Ms. Sapna E. Thottathil is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of California – Berkeley, in the Department of Geography. She is researching the connections between organic farming, biodiversity, and the “Kerala model” in Kerala, India. Prior to her PhD, she received an M.Sc. in Environmental Change and Management at the University of Oxford in 2006. For her Masters, she examined Fair Trade consumption in the UK, and the food miles of Fair Trade. She graduated with a dual BA in International Studies and Environmental Studies from the University of Chicago in 2004. Ms. Thottathil has worked for the Physicians for Social Responsibility (Bay Area chapter), the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of State. She is also the recipient of the Congressman Morris K. Udall Scholarship for Environmental Excellence and Leadership. She is currently on the Udall Alumni Association Board.
Her research titled: 'Incredible Kerala? The politics of organic agriculture and biodiversity in India' will examine the framing of, debates around, farmer contributions to and experiences with organic farming schemes in the state of Kerala, India. As a Geographer with interest in the human-environment relationship, she will also be exploring how biodiversity and the “Kerala model” become tied to organic farming, especially in the district of Wayanad (through which the Western Ghats run).