About Nidus

We are one of the few organisations that are unified with diverse communities to carry out and popularise science.

‘Nidus’ is a Latin word for a nest, a place where life originates and grows. Nidus is a private endeavour, which was incepted in 2017 and is currently based in Maharashtra, India. We at Nidus aims to work at the grassroots level with communities to reconnect them with Nature. Nidus basically works on three important aspects – research, outreach and conservation.

We believe that the effective conservation of biodiversity requires not just a thirst but also scientific outlook. The major hitch that keeps the communities away from science for ages is lack of connectivity. Apparently, Nidus decided to overcome the stereotypical approaches and bridge this gap. We believe that science isn’t complete until it is communicated. We at Nidus intend to educate, encourage and engage communities by inculcating a positive and responsible approach towards the environment through our action-oriented programs.

Nidus was just a ‘thought’ in the beginning but today it is a ‘movement’. We do work with various students, researchers, educationists, conservationists, Forest Department and other Government organizations and NGOs’ in various aspects. During this short but fruitful journey of ours, we have initiated various educational programs. These training workshops benefitted different stakeholders like students, teachers, forest department staff and nature enthusiasts across India. We have also initiated two citizen science projects on biodiversity documentation. Nidus is instrumental in various major conservation initiatives.



Valuing Local Resources

Nidus provide due respect to the flora, fauna, local community, ethics, rules, regulations during our activities.

Empowering Locals Communities 

Nidus encourage participation of the local community for their capacity building ensuring meaningful livelihood.

Inspiring Green Leaders

Nidus inspire and empower the brigades of responsible environmental changemakers for their active participation.

Inculcating Scientific Ethics

Nidus aim to bridge the gap between citizens and science through in-situ and ex-situ programs, ‘Citizen Science’.


Core Team

Varad Giri

Varad Giri, PhD
Founder Director of Nidus
He is the main brain and backbone behind this idea called Nidus. He is the one who keeps our entire team connected and organised. Varad began his long journey into Herpetology as a Research Assistant at the BNHS some twenty years back. He holds his Doctorate in Zoology from North Orissa University and Post Doc from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. With 60 scientific publications of which 58 are new species discoveries, he is surely considered one among the finest herpetologists in India. Taking into account his immense contribution towards herpetology he has been honoured with various prestigious wildlife awards. He also has the privilege of having four new species of reptiles named after him. Varad brings in his 20 years of research and outreach experience as a resource person for most of our programs. With his strong grasp over research, he intends to take it further through environment education at Nidus. To carry out this bizarre passion into action he keeps himself away in the forests of the Western Ghats very often sometimes even forgetting that he has a home, a wife and two kids. He loves to interact and emerge in scientific talks most of his time and when he is doing nothing then he is doing Science again.

Kshamata Gaikwad

Kshamata Giri
Head of Education
Kshamata looks after the Education Unit of Nidus. Before being a part of the Nidus, she worked in the BNHS as a Research Fellow in the Collections Department for three years. She holds a master’s in Environmental Science and has a keen interest in amphibians and reptiles and has bagged a fellowship in Herpetology. During her tenure at the BNHS she held a number of roles apart from research, she tried her hands-on curation to delivering talks. Kshamata published five scientific articles and she is one of the first female researchers to describe a new species of lizard from India. She also persists interest in popularizing science through her writing especially for kids. At Nidus, she is our main force behind designing and implementing of our educational programs and outdoors. She is equally instrumental in developing various research and educational projects, publication material, gift items, and other key activities of Nidus. A series of publications on various aspects of biodiversity in a simple language is her dream. Having two naughty kids limits her spare time but still manages to indulge herself in cooking her favourite prawn’s curry. When doing nothing she likes to read and write and listen to music.

Satyajeet Mane

Satyajeet Mane
He is the mentor – the heart of Nidus. His valuable guidance is crucial in every aspect of our activities. Nature is his meditation – a source of inspiration. He finds solace in being one with nature. This interest was started as a trekker during his school days. But a nature camp at Chandoli Wildlife Sanctuary (now National Park) changed his perspectives towards the biodiversity. This small trip exposed new avenues for him and it became his passion. He was equally passionate about clearing the public service commission exams. In 1995, he cleared the Maharashtra Public Service Commission exam and joined the service. He enjoyed his tenure but took VRS in 2018 to continue his passion for understanding nature. He continued his new life with wildlife photography and visited various areas in India and abroad. A single dive at Malvan and world below the water opened a new path for his journey. This sheer enthusiasm coupled with his attitude of going to the core of any subject he like made him get trained as a professional diver. He made around 200 dives in the last two years and visited many countries for diving. During these dives, he photographed the life underwater and now he is trying to popularise them. An avid reader and when he is quiet, he is reading something.   

Meet our Team


Prof. S.K. Dutta

Ashok Captain
Snake Taxonomist

Neelimkumar Khaire

Dr. Raju Vyas

Paresh Porob
ACF, Goa

Vikas Kulkarni
Naturalist, Goa

Anuj Khare
Environmentalist, Pune

Kedar Bhat
Nature Photographer, Pune

Our Strength

Amod Zambre

He is a “Pakka Puneri Ghati” currently pursuing PhD in the University of Minnesota. His current research focuses on visual signals in reptiles using Fan-throated lizards as a model system. He is also interested in Indian scorpions systematics and diversity. Also interested in other reptiles.  

Chaitanya R

A software professional turned herpetologist. A true wildlife ‘scientist’ without ‘scientific background’. His publications in the last five years, which includes descriptions of around 20 new species of reptiles proves his potential. He is our ambassador for citizen science.

Harikrishnan S.

He is a prolific herpetologist with a sound understanding of taxonomy and natural history of amphibians and reptiles. Coupled with his profound background of ecology, he has taken Indian herpetology to a next level. A strong believer and contributor to citizen science initiatives.   

Ishan Agarwal

He changed the understanding of Indian lizards through his work in systematics and biogeography, for which he travelled across India. His numerous publications – from new species descriptions to biogeography – shows his immense contribution towards Indian Herpetology. 


Praveen HN

IT professional and ardent nature lover. Praveen enjoys nature photography. He has a profound understanding of many natural history aspects, mainly birds and amphibians. By crossing the hurdle of what to do? Praveen is contributing to science in a more prolific way.  

Roozbeh Gazdar

He is an Instructional Designer by profession who has a wide-ranging interest in all forms of life. Loves birds and equally enthusiastic about other life forms as well. He believes in citizen science as a means for biodiversity documentation and conservation. 

Amatya Sharma

A nature lover with utmost interest and passion to understand every aspect of Biodiversity. Nature photographer par excellence by heart, a keen observer and researcher by the brain. Loves birds but have a equally and seriously interested in amphibians and reptiles

Tushar Abhyankar

A nature enthusiast by heart and senior consultant by profession. An avid birder but got interested in all aspects of nature. He loves to observe and understand the behaviour of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fishes. Indulged in creating eco-friendly city.


Chaitanya Keer

Environmental educator for the last 15 years. Trying to inculcate the love for nature among the students through his talks and field programs. He is also engaged in developing butterfly gardens and eco-parks for which he is using his understanding of plants and butterflies. A dedicated snake rescuer. 

Shubham Soni

Undergraduate student and a nature enthusiast with a keen interest in wildlife research and conservation. Interested in studying the ecological and evolutionary aspects of organisms. Involved with a Mumbai based NGO working towards human-wildlife conflict mitigation – RAWW.

Anuj Shinde

Undergraduate student with a keen interest in herpetofauna. To popularise amphibians and reptiles he started a social media page HerpClub. He intends to pursue a career in the field of research and conservation centred around amphibians and reptiles and dedicatedly working towards it.  

Swapnil Pawar

He is a very good naturalist and researcher who travelled across India and visited many places. He is an amazing field worker and has a good understanding of the natural history of various life forms. His skill in spotting amphibians and reptiles in the field is unmatchable.  

Our Associations

Nidus is also Associated with following groups for conducting our outdoor programs and research projects on biodiversity. 

Hingara Nature Stay, Agumbe

Whistling Woods, Amboli

Drongo Nature Camp, Sirsi