David Kothamasi

SCELG Staff Member

David is a Marie Curie Fellow (Horizon 2020) at the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He is working with Dr. Saskia Vermeylen on a project on Microbial Commons.  

He is a biologist and a legal scholar and began his career as a Doctoral research scholar working in the biodiversity rich tropical rain forests of Great Nicobar Island (India) in the Indian Ocean. David investigated how ecosystem structure and function is influenced by the interactions between mycorrhizas and plants. After completing his Ph.D., David joined the UNDP-GEF program in India as an Environmental Consultant. As a GEF-Environment Consultant David learnt to appreciate the important link between scientific knowledge and policy making. After a short tenure with the UNDP-GEF, David took up a full-time faculty position at Department of Environmental Studies in the University of Delhi.   

David’s research is on ecological organization at all levels of community structure from microscopic bacteria and fungi to the macroscopic Gharial crocodiles!   

Working on the ecological role of microorganisms, David developed an appreciation of the immense economic value and consequent vulnerability of microorganisms to biopiracy. David has been studying how lacuna in international legal instruments can serve as barriers to indigenous communities and local farmers to economic benefits accruing from microorganisms.  

Areas of Expertise

Ecology and Law

Intellectual property rights over living resources 

Key Publications:

Kothamasi D, Spurlock M, Kiers ET (2011). Agricultural microbial resources: private property or global commons. Nature Biotechnology 29:1091 – 1093. 

Martinez-Garcia L, De Deyn G, Pugnaire F, Kothamasi D, van der Heijden MGA (2017). Symbiotic soil fungi enhance ecosystem resilience to climate change. Global Change Biology 23:5228 - 5236. 

Kothamasi D, Vermeylen S (2011). Genetically modified organisms in agriculture: can regulations work?. Environment Development and Sustainability 13535–546. 

Kothamasi D, Kiers ET (2009). Emerging conflicts between biodiversity conservation laws and scientific Research: the case of the Czech entomologists in India. Conservation Biology. 23:1328 – 1330.