2024 La Trobe Asia Visiting Fellows named

Sonika Gupta and Uttam Lal will visit La Trobe University in 2024 to collaborate on a Himalayan ecology project.

La Trobe Asia is pleased to award Visiting Fellowships for 2024 to Associate Professor Sonika Gupta of Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) (IITM)) and Dr Uttam Lal of Sikkim University.

Assoc Professor Sonika Gupta is an expert in state-making in the India’s Himalayan borderlands and Chinese foreign policy from the Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) (IITM)). She has a particular interest in the Tibetan-exile community and the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy in India.

Dr Uttam Lal is an expert in Himalayan ecology from the Geography Department of Sikkim University. He has travelled extensively in the mountain regions, and his research focuses on cross-border exchanges and rangeland dynamics.

The two academics will be working with Professor James Leibold (Politics, La Trobe University), Dr Ruth Gamble (DECRA Fellow in History, La Trobe University) and Dr Alex Davis (Politics, University of Western Australia).

Together they have already been awarded a SPARC grant from the Indian government for 4.5 million rupee (approx. AUD80,000) to continue their research on the infrastructure transformation and ecological conservation concerns of the Himalaya region between India and China.

Both visiting fellowships will build on this research project and further strengthen our existing collaboration with IIT Madras and help build a new partnership with Sikkim University. They will visit La Trobe University in late 2024.