Raahil Madhok, PhD Student, LFS

2020 Winner: Raahil Madhok, PhD Student, LFS

Raahil Madhok is a 4th year PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems specializing in environmental and development economics. Broadly, his work combines insights from environmental studies, economics, and policy to investigate human-environment interactions and promote sustainable development. His geographic focus is mainly India. In his doctoral research, Raahil is documenting the impact of infrastructure development in India’s forests on biodiversity using novel data from millions of crowd-sourced bird sightings. He is also estimating the social value of biodiversity decline in order to accurately weigh the costs and benefits of forest encroachments. In other current projects, he is studying the air quality and child health impacts of coal power plant expansion, as well as the consequences of increasing rural-urban migration for land use and agricultural development among families left behind.

Raahil is part of the Food and Resource Economics Group at UBC, supervised by Professors Sumeet Gulati (Land and Food Systems) and Patrick Baylis (Dept. of Economics). His research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Prior to his PhD studies, Raahil was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Evidence for Policy Design Institute at Harvard University. Before that, he was a Research Associate at J-PAL South Asia in Gujarat, India where he consulted State Pollution Control Boards on implementing market-based pollution regulation. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from McGill and an M.A. in Economics from UBC.

Past Winners:

  • 2019: Rudhri Bhatt, MSc Student, IRES
  • 2018: Wajiha Mehdi, PhD Candidate, GRSJ
  • 2017: Sameer Shah, PhD Candidate, IRES
  • 2016: Helina Jolly, PhD Candidate, IRES 
  • 2015: Julie Vig, PhD Candidate, Asian Studies
  • 2014: Kamal Arora, PhD Candidate, Anthropology
  • 2013: Douglas Ober, PhD Candidate, Asian Studies
  • 2012: Glen Hamburg, MA Asia Pacific Policy Studies. Topic: Identity and Human Security Issues in the India-Bangladesh Enclaves
  • 2011: Somaditya Banerjee, Doctoral student in History. Topic: Bhadralok Physics and the Establishment of Modern Science in India (1900-1940)
  • 2010: M. Anwar Hossen, UBC Okanagan doctoral student. Topic: Water policy and governance in rural Bangladesh