr. Archana Godbole

Jayant Sarnaik

Vandana Kulkarni

Dr. Vijay Basrur

Dr. Kedar Joshi

Dr. Madhav Pendse

Ulhas Puranik

Sarang Kale