Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Research programmes

The Centre has established the following Research Divisions under which the various ongoing research studies are being carried out:

  1. Climate Change Studies
  2. Green Chemistry and Technology
  3. Pollution Studies and Management
  4. Earthworm Studies
  5. Human Ecology and Conservation
  6. Biodiversity and Natural History
  7. Sustainable Development

2.1 Divisions and Ongoing Works

  • Division: Climate Change Studies

[Dr. A.P. Thomas, Dr. Mahesh Mohan, Dr. Sylas V.P., Dr. Sreekanth N.P., Dr. Shanthi Prabha V., Babu Padmakumar, Poornima Baby, Vijo Thomas Kurien,  Renjini J, Elvin Thomas]

  • Soil carbon dynamics of multiple landuse categories
  • Carbon and green house gas dynamics of wetland rice soils with special reference to biochar application
  • Carbon sequestration status of selected forest ecosystems of Kerala
  • Role of soil biota in soil carbon sequestration and green house gas emission under different agricultural practices.
  • Soil respiration in different soils and landuse categories from a climate change prespective.
  • Seed characteristics and persistence of a large-seeded and small-seeded species of genus Cleome under drought stress: a study on the adaptation of plants in a climate change scenario.
  • A study on the carbon sequestration potential and the role of related biochemical indicators in different agricultural soils from a climate change perspective.
    • Division: Green Chemistry and Technology development

(Dr. K. Usha,  Dr. C. T. Aravindkumar, Jissy Mathew, and Jisha Chandran) 

  1. Design of bioactive surfaces through layer by layer approach for protein purification
  2. Multilayer protein adsorbed film design for drug delivery applications Recovery of nutrients / green fertilizer

(Dr. K. Usha, Dr. C. T. Aravindkumar Disha V.J, and Shalumon)

  1. Green fertilizer: fabrication of eco -friendly filters
  2. Removal and concentration of nutrients from waste water Removal of Micro pollutants:

(Dr. K. Usha, Dr. C. T. Aravindkumar, Mary Lidiya Mathew, and Akhil, G)

  1. Design and development of various polyelectrolyte composite membrane systems for environmental applications, removal of pollutants like pesticides and heavy metals from water
  2. low pressure filters for the removal of industrial waste
  3. Composite membranes for the removal of herbicides and heavy metals Clean Energy – Fuel cells

(Dr. K. Usha, Dr.  C. T. Aravindkumar and Akhil. G)

  1. Development of proton exchange membrane for energy related applications
  2. polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes for low humidity low temperature direct methanol fuel cells Emerging contaminants in food matrix and environment

(Dr. K. Usha, Dr. C. T. Aravindkumar, Subha Sasi, and Manoj P.R)

  1. Pollution status of water bodies due to agricultural runoff, Emerging pollutants, Membrane bio reactor
  2. Screening of emerging pollutants using advanced instrumentation such as High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Sustainable sanitation

(Dr. K. Usha and Anjali Venugopal)

  1. Survey, design and implementation of sustainable sanitation units Protein-drug interaction studies using bio physical methods

(Dr. K. Usha, Dr. C. T. Aravindakumar Manju Mathew, and Sreedhanya. S)

  1. Spectroscopic studies of interaction of proteins with drugs and pollutants
  2. Protein conformation and properties studies on interaction with various foreign materials under simulated biological environment


(Dr. K. Usha, Dr.  C. T. Aravindakumar, Divya Lakshmi, and Manju Mathew)

  1. Development of surface designed sensors for the detection of minute amount of pollutant molecules such as hydrogen peroxide, mercuric chloride Advanced oxidation process

(Dr. K. Usha, Dr. C. T. Aravindakumar, Subha Sasi, Manoj P.R, and Nejumal K.K, Misha T. Elias)

  1. Detection of PCPs using LC/MS/MS, degradation of certain pharmaceuticals using advanced oxidation processes
  2. Degradation of emerging pollutants by advanced oxidation processes (AOP’s)
  • Division: Pollution Studies and Management

[Dr. A.P Thomas, Dr. G. Christopher, Sreedharan K., Benezair O.A., Harsha H.T, Cinnie Susan Antony]

  1. Studies on the insecticide residues and its impact on the environmental components with special reference to the Southern Western Ghats, Idukki, Kerala
  2. Bio-monitoring of Chalakkudi River using benthic macro-invertebrates.
  3. An attempt to address the water, sanitation and livelihood problems of Achinakom: A low land area at Kuttanad, Kerala.
  4. A study on the stress effect of selected heavy metals on fish.

2.1.4   Division:  Earthworm Studies (see page 177)

[Dr. A.P. Thomas, Dr. E.V. Ramasamy, Dr. G. Christopher, Dr. Sylas V.P., Prasanth Narayanan S., S. Shathrumithra,  Dinu Kuriakose, Sethulekshmi Bhai K.C., Anuja R.]

  1. Survey of earthworms in Kerala
  2. Role of selected earthworms and associated microbes in soil fertility
  3. Earthworm communities in Forest & Agro-ecosystems: a spatio – temporal analysis
  4. Role of earthworms in the detoxification of soil pollutants
  5. A study on the biology of earthworms in the selected areas of Kottayam district, Kerala

2.1.5  Division: Human Ecology and Conservation

[Dr. G. Christopher, Chinju Jose, Dhanya P.,  Nisha Raju]

  1. Human Ecological Studies of the Tribal Communities in the Periyar-Agasthiyamalai Landscape of Southern Western Ghats, Kerala. (Joint project – ACESSD & IUCSSRE)
  2. Indigenous adaptations and livelihood of selected tribal communities in the Western Ghats (A study under OSI Programme)
  3. Science and traditional practices

2.1.6   Division :  Biodiversity and Natural History

[Dr. G. Christopher, Dr. A.P. Thomas, Prasanth Narayanan S., Veena George, Malik Faisal M., Sonia Jacob, Aneesh K.S]

  1. Agrobiodiversity and indigenous knowledge: Conservation and sustainable livelihood in Attapdy Valley, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  2. Studies on the wetland birds of Kerala
  3. Communities, conservation and livelihood: cultural ecology of selected communities across the country.
  4. Ecology of lesser mammals in the laterite hillocks of northern Kerala.
  5. Odonate nymphs: a study on their diversity, adaptations and ecology.
  6. Community ecology of birds in selected mangrove forests of Northern Kerala

2.1.7 Division :  Sustainable Development

[Dr. A.P Thomas, Dr. T.V. Muralivallabhan, P. Padma, Jaisen N.D.]

  1. Sustainable consumption for sustainable development
  2. Technological, scientific and academic frame work and support system suitable for suatainable development and good governance of village panchayats.
    • Proposed Projects
  3. Polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes for the treatment of paper and pulp industry waste water.
  4. Innovative nanofiltration membranes and improved membrane processes for textile dye removal and salt recovery from dye bath waste water.
  5. A study on the communities, resource use patterns and conservation issues in the cardamom hills of Southern Western Ghats
  6. Biodiversity status and Human – ecological assessment of the proposed High range Biodiversity park at Nedumkandam and adjacent areas
  7. Sustainable sanitation initiative through community participation
  8. Biochar utilization as a sustainable climate change mitigation option: A community based approach
  9. Eco-friendly nanoskinned membrane technology for water treatment and energy application
  10. Social of security of children under climate change scenario 

2.3 Research Collaborations & Linkages

2.3.1 Collaborations

(1)     Clean Energy: An alternate route to fuel cell through chitosan based nano-membranes (with Duke University, U.S.A under Obama – Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative: An Indo – US Institution partnership Programme) 

(2)  Livelihood adaptations and sustainable development of indigenous communities in the Kerala Western Ghats (with Plymouth State University, U.S.A under Obama – Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative: An Indo – US Institution partnership Programme)

(3) Nanofiber structures for efficient enzyme immobilization in membrane applications. [with Technical University of Denmark (DTU)]

(4) Water purification using membrane technology (with Ben-Gurion University, Israel)

(5) Evolving innovative water purification methods incorporating traditional knowledge (with IIT Jodhpur)

(6) Earthworm taxonomy, diversity and ecology (with Shoolini University, Himachal Pradesh)

2.3.2 Linkages


Name and Institution Areas of linkages
School of Environmental Science and Engineering
Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) Pohang, Korea
  • Photoenergy conversion (H2 production, solar cells)
  • Photocatalytic water and air purification
  • Environmental photochemistry
  • Advanced oxidation processes for pollutant degradation
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Climate change and agriculture
  • Land use and agriculture
  • Crop responses and climate change
Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa
  • Climate policy tools in forest sector related to carbon sequestration, and energy and material substitution
  • Climatic effects and effects on forest
Lund University centre for sustainable studies
LUND, Sweden
  • Land use development,
  • Landscape planning,
  • Regional and urban metabolism (material flow analysis)
  • Industrial ecology,
Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Israel

  • Electrochemical methods in relation to treatment of water and waste-water
  • Hydrogen transport to metals using electrochemical tools
  • Electrodialysis,
  • Heterogeneous ion exchange membranes
  • Desalination.
Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

  • Membrane Science & Technology,
  • Gas and vapor permeability of polymeric films and membranes,
  • Hybrid membrane systems,
  • Basic research and applications of membranes in chemistry,
ENSIC, Nancy, France

  • Gas separation using membranes
  • Nano particle immobilised membranes
Duke University, USA
  • Membrane distillation,
  • Water treatment,
  • Desalination,
  • Fuel cell development.
University Technology Mara, Malaysia
  • Membranes in water treatment
  • Rubber effluent treatment
Center for International Forestry Research
(Intergovernmental CGIAR Center)
Bogor 16115, Indonesia
  • Remote sensing
  • Land use and climate change
  • Forest carbon accounting
Institute of Zoology and Anthropology

University of Gottingen, Germany.

  • Avian ecology
  • Bird ringing
  • Bird survey



Name and Institution Areas of linkages
Shoolini university
Solan, Himachal Pradesh
  • Earthworm taxonomy
  • Earthworm diversity and ecology
Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Conservation of Terrestrial and Aquatic ecosystems
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecology
  • Hydrology
IIT Delhi
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Solid Waste Management
IIT Bombay
  • Advanced oxidation processes (catalytic wet oxidation and Fenton)
Karunya University, Coimbatore
  • Water treatment technology
  • Water resources and management
BARC, India
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Membrane chemistry
  • Water treatment
IIT Delhi, India


  • Membrane Synthesis and Membrane Separation
  • Ion Exchange Membrane and Electrochemical Systems
CSMCRI, Gujarat
  • Desalination
  • Membrane filtration (RO, NF, FO, UFO)
  • Water purification – Heavy metal removal
CUSAT, Cochin
  • Disaster management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
Ecoscience Research Foundation, Chennai
  • Vermitechnology
  • Waste management
  • Sustainable agriculture
Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod
  • DNA barcoding of earthworm species of Kerala
  • Molecular taxonomy
University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Climate change studies
  • Natural resource management
Kannur University, Kerala
  • Resource management
CMS College Kottayam
  • Waste management
  • Earthworm studies
Kerala Forest Research Institute, Thrissur
  • Biodiversity
  • Remote sensing and GIS
National Centre for Earth Science Studies,  Thiruvananthapuram
  • EIA, Environment management
Kerala Forest department
  • Forest resource management
Institute of Climate change , Kottayam
  • Climate change studies
Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam
  • Soil and climate change

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