Vena Kapoor

Programme Coordinator, Education and Public Engagement

Profile dec2018

MPhil Conservation Leadership - University of Cambridge, UK
Masters in Ecology - Pondicherry University, India
Bachelor of Commerce - University of Madras, India

Since 1998, I have worked in the areas of conservation research and practice. My early research was on rainforest restoration in the Western Ghats using spiders as an indicator species and developing conservation education and outreach material. From 2006 - 2010 I managed the administrative and finance team in NCF's head office in Mysore.

I received the Ravi Sankaran Inlaks Scholarship in 2010 for the MPhil in Conservation Leadership, University of Cambridge. This interdisciplinary course enabled me to engage with international conservation organisations and I worked for three years with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative which was set up to help improve collaboration between conservation organisations in Cambridge, UK. 

I joined the Education and Public Engagement Programme of NCF in March 2015 and am currently based in Bangalore, India. 


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A Nature Learning Framework for Schools

Partnering with schools to develop age & place appropriate nature learning 

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Nature Activities

Nature Calls activities for children

Westernghats postertitle

NCF's education and outreach material

Collating more than a decade's worth of nature and conservation material


  • Popular Article
    Eight-eyed and everywhere
    The Hindu Sunday Magazine, 23 February

    Jostling for column space among reports of new snakes, reptiles and frogs discovered, are a particularly delightful and large group of spiders called jumping spiders. These little arachnids are known for their astonishing array of cognitive abilities and are considered model organisms to study behaviour, as well as answer theoretical questions about communication, foraging, courtship, mating and parental care.

  • Popular Article
    Spiders: The weavers and stalkers amongst us
    iWonder Issue 4, Jan 2018

    A piece on spiders for iWonder, an Indian magazine for science middle school teachers. Fun and fascinating facts about spiders to talk and discuss about in the classroom. Lots of activities that teachers can do with students in and outside the class room.

  • Popular Article
    I am a Scientist - Interview
    iWonder Issue 5, Nov 2018

    Featured in the magazine iWonder, a science magazine for (middle and high) school teachers.

  • Book
    Off to see spiders!
    StoryWeaver by Pratham Books

    Kaveri and Shivi go looking for spiders, along with their friend Shama. A story for young children commissioned and published by Pratham Books', StoryWeaver platform.
    Guest editor: Bijal Vachharajani, Art: Pia Meenakshi

  • Journal Article
    The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project
    Lawrence N. Hudson, Vena Kapoor
    Ecology and Evolution, Volume 7, Issue 1 Pages: 145–188

    The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used this evidence base to develop global and regional statistical models of how local biodiversity responds to these measures. We describe and make freely available this 2016 release of the database, containing more than 3.2 million records sampled at over 26,000 locations and representing over 47,000 species. We outline how the database can help in answering a range of questions in ecology and conservation biology. To our knowledge, this is the largest and most geographically and taxonomically representative database of spatial comparisons of biodiversity that has been collated to date; it will be useful to researchers and international efforts wishing to model and understand the global status of biodiversity.


  • Popular Article
    An alien in the woods
    The Hindu in School, 3 August
  • Popular Article
    Monsters in sand pits
    The Hindu in School, 24 February
  • Popular Article
    The spit in the grass!
    The Hindu in School, 2 September
  • Popular Article
    Stupendous spiders
    The Hindu in School, 16 September
  • Journal Article
    The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts
    Lawrence N. Hudson et. al, Vena Kapoor
    Ecology and Evolution, Volume 4, Issue 24 Pages: 4701–4735

    Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species’ threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project – and avert – future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world.


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