Palayanoor Sivaswamy Ramakrishnan got BSc (1955) and MSc (1957) from Madras University and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), respectively; and PhD (1960) also from BHU in the area 'plant population ecology' under the guidance of late Professor R Misra. He was Faculty Member in Botany departments at Meerut College, Meerut (1960-61), Christ Church College, Kanpur (1961-62), Panjab University, Chandigah (1962-74); National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Western Ontario, Canada (1964-66); Professor of Ecology & Eco-Development at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong (1974-86); Professor of Ecology at Jawaharlal Nehru University; Founder Director of the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development; and Visiting Professor at Yale University and at many Australian institutions.
Academic and Research Achievements: Ramakrishnan made pioneering investigations on plant population ecology, species population adaptations and ecosystem functioning. He moved from the biophysical ecological studies to an integrative socio-ecological system analysis while working as the Professor of Ecology & Eco-Development at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, which was later pursued with larger national and global dimensions. The knowledge system, traditional ecological knowledge linked with formal knowledge, formed the basis for socio-ecological systems analysis, with implications for sustainable management of natural resources and linked to regional development. He also guided over 50 researchers at PhD/Postdoctoral levels, leading to publication of nearly 400 research articles and 20 research synthesis volumes.
Other Contributions: Ramakrishnan worked for taking 'science to society' through many policy documents, 4 outreach volumes and 30 audio-visual documentaries, that resulted in many community participatory development initiatives like the 'Nagaland Environmental Protection & Economic Development' programme involving all the villages of Nagaland.
Awards and Honours: Professor Ramakrishnan was recipient of Pitamber Pant National Environmental Award (1985); Distinguished Scientist Award in Environmental Sciences by the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1986); Swami Pranavananda Award in Environmental Sciences (1988); Seth Memorial Medal by Indian Society of Tree Scientists (1993-94); Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture Award by INSA (1994); UGC National Lecturer award (1986-87); and Recognition from Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his outstanding contributions towards the Nobel Peace Prize Award (2007). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1972); Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1975); National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi (1991); Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) (1996); and Honorary Fellow of the Association of Tropical Biology & Conservation (ATBC), USA for life-time contributions in the area of Tropical Ecology and Conservation.