Article by NIRMAL MANGAR
Gangtok, Feburary 15: Research Scholar from Sikkim, Yangchenla Bhutia has been awarded with the prestigious Young Scientist Award by IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations, Vienna, Austria) and EFI (European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland) to visit Germany for three months, during the summer of 2019. She will work on her Ph.D. thesis and collaborate to write an Indo-German proposal on oak forest management and conservation in the Himalayas continuing her Ph.D. research.
Mountain oak forests of the Himalayas provide a wide range of ecosystem services and support very high biodiversity. However, oak forests are declining in many parts of the Himalayas due to anthropogenic disturbances as well as climate change impacts. Ms. Bhutia is doing pioneering and fundamental research to understand the structure and floristic composition of oak forests across the altitudinal gradient in the Sikkim Himalayas. She is the first person to receive this award from the region of Sikkim and second from India. Her visit in Germany will be hosted by Prof. Andreas Bolte, Dr. Tamalika Chakraborty, and Dr. Tanja Sanders of the German Federal Institute of Forest Ecosystems (Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute), located in Eberswalde (near Berlin).Prof. Dr. Silke Lautner from the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Eberswalde, Germany will act as co-host for Ms. Bhutia.
She will also visit and collaborate with Dr. Somidh Saha from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany to discuss her thesis and future collaboration. Dr. Saha is an international oak expert and Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO’s unit “Ecology and Silviculture of Oak”.
In addition to above-mentioned persons, she is also grateful to Mr. Bhuwan P. Pradhan- Conservator of Forest, Government of Sikkim, German Development Cooperation- GIZ, Mr. Prem Prakash Singh, friends and family for constant motivation, guidance, and support.
Daughter of Denchung Lepcha and Kinzang Bhutia resident of Development area, Gangtok, Yangchenla Bhutia started her schooling from Nampong Primary School, East Sikkim and completed from Palzor Namgyal Girls Senior Secondary School, Gangtok. She has a B.Sc. degree in Botany with Honours from Government College, Tadong and a Post Graduation in Forestry from Doon PG College of Agriculture Science and Technology, Dehradun, India.
Ms. Bhutia started her scientific career from Department of Science, Technology and Climate change, Govt. of Sikkim, and is currently pursuing Ph.D. on the Ecology of Himalayan Oaks and related species from ATREE Bangalore, under the supervision Dr. G. Ravikanth, Dr. R. Ganesan and Dr. T. Ganesh.