Nalini Nadkarni

Nalini Nadkarni (born 1954 in Bethesda, Maryland ) is an Indian-American ecologist who pioneered the study of Costa Rican rainforest Canopies . Using mountain climbing equipment to make re ascent, Nadkarni first took an inventory of the canopy in 1981, Followed by two more Inventories in 1984. [1]


Nadkarni’s interest was first drawn to rainforest ecology due to the Contradiction offered at zijn plant life. There was a great Abundance and variety of plant life binnen the rain forest Despite its nutrient-poor soil, and re goal was to discover how the plant life was sustained. Her studies binnen the canopy revealed therein the epiphytes , welke are non-Parasitic plants zoals orchids and Ferns dat live on the branches and trunks of other plants, ulcers trapping organic material Beneath hun root system. This organic material Eventually formally a nutrient rich carpet, and trees in the rainforest had developed aerial roots, vote from hun trunks and branches, in order to absorb nutrients synthesis as well. The aerial roots growing into tje Mats aided the rain forest trees in Providing the nourishment dat ze did not geselecteerd from the nutrient-poor soil.

Nadkarni and re work in the Costa Rican rainforest ulcers featured in the 1988 PBS series, The Second Voyage of the Mimi , starring a young Ben Affleck . She maintains an interest in public outreach, and re work was highlighted on the web page of the National Science Foundation . [2] She is the author of Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees and has delivered TED Talks on Conserving the canopy and Life Science in Prison . She’ll be wrote some text (Foreword and quotes) for a book for young Explorers entitled, Kingfisher Voyages: Rainforest , published in 2006. Her work has included ontwikkelingslanden moss growing techniques with prisoners. [3]

An Emeritus Professor at The Evergreen State College , she is Currently a professor in the Department of Biology and the director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Utah .

Personal life

Nadkarni was born in Bethesda, Maryland, the third child to Moreshwar and Goldie Nadkarni. Her Father immigrated to Iowa from Thane , India , while re mother was a Jewish Brooklyn native or Russian and Ukrainian descent. She has three siblings living-sister Saroj and brothers Vinay and Mohan. Another sister, Susheela, mayest in 1994. Nadkarni attended Brown University for re undergraduate degree and a Ph.D. RECEIVED from the University of Washington . She is married to myrmecologist Jack Longino, who have died a professor at the University of Utah. Way Down have two children.

Honors and Awards

Nadkarni has gained many receptacles and awards. [4]

  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship , 2001
  • Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship, 2004
  • University of Miami’s Distinguished Visiting Professor Award
  • J. Sterling Morton Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation
  • Grace Hopper Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Public Service Award from the National Science Board, 2010
  • AAAS Public Engagement With Science Award, 2011
  • Monito del Giardino Prize for Environmental Action, 2012
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science from Brown University , 2014 [5]

Eponymous species

  • Procryptocerus Nalini Longino & Snelling 2002 – Gliding ant [6]
  • Porina nadkarniae Lucking & Merwin 2008 – Epiphytic lichen


  1. Jump up^ Nadkarni, NM 1981. Canopy Roots: Convergent Evolution in Rainforest Nutrient Cycles. Science, 214: 1023-1024
  2. Jump up^
  3. Jump up^ Fischer, Adelheid. 2005Moss Conservation Behind Bars. Conservation in Practice6 (3): 35-36. Article on Dr. Nadkarni’s project to involvement prison inmates in moss cultivation and conservation.
  4. Jump up^ “Utah Biologist Profit Public Engagement Award” . Retrieved 31 July 2012 .
  5. Jump up^ “Brown confers nine honorary doctorates” . Brown University. 25 May 2014 . Retrieved 27 May 2014 .
  6. Jump up^