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TIGR2ESS: Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies

A Global Challenges Research Fund project


Prior to his Research Fellow position in MSSRF, Mr Vivek Babu Girija worked on environmental and ecological science research projects in India and Sweden, including: developing concept note for Wayanad rice landscape ecological engineering as consultant with Community Agrobiodiversity Centre, MSSRF in Wayanad, Kerala (2018); developed a simulation model for understanding the importance of community evenness in Bumblebees with SLU's Department of Ecology, Uppsala (2014); understanding the effect of semi-natural grassland restoration on dung beetle metapopulations as part of Master's thesis with SLU's Department of Ecology, Uppsala (2012-2013); as Junior Research Fellow, engaged in hydrological profiling of stormwater outfalls, surface & groundwater of Tholkappia Poonga & its catchment for Adyar Poonga Trust with Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, Chennai (2007-2009); and engaged in the assessment of biochemical methane emission potential of poultry litter as a Master's thesis for Subhashri Bio Energies Pvt. Ltd., with Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, Chennai (2007).


  • 2009 - 2018: MSc Ecology, Department of Ecology, Uppsala, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 
  • 2005 - 2007: MSc Environmental Science, College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University
  • 2002 - 2003: Diploma (Distance Education) in Biopesticide Technology & Bio-Fertiliser production, Annamalai University
  • 2002 - 2005: BSc Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology, Madras Christian College, University of Madras

Funding and awards

  • Caithness General Fund Scholarship for excellence in the initial semester of MCC, 2003
  • Dr Edward Barne's Gold Medal for botany & biodiversity conservation initiatives, 2005
  • Katha International - Travel Grant Invitee to "City Stories Katha Asia Utsav", Jan 2006.
  • SIDA Project Funded - Travel Grant for Oral Presentation at "Clean India 2007", Anna University, Feb 2007.


He has a broad interest ranging from ecological theories, empirical research and outreach for ecological intensification practices in cultural landscapes & farming systems. Specifically, his interests are in using a complex adaptive systems lens for tropical socio-ecological land units, with a long-term research goal to integrate better the insights of biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) research with the science of decision-making to manage the ecosphere within the planetary boundaries better.

In the TIGR2ESS project, as part of J. R. D. Tata Ecotechnology Director Dr Rengalakshmi's team, Vivek B. Girija participates in FP1 and FP6. Initially, being part of FP1 contributed to research protocol development for understanding the ecological and environmental foundations underpinning the agrarian political economy of small-holding farmers in rural systems. Also, his complexity science and decision-making science interests have led him to investigate the history and philosophy of Prof. M. S. Swaminathan's scholarship and his vision of achieving the 'Evergreen Revolution Paradigm' in global food systems and the 'Small-Farm management Revolution (SfM-R)' in tropical farming systems.

As landscape ecologist and economic ecologist, his direct engagement is in FP6, responsible for implementing 'Soil-Structure Scorecard Intervention -S3I' in the Kundura block of Wayanad. The primary goal of this project is to empower the decision-making of farmers for better management of soil health in millet production for ensuring holistic and resilient development among farmers of Odisha Millet Mission (OMM). This intervention provides a unique opportunity to bring agronomic, ecological, gender and social science focus in understanding the dynamics of ethnopedological knowledge and rural landscapes in small-holder farming households' livelihoods. Towards this, his close research partnerships were with Dr Lydia Smith (Head of Innovation Farm and Eastern AgriTech Innovation Hub) for soil ecology focus, Prof. Nitya Rao (Professor of Gender & Development & NISD Director, University of East Anglia) for gender and social science focus, Dr Rengalakshmi for agronomy and ecotechnology focus, Dr Jegan Sekar (Scientist, Department of Microbiology, MSSRF, Chennai) for soil microbiology and finally with MSSRF-BPTAbC's (BijuPatnaik Tribal Agrobiodiversity Centre) for efficient implementation of S3I project's following field activities 

The S3I project aims are to contribute to the following two objectives: 
I.    Soil amendment trials are being conducted (with random block design) using the traditional landrace (Murda) of ragi to demonstrate how to unlock the soil resource potentials in productivity improvement (FYM, Paper, Rice Husk, Vermicompost etc.), while simultaneously increasing soil fertility and soil structure using the various soil amendments. This study collects multiple biometric variables and soil parameters for investigating the effect of the amendments across the growth phase of the Ragi Crop. 
II.    He is engaged in qualitative research among three villages (Katariput, Kerimity, Kalapara) across three different rainfall intensities and soil erosivity density gradients of the Kundura block. This qualitative research includes ethnopedological and empirical cognitive-behavioural research about Paddy & Millet production-related and soil conservation-related perceptions, knowledge, attitudes, practices, beliefs, intentions, values, actions and norms culturally embedded among aboriginal/tribal communities.


Key publications: 

Google Scholar Profile

TIGR2ESS Manuscripts:

  • Girija, Vivek Babu and Kumar, N. Anil (2021), Evergreen Revolution and New Ecology of Hope: The Vision and Actions of M.S. Swaminathan. (Unpublished Manuscript.
  • Girija, Vivek Babu and Kumar, N. Anil (2021), The Need for an Evergreen Revolution Paradigm (ERP). (Unpublished Book Chapter).
  • Girija, Vivek Babu. (2021). Van Parijsian Maximin Principle in Service of Soil Resource Conservation in Koraput Agroecosystems. Unpublished Conference Paper – ISHPSSB Biennial Meeting 2021.

TIGR2ESS Conference Presentations

  • Girija, Vivek Babu. (2021). "Van Parijsian Maximin Principle in Service of Soil Resource Conservation in Koraput Agroecosystems". Presented in ISHPSSB Biennial Meeting 2021 (Virtual), conducted by The International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, on 14th July 2021. 
  • Girija, Vivek Babu and Kumar, N. Anil (2021). "Evergreen Revolution as a means for achieving Evergreen Resilience of Local Food Systems". Presented in International Webinar titled "Rethinking and Transforming Public Policy: The Challenges of Ethics, Aesthetics and Responsibility", Organised jointly by KIIT School of Law and Vishwaneedham Centre for Asian Blossoming, on 07th May 2021. 
  • Girija, Vivek Babu. (2021). Integration and Implementation Science for Soil Resource Conservation through Prof. M S Swaminathan's "Small-farm Management Revolution – SfM-R". The topic was presented in the "International Conference on Advances in Science and Technology (ICAST)", Organised by the Institute of Innovations, Tiruvannamalai, on 02nd April 2021 (Awarded Best Paper).


Research Fellow, Biju Patnaik Tribal Agrobiodiversity Centre, BPTAbC.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, MSSRF.
Not available for consultancy