Rajashree Khalap’s first career was as an advertising copywriter. She took up full-time voluntary work with a street dog welfare non-profit from 1993 to 2007. She started an informal group called the Indian Pariah Dog Club in 2002 to create awareness about India’s aboriginal dogs and create respect for them. After leaving animal welfare work, she converted the Indian Pariah Dog Club to a larger effort called the INDog Project, to bridge gaps in public knowledge on this subject. Rajashree also works for a wildlife conservation organization in the central Indian tiger landscape.
Recent interests include spiders and Arachnology research.
Rajashree has contributed to and was part of the discovery of over half a dozen species of spiders, including the fabulous ‘sorting hat spider’ which caused a world wide media sensation. She has also contributed to and was part of a seminal paper (Shannon & Boyko) on the genetics of village dogs, including Indian village dogs, which suggested a Central Asian origin for the domestic dog.
A dainty little ladybird beetle mimicking orb spider, Paraplectana rajashree, was named in her honour.
She’s also an avid birder and curious naturalist who divides her time between researching landrace dogs and natural history exploration.
Javed Ahmed is a biologist, arachnologist and researcher whose academic interests include landrace dogs, birds, and multiple invertebrate groups. After graduating in English literature and spending over a decade with corporates, in the field of technology, he dedicated himself to the full-time study of natural history.
In the past two years, he has discovered and described six spider species, including a rare species of ladybird-mimicking spider, a species of spitting spider that he named after the city of Mumbai, and Eriovixia gryffindori, which became a worldwide sensation due to its Harry Potter-inspired name.
He has also reported range extensions and behaviour of other rare spider species including Portia albimana. His papers have been published in prestigious journals including Peckhamia and the Indian Journal of Arachnology.
He is a seasoned aquarist and promotes ethical fish keeping practices. Javed is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences, while he simultaneously continues his arachnology research and his study and documentation of Indian Pariah Dogs. His other interests are popular culture, technology and cooking.
Krishna Mohan is a Surgeon, environmentalist & techno-fetishist, who suffers from chronic photophilia and wanderlust. Other interests include Arachnology research, dogs, birds and environmental ecology. He’s described five species of spiders and reported several more new to the region. He currently divides his time between practising medicine, teaching photography and exploring the wilderness.
Gautam Das was in the Indian Army from 1968 to 1991 as an infantry officer of the 11th Gorkha Rifles. He was a consultant with WWF-India at their Delhi HQ in the years 1994-1998. He is a member of several Specialist Groups in the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).
He has owned and entered dogs of several breeds at KCI dog shows, mainly in Obedience classes.
Gautam Das has recently authored three books on military history, including ‘Unlearned Lessons: An Appraisal of India’s Military Mishaps’, 2007, ‘Srilanka Misadventure: India’s Military Peace-Keeping Campaign 1987-1990’, 2008, and ‘China-Tibet-India, the 1962 War and the Strategic Military Future’, 2009.
He is a founder member of the Delhi Bird Club.
Aditya Panda is a naturalist, wildlife conservationist, photographer and canine enthusiast based in Orissa. An avid champion of the INDog, he is committed to raising its profile and having it officially recognised as a breed. His first INDog, Robin, sparked his interest in the breed and he has observed INDogs as pets, working animals and as free-ranging animals for many years.
Aditya is an award winning naturalist and wildlife conservationist. His day job is that of a safari leader and when he is not on safari, he spends his time working on conserving tiger and elephant landscapes of eastern Central India, particularly Orissa. He is particularly involved in bringing attention to tiger conservation in the Satkosia-Mahanadi landscape and is engaged in human-elephant conflict mitigation in the region. He has been awarded the ABN – Amro Sanctuary Asia Young Naturalist Award, 2007 and the prestigious Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award, 2010.
Aditya is also deeply involved in canine activities in his state. He is a member of the Orissa Kennel Club and the German Shepherd Dog Confederate – Kalinga. He nurtures a serious interest in breeding and showing dogs of breeds that he is passionate about, and in restoring the German Shepherd Dog to its original healthy working dog form. He currently owns German Shepherd Dogs and a Doberman at his kennels in Bhubaneswar.
Ryan Braganza is an IT professional who doesn’t allow his day job to stop him from indulging in his first love: motorcycling. His love of riding has taken him to different parts of the country on his trusted motorcycle aptly named Gypsy. He uses the opportunity to pursue his other interest: photographing INDogs, Dhangar dogs and other village dogs around India. His love of nature and a keen interest in landrace domestic dogs, wild canids and other species make for very interesting journeys and conversations. Ryan has been an active participant in the INDog Project since 2007.