Shaina Sehgal

Shaina Sehgal
PhD Candidate,
School of Human Ecology
Registered in 2013



Ecology played a pivotal role in establishment of early trading outposts and ports-of-call in Southeast Asia, such as the availability of safe anchorages, food and freshwater at an island along a busy sea route with favourable winds. In turn, seafaring trade served as the springboard for social, economic and cultural interaction, and more so in the case of ‘island’ communities with insurmountable features that rendered a space isolated and inaccessible for extended periods of time.
My doctoral research will articulate the past and present ecological relations of the inhabitants of the Nicobar Islands, India by studying the relationships of exchange in products of the island ecology, or ecological produce; and thence elaborate upon the role of environmental perturbations in transforming these relations, with a special emphasis on catastrophic events such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004. This would be explored by the construction and analyses of trade networks at various spatial and temporal scales, drawing on mixed methods of archival, ethnographic and ecological field based research.


I studied Economics (Honours) at the University of Delhi followed by Environment and Development at the School of Human Ecology, AUD. Subsequently, I have worked as a Research Assistant on a project for Ecological Restoration at an Iron Ore Mines area in Odisha, and as a Teaching Assistant for postgraduate courses on Ecology and Ecological Economics at the School of Human Ecology.