Dr. Rajeev Raghavan

Rajeev Raghavan is an Assistant Professor at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), India where his team studies fundamental and applied aspects of tropical aquatic biodiversity, particularly focusing on systematics, life history, extinction risk, evolutionary biogeography and conservation of freshwater fishes. His team has described 25 new species, three genera (Aenigmachanna, Sahyadria, Waikhomia) and two enigmatic families (Krytoglanidae and Aenigmachannidae) of freshwater fish, and a unique new genus and species (Eurindicus bhugarbha) of blind subterranean shrimp.

A species of snakehead, Channa rara, and a hillstream loach, Indoreonectes rajeevi were named in honour of Rajeev for his contribution to ichthyological research in the Western Ghats.

During his career, Rajeev has received prestigious fellowships from the Erasmus Mundus consortium (three times), Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and generated close to 200,000 US$ as grants from various international conservation agencies/organizations and zoos/aquaria, for his work on the freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats Hotspot. This research has resulted in an extremely productive publication record, with 180+ papers in leading journals in the field of fisheries science and biodiversity conservation (and several book chapters), which have been cited >3000 times with an h-index of 27, and an i-10 index of 87 (Google Scholar). He is a regular reviewer for over 30 peer-reviewed journals, is an editor of the Asian Freshwater Fish Section of Zootaxa, and also serves on the editorial board of ‘Aquatic Conservation: Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems’ (Wiley), Biodiversity and Conservation (Springer), npj Biodiversity (Nature Publishing) and Journal of Threatened Taxa (a platinum open-access journal). He was also an Editor of Scientific Reports from 2018-2020.

Since 2012, Rajeev has been closely involved with the work of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and wears multiple hats including that of the South Asia Coordinator/Co-Chair of the IUCN Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, and the IUCN Freshwater Fish Red List Authority Coordinator for the continents of Asia and Oceania. He also serves as an invited member on several of IUCN’s Interdisciplinary Specialist Groups and Task Forces. From 2013 to 2017, Rajeev was an invited member on the IUCN Red List Committee, which guides and oversees the work and functioning of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

Rajeev is actively involved in inspiring future scientists and researchers in the field of aquatic biodiversity conservation. Currently, he supervises four PhD (and co-supervises an additional three) students in various areas of freshwater and marine conservation, besides serving on the advisory committee of PhD and masters students from various Universities in India and abroad. Rajeev has also helped in building capacity in freshwater biodiversity conservation in the Kingdom of Bhutan through conducting training and workshops for students, early-career researchers and frontline forest staff.

Rajeev maintains active international collaborations with colleagues from North America (USA and Canada), Europe (United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland), South East (Thailand and Malaysia) and Far East Asia (P.R China and Japan). Rajeev’s global reputation and influence is further evidenced from his current position as an advisory board member of several leading international conservation organizations including SHOAL Conservation (UK), Fisheries Conservation Foundation (USA), Freshwater Life (USA) and the Mahseer Trust (UK), while his expertise and services as a consultant and Senior Aquatic Biodiversity Specialist, has been used by major international development organizations including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.