Dr. Radhika Borde

Dr. Radhika Borde


I am a human geographer with a strong inter-disciplinary orientation.

I would divide my research background into two broad areas:

  1. Indigenous social movements that emphasize ecological issues via a process of staking claim to sacred geographies; Religion and nature conservation

This is a long-term research agenda that fed into a PhD research project that I conducted at Wageningen University in the Netherlands on an internationalized movement in India that stopped a multinational company from mining bauxite on a mountain that was sacred to an Indigenous community.

Prior to this I had researched (and still do) an Indigenous movement aimed at the official recognition of the nature religion of India’s Indigenous communities. Ecofeminism is one of the lenses through which I have studied this movement as Indigenous women have played a crucial role in it and they have also challenged traditional taboos while doing so. I have also researched revisionary myth making by Indigenous communities in India which has involved a contestation of marginalization, from a Subaltern Studies perspective.

My work in this area has led to my membership of the steering committee of an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) specialist group working on the cultural and spiritual values of protected areas (https://csvpa.org/) and also the board of the religion and conservation working group of the Society for Conservation Biology. I have also been a co-author of the IUCN Best Practice Guidelines on the Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature in Protected Area Management and Governance: https://csvpa.org/best-practice-guidelines/cultural-and-spiritual-significance-of-nature/

  1. Environmental health; Water, sanitation, and hygiene for development; Waste management

This is an emerging research agenda for me that is growing out of my research experience at the Charles University in Prague, where I participated in a research project exploring the implementation of a sanitation program in a rural part of India that is home to several Indigenous communities.

My research in this regard explores issues of gender, inequality and distributive justice, biopolitics and circular economies of sanitation.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • MA, Lancaster University, UK
  • BA (Hons.), Delhi University, India

Student education

I teach on undergraduate modules centered on themes of sustainability, also acting as the module leader for one course.

I also contribute to an Msc. course.

I am happy to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students on any topics that intersect with my research interests.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>