Nikhil Advani

Director, Climate, Communities and Wildlife

Nikhil  Advani
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Dr. Nikhil Advani's role at WWF is at the intersection of communities, wildlife and the varied threats they face, from climate change to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, he is leading a GEF project focused on how COVID-19 is affecting nature-based tourism in eastern and southern Africa, which seeks to connect funders to communities most affected by the crisis (African Nature-Based Tourism Platform). Other projects under Nikhil's portfolio focus on better understanding how wildlife and rural communities are being affected by changes in weather and climate, and developing and implementing solutions to help them adapt. These include an initiative to gather data and implement climate adaptation projects for rural communities (WWF Climate Crowd), a Wildlife and Climate assessment series to research species vulnerability to climate change, creation of a Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund to help at risk species adapt to climate change, and he is a member of the IUCN SSC Climate Change Specialist Group. In 2019 he was awarded the Emerging Leader Award by The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, and currently serves on their advisory council.

Nikhil was born and brought up in Kenya, and went on to pursue his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin. His thesis focused on gaining a better mechanistic understanding of species response to climate change, using the Glanville Fritillary butterfly as a model species. He then worked for the Nature Conservancy in Texas, prior to joining WWF in 2013.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and species all over the world are already being impacted. We must implement strategies to help them adapt, both through direct human interventions, and by facilitating their natural capacity to adapt to these changes. ”

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Nikhil Advani, 2022 Commencement Speaker

Alumnus Dr. Nikhil Advani gives his remarks during The University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences 2022 commencement ceremony.

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  • Ph.D. - Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The University of Texas at Austin
  • B.Sc. - Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The University of Texas at Austin

Areas of Expertise

  • Climate change and species
  • Biological impacts of climate change
  • Human responses to climate change
  • Climate vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies
  • Ecology, evolution and conservation biology



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