Jai Ranganathan


Senior Fellow
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
735 State Street, Suite 300
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Twitter: @jranganathan


I am a conservation biologist focused on closing the gap between science and society. I am the Executive Director of SciFund Challenge, a scientist-based nonprofit organization that trains and supports researchers in their science outreach. Through SciFund Challenge, I also investigate the role that science crowdfunding can play in increasing the incentive structure for long-term science outreach by researchers.

Previously, I conducted research focused on understanding the role that agricultural landscapes can play in conserving species in the tropics. I additionally conducted research on the use of economically-focused methods for conservation planning.


Interested in science podcasts? Good news! I have a brand new podcast just for you: Science Voyage. Each week, the podcast makes the connection between our own lives and the science that secretly runs through it all.


  • J.E.K. Byrnes, J. Ranganathan, B.L.E. Walker, Z. Faulkes (2014). To Crowdfund Research, Scientists Must Build an Audience for Their Work. PLOS ONE 9 (12): e110329. Read the article.
  • R.E. Wheat, Y.W. Wang, J.E. Byrnes, J. Ranganathan (2013). Raising money for scientific research through crowdfunding. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28 (2): 71-72. Read the article.
  • D.S. Karp, A.J. Rominger, J. Zook, J. Ranganathan, P.R. Ehrlich, G.C. Daily (2012). Intensive agriculture erodes beta-diversity at large scales. Ecology Letters 15 (9): 963-970. Read the article.
  • W. Murdoch, J. Ranganathan, S. Polasky, and J. Regetz (2010). Using return on investment to maximize conservation effectiveness in Argentine grasslands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107 (49): 20855-20862.
    Read the article and supplementary information.
  • J. Ranganathan, J. Krishnaswamy, and M.O. Anand (2010). Landscape-level effects on avifauna within tropical agriculture in the Western Ghats: Insights for management and conservation. Biological Conservation 143 (12): 2909-2917.
    Read the article.
  • T.C. Bonebrake, C.L. Boggs, J.M. McNally, J. Ranganathan, and P.R. Ehrlich (2010). Oviposition behavior and offspring performance in herbivorous insects: consequences of climatic and habitat heterogeneity. Oikos 119 (6): 927-934.
    Read the article.
  • J. Ranganathan and G.C. Daily (2009). Integrating biodiversity and agriculture: a success story in South Asia. In: The theory and practice of ecosystem service valuation in conservation. P. Kareiva, G.C. Daily, T. Ricketts, H. Tallis, and S. Polasky, editors. Oxford University Press.
  • J. Ranganathan, R.J.R. Daniels, M.D.S Chandran, P.R. Ehrlich, and G.C. Daily (2008). Sustaining biodiversity in ancient tropical countryside. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105 (46): 17852-17854.
    Read the article and supplementary information.
    Selected press coverage: British Broadcasting Corporation, The Economist, Science
  • J. Ranganathan, K.M.A. Chan, K.U.K. Karanth, and J.L.D. Smith (2008). Where can tigers persist in the future? A landscape-scale, density-based population model for the Indian subcontinent. Biological Conservation 141(1): 67-77.
    Read the article and supplementary information.
    Press coverage: New Scientist
  • L. Pejchar, R. Pringle, J. Ranganathan (2008). Birds as agents of seed dispersal in a human-dominated landscape in southern Costa Rica. Biological Conservation 141(2): 536-544.
    Read the article.
  • J. Fischer, B. Brosi, G.C. Daily, P.R. Ehrlich, R. Goldman, J. Goldstein, D. Lindenmayer, A.D. Manning, A.H. Mooney, L. Pejchar, J. Ranganathan, and H. Tallis (2008). Should agricultural policies encourage land sparing or wildlife-friendly farming? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7 (6): 380-385.
    Read the article.
  • Ranganathan, J. and Daily, G.C. (2007). Biogeography of rural landscapes: opportunities for rural conservation in Mesoamerican landscapes managed by people. In: Conservation of Biodiversity in Fragmented Landscapes in Central America. C. Harvey and J. Saenz, editors. INBIO: Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica.
  • J. Ranganathan, K.M.A. Chan, and G. C. Daily (2007). Satellite detection of bird communities in tropical countryside. Ecological Applications 17(5): 1499-1510.
    Read the article and supplementary information.
  • K.M.A. Chan, R.M. Pringle, J. Ranganathan, C.L. Boggs, Y.L. Chan, P.R. Ehrlich, P. K. Haff, N.E. Heller. K. Al-Khafaji, and D.P. MacMynowski (2007). When agendas collide: human welfare and biological conservation. Conservation Biology 21 (1): 59-68.
    Read the article.
  • K.M.A. Chan and J. Ranganathan (2005). Testing the importance of patch scale on forest birds. Oikos 111:606-610.
    Read the article.
  • J. Ranganathan and G. C. Daily (2003). Carrying capacity. In: Encyclopedia of Population, Sinauer, New York.