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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

Akshit Suthar

PhD Student / Graduate Research Assistant
Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department

Phone: 321-417-6745



Educational Background

M.S Environmental Science
KSKV Kachchh University, Gujarat, India 2016

B.S Chemistry
RKP Arts & Science College, Gujarat University, India 2013


Akshit is a wildlife biologist with a passion for avian ecology. He was born and raised in rural India. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Gujarat University and his Master of Science in Environmental Science from Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kachchh University, where he conducted a pioneering study on the avifauna of the hilly thorn forest of central Kachchh. His passion and research interest in avian ecology, how they interact with the surroundings and modify the landscape, brought him to Clemson University. Currently, he is working on “Quantifying Waterbird Habitat Relation with Antebellum Rice Field using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAS) and Autonomous Recording Units (ARUs) in Coastal South Carolina” with Dr. Jim Anderson and supported by the James C. Kennedy Waterfowl and Wetland Conservation Center Fellowship and a graduate research assistantship.

During his undergraduate studies, he gained experience in ecological research methodologies and data collection through various research projects, including the nest box ecology of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus), the ecology of Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) and Human-Sloth Bear interactions, and an ecological assessment of Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris).

In 2014, Akshit joined a local organization in the arid region of Kachchh landscape in Gujarat, India. He leads a project on environmental education and community-based biodiversity conservation, including waterbirds. He enabled the active participation of local people and relevant stakeholders to ensure long-term conservation benefits. In 2016 he moved to central Gujarat to work with the Gujarat Ecological Society. He worked on various projects like ecological profiling of multiple regions, a state environment atlas, a benchmark survey of the coastal and marine environment, and mitigation of human-animal conflicts. He rediscovered the Smooth-coated Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) in Gujarat. He carried out the first systematic survey to determine the status, distribution, and conservation threats to the species, which was recognized by the International Otter Survival Fund-United Kingdom and received the "Otter Oscar-2019" award in the research category. Besides his research contributions, he served as a visiting faculty at Gujarat University and contributed to engaging and motivating the future cadre of environmentalists and conservationists.

He has good research experience in diverse landscapes with a strong background in community-based conservation, ecosystem assessment, restoration, population dynamics, and quantitative ecology. He published and served as a reviewer for national and international journals and is an active member of some organizations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Waterbird Society, and The Society for Conservation Biology.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing cricket, hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife photography.


Nagrecha, P.G. & Suthar, A. R. (2019). First photographic documentation of smooth Coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) in Mahi River, Gujarat, India. Otter, the Journal of the International Otter Survival Fund. Vol. 5, May. 29. Pp: 14–19.

Suthar, A. R., Sankhwal, A. O., Rathod, J. Y., & Gavali, D. J. (2019). Rapid Assessment of Butterfly Diversity and Host plants at Piplaidevi Forest Range, Dangs, Gujarat. Bio Bulletin, 5(1), 25-31.

Suthar, A. R. (2017). Otter of Gujarat at the American Museum of Natural History, New York (USA). Jalaplavit 7(3). Pp.59–61.

Suthar, A. R., Rathod, J. Y., Patel, I. B., Gavali, D. J., & Lakhmapurkar, J. (2017). Historical and current distribution of smooth coated otter Lutrogale perspicillata in Gujarat, India. IUCN Otter Spec. Group Bull, 34(2), 95-103.

Suthar, A. R., & Amin, S. First photographic record of Indian giant flying squirrel Petaurista philippensis Elliot, 1839 from Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat.

Suthar, A. R., Rathod, J. Y., & Gavali, D. J. (2017). Rapid survey of spider diversity at Piplaidevi forest range, Dangs, Gujarat. International Journal of Entomology Research, 2(4), 12-15.

Suthar, A. R. & Chudasama, D. (2017). Observation of Rufus-tailed Rock Thrush in Kachchh, Gujarat, Flamingo, XV-2, April-June, 19.

Bindiya, P., Rathod, J.Y., & Suthar, A. R. (2017). Avian diversity around the riparian zone of Vishwamitri river, Vadodara, Gujarat.

Suthar, A. R., Rathod, J. Y., Singh, N. J., Patel, I. B., & Gavali, D. J. (2017). Impact of windmills and power lines on birds: A case study at Porbandar Taluka, Gujarat-India. International Journal of Fauna and Biological Studies4 (3), 93-99.

Suthar, A. R., Trivedi, M., & Vyas, S. (2017). Preliminary Survey on Avifauna Diversity of Krantiguru Shyamji KrishnaVermaUniversityCampus, Kachchh, Gujarat. Ambient Sci, 4(1), 90-91.

Suthar, A. R. & Chudasama, D. (2017). A Pioneering Survey of Waders and Seabirds in Modhava Coastal Area, Kachchh District, Gujarat State, India, Jalaplavit, Vol.7, No.1.

Suthar, A. R. & Joshi, P.N. (2015). Checklist of Butterflies of Kachchh, Participatory conservation, and Management through BMCs in Kachchh district, Gujarat. Proceeding of Gujarat Butterfly Meets.

Suthar, A. R., Gohil, A. K., Solanki, V. A.,& Joshi, P. N. (2015). Conservation of Highly Vulnerable bird species Stoliczka’s Bushchat Saxicola macrorhyncha through the Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) in Kachchh district. Proceeding of National Symposium on Dryland Bird-GUIDE.


Three Minute Thesis
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
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