Roughly fifty million years ago the Indian and Eurasian plates collided which in turn altered earth’s geography and regional climates.
The rise of the Himalaya out of the collision led to intensification of the monsoon, massive glaciers and turbulent rivers were borne and an efflorescence of ecosystems along the most extreme elevational gradient on Earth resulted.
Humans became part of this mix after the ice age concluded and today nearly one quarter of the world’s population inhabits its river basins, from Afghanistan to Myanmar.
Life in the Himalaya examines the region’s geophysical and biological systems while exploring the past and future of human sustainability in the mountain’s shadow.
Maharaj K. Pandit is a professor at the Department of Environmental Studies and the director of the Centre for Inter-Disciplinary Studies of Mountain & Hill Environment at the University of Delhi. His research focuses on Himalayan ecology and conservation that follows a synthesis approach to understanding ecological patterns, biotic extinctions driven by changes in land use, and genomic traits influencing plant invasiveness and rarity.