Our Team

Dr Hemant Ojha


Through the past 20 years of research, development practice, and innovation, Dr Ojha has championed the cause of  democratic governance, equitable development, decentralised natural resources management, and community empowerment.

Dr Jagadish Timsina

Co-Direrctor of Research and Principal Consultant (Agriculture)


Dr Timsina is a globally respected agricultural scientist specialising on agronomy, soil management and agroecosystems sustainability. He has a wide range of experiences in Australia and a number of countries in Asia.

Dr Basundhara Bhattarai

Senior Specialist – Gender, Environment and International Development

Dr Basundhara Bhattarai has extensive experience in research, policy and development practice in Australia and the Himalaya region.


Prof Rodney J Keenan

Co-Chair of High Level Scientific Reference Group (Ecological Sciences)

Prof Rod Keenan has a global reputation on ecosystem sciences, forest management and resilience. He has a B. Sc. (Forestry) from the Australian National University and a PhD in forest ecology from University of British Columbia.

Professor Anthony Zwi

Co-Chair of High Level Scientific Reference Group (Social Sciences)

Anthony Zwi was the first Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney and is now Professor of Global Health and Development in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW. He seeks to enhance the use of different forms of evidence in health and development policies and to build links between humanitarian relief, development agencies and academic institutions.

Dr Ramesh Sunam

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Ramesh Sunam is currently an International Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Tokyo. Dr Sunam earned a PhD from The Australian National University (ANU) in 2015. His research focuses on international migration (both regular and irregular), poverty, rural transformation, food security, and human dimensions of environmental change. Sunam has extensively published in leading international journals, including Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Peasant Studies, Anthropological Forum, and Society and Natural Resources. He has carried out various assignments with international agencies including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Dr Uttam B Shrestha

Senior Research Fellow (honorary)

Dr Shrestha is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He has completed PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA and has two masters’ degrees, one in Geographic Information Technology from Northeastern University, USA and the other in Botany from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Shrestha worked at Harvard University, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Maine, and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), USA and Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Dr Rohini Devkota

Research Fellow 

Dr Rohini Devkota is an Environmental Research Scientist at Bugs for Bugs to develop and implement research projects to achieve environmentally sustainable pest management production practices under various climatic conditions. Prior to Australia, he served as an Assistant Professor at Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal where he supervised Master’s degree thesis students and delivered classes on climate change and water resources. Previously, He worked as an Environmental Officer at the Ministry of Local Development for the Nepalese Government for 2 years. He has published more than 12 peer review journal articles, more than four dozen general articles in national magazines and his research work has been recognised by several awards.


Dr Prativa Sapkota

Research Fellow

Prativa Sapkota holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. In her PhD research, she used interdisciplinary approach to examine community institutions, social marginalization and adaptive capacity in community forestry user group in the middle hills of Nepal. She completed her M.Sc. in Environmental Forestry from Bangor University, Wales, M.Sc. in Agricultural Development from University of Copenhagen and B.Sc. in Forestry from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has worked in the multiple settings of university, NGO and INGO. Her work experience includes teaching, conducting research, developing and implementing programs in thematic areas of natural resource management, GESI and climate change adaptation. Her recent research works include climate adaptation, social vulnerability and resilience.


Dr Sakuntala Devkota

Research Fellow

Sakuntala Devkota obtained PhD degree in Agricultural Economics from Kyungpook National University, South Korea in 2009. In her PhD research, she applied autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model to forecast export and import of agricultural products (Tea, Coffee & Ginger) in Nepal.  She completed her master’s degree in economics from Central Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2001. She also has significant teaching experience in colleges in Nepal from 2001~2005 before starting her journey of PhD in South Korea. Dr Devkota has published two peer reviewed journal papers and have co-authored two textbooks for college level students of Nepal. Her areas of research interest are international trade of agricultural products, international trade of high value food commodity and food value chain analysis.


Dr Chirangivi Bista

Research Fellow/Business Development Consultant 

Dr Bista has expertise in Business and Socio-Economics Research and Analysis. He has made significant scholarly and professional contributions in the area of poverty reduction, migration, health, and small and micro enterprise sectors in Nepal, Vanuatu, and Australia. He is highly experienced in preparing projects proposal, costing and budgeting, and formulating and implementing risk management plans. He has stat of the art skills in training, organizing and facilitating the team works, as well as ensuring the coordination with multi-level stakeholders in education and development sector. He has undertaken in-depth research of tertiary education in Nepal and Australia and possesses skills in teaching and developing Curriculum Packages under the Business and Management disciplines.


Dr Mani R Banjade

Country Representative, Nepal 

Dr M R Banjade is a social entrepreneur, researcher and academics. He was the executive coordinator of ForestAction Nepal. He recently served as a senior researcher at Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) which is based in Bogor, Indonesia.

Want to work as a Researcher or a Consultant?

IFSD is looking for consultants for its roster to develop and bid for various projects in the coming months. If you are interested to join, click here to view our constant engagement policy and get back to us.

Our roster of experts cover a wide spectrum of skills and competencies including research, planning, policy analysis, program management, monitoring and evaluation, strategic networking, business development, environmental management, and social and institutional change.

If you have further questions please complete the inquiry form below.

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