Applied Biodiversity Science Trainee Dhananjaya Katju, a PhD candidate in the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences Department, was awarded a competitive Graduate Research Fellowship from the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research. Dhananjaya will use the award to fund his continuing doctoral field-research on the political ecology of environmental non-compliance in the Manas Tiger and Biosphere Reserve in northwestern India and its outcomes for local bird species. His work argues for grounded analyses of the geographically specific processes mediating noncompliance in the form of ‘encroachment’ with the aim of understanding it as a highly contested process, embedded within particular socio-economic, political, and environmental agendas, and with the potential for unexpected ecological consequences. To address this uncertainty, his project will explore connections between socio-political organization, land use practices, encroachment, and avian conservation. Dhananjaya’s work is expected to contribute to the increasing recognition of tropical protected areas as dynamic social-ecological systems.