Botany Department

Glimpses of National Conference on Plant and Environment (NSSAPPE-2017) on 27th and 28th March 2017 Organized by Department of Botany, D. S. B. Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital

 About the Department; DSB Campus, Nainital

The Botany department was established in 1951 as a government. postgraduate college and since 1973 it is functioning as a university department. The department is one of the premier departments of the University which has been graced and headed by many internationally known scientists/ teachers including Prof. K.S. Bhargava, Prof. S.C. Gupta, Prof. B.S. Mehrotra, Prof. J.S. Singh, Prof. S.P. Singh, Prof. R.D. Khulbe and Prof. Y.P.S.Pangtey, Prof. Gira Bala Pant. Prof. J.S. Singh and Prof. S.P. Singh were awarded FNA and other prestigious awards like Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar prize and Birbal Sahni medal, while working in the department. The department has also been included under FIST programme, DST, New Delhi and recognized as DRS (SAP) department, UGC New Delhi. The department actively collaborates with major institutions like G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Kosi, Katarmal- Almora, NBRI Lucknow, NBPGR Bhowali, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar and Botanical Survey of India. A large number of research projects and several collaborative research programmes involving various national and international agencies have been completed and ongoing. Over 500 research papers have been published in more than 50 journals of international repute and about 220 students have been awarded Doctoral degree in past two decades. Specimens of Angiosperms, Pteridophytes, Bryophytes, Fungi and Lichens have been preserved in herbarium. Department housed a herbarium of Angiosperm (2500), Pteridophytes (300), Bryophytes (>200), Fungi (>100) and Lichens (nearly 100). Presently courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph. D. are being run in the department. At Post Graduate level specializations in the disciplines viz., Forest Ecology, Bryology, Plant Pathology, Ethonobotany and Plant Taxonomy are being carried out. The department is regularly publishing an annual news letter “OAKS” for last ten years.

Infrastructural facilities

The department has well equipped and computerised laboratories of Plant Tissue Culture, Plant Pathology and Aquatic Mycology, Ecology, Taxonomy and Bryology. At present department has two glass houses, one mist chamber to carry out various experiments and research activities. The major equipments available in the department for research activities are Spectrophotometer, Pressure chamber, Laminar air flow chamber, ultra cool centrifuge, lypholizer, BOD Incubator, seed germinator, LCDs, Mico Kjeldhal unit, Microscopes, Xerox machines, Research Microscopes, Multi media facility, Fax facility etc.

Research activities/ Thrust areas:


The ecology group has contributed to and directed much of the major study of plant ecology in the Himalaya. This research extends from tropical forests up to the alpine meadows, includes diverse ecosystems such as diverse as grasslands, lakes and forests, and includes organisms from aquatic plants to epiphytic cryptogams to forest trees. Their work includes most of the scales considered by ecologists, from physiology at the leaf level, through whole plant response to ecosystem processes, and it has contributed to the accuracy of studies at the level of the biosphere. The research has considered most of the environmental factors that affect vegetation development-nutrients, water, animals, geomorphic events and human disturbance- and most of the life-cycle processes of plants, including reproduction, leaf production, growth, nutrient cycling and productivity. The group has worked with situations ranging from the most pristine forests available in the region to areas severely damaged by both human and natural disturbances, and has included the relationships between agriculture and natural vegetation. Consideration of humans, their cultural traits and economic enterprises in research emphasize foresightedness and ability of the group to go beyond the traditional boundaries of plant ecology, and think interdisciplinary. A plan for recovery of the Himalayan forests based on the analysis of linkages among humans and livestock, crop-fields and forests, effect on nutrient cycling of ecosystem subsequent to changes seeking in the species for forest and combine economic enterprise and biodiversity are some of the major interdisciplinary researches.

Among topics emphasized by the group have been: (i) plant adaptation and ecosystem responses to the characteristic seasonality of the monsoon climate; (ii) consequences of leaf properties for species and ecosystem functioning; (iii) nutrient-cycling and decomposition of organic matter in various forest types (iv) biology of aquatic plants in regionally important lake ecosystems; (v) regeneration strategies of trees; (vi) effect of human and livestock on plants, vegetation and regional energy flows and economics (vi) carbon stock and sequestration potential of different land use systems including agri- horticultural and agroecosystem (vii) fine root dynamics, decomposition and N- mineralization of major tree species of the region (viii) microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in natural and managed ecosystems of Himalaya (ix) seed germination behaviour. Much of the research has investigated applied topics, including succession and ecological restoration of landslide sites, effect of grazing on high altitude pastures, and functioning of Eucalyptus plantations compared to native forests.

Several studies have defined the degree of dependence of local agriculture on products from natural forests. The research has been published in more than 50 international journals, including the major ecology journals (e.g. Nature, Bio-Sciences, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Journal of Vegetational Sciences and Vegetatio), and several major Botanical and Biological journals (e.g. Botanical Review, Annals of Botany, Aquatic Botany).

Mycology and Plant Pathology

Main thrust areas of mycological research are aquatic mycology, mycorrhizae, root endophytes and bioactivity testing of botanicals: Taxonomy, pathology and ecology of zoosporic fungi in Kumaun Himalaya are the major thrust areas of the study. The major disciplines of aquatic fungi on which the active researches going on are: i.e., Aquatic fungi of Kumaun Himalaya- systematic- both watermolds (zoosporic fungi) and Hyphomycetes (conidial fungi). The major descilplines of aquatic fungi on which the active researches going on are:

i. Aquatic fungi in relation to fish diseases and their control.

ii. Aquatic fungi in relation to the diseases of agricultural and forest plants.

iii. Aquatic fungi- their ecology and decomposition biology.

The ectomycorrhizae are always integral components of forest ecosystem showing mutual relationship between fungi and roots of higher plants. Thus research is also going on in this area to assess diversity of ectomycorrhizae in the major forest types of Indian central Himalaya and effect of ectomycorrhizal inoculation on growth and fitness of plants. Research on diversity of fruiting fungi and the fungi causing rust diseases, their identification and disease development, nature of infection, intensity and host diversity is also been carried out. Activity of aquatic Hyphomycetes as root endophyte and their role as biofertilizers as well as pollution indicator is also been carried out.

Recently the mycology group has also started the bioactive potential testing of medicinally important plants of the region. Culture of Yarsha gamboo (Cordyceps sinensis) has been successfully carried out in the laboratory.

Systematics and biodiversity of flowering plants and ferns

This includes basically exploring the flora of the Kumaun Himalaya both extensively as well as intensively right from the foothills to the alpine zone so as to assess the floristic diversity of the region. This includes the detailed information about each plant species pertaining to their population, habit, habitat, flower color, flowering and fruiting periods together with their regional, national and global distribution along with their economic value and importance. These informations further provide immense help in assessing the rare, endangered, threatened and endemic taxa of the region and their conservation. The study also leads to the establishment of the regional herbarium consisting exclusively of Kumaun Himalayan plants, which function as a useful tool both in teaching and research. Macropropagation (vegetative propagation) of Taxus baccata, Araucaria, Sequoia sempervirens, Vivipary in a gymnosperm (Biota orientalis) etc. have been worked out.

Plant Tissue Culture

Plant tissue culture laboratory in the Botany department have been established in 2005. The laboratory has undertaken the in vitro and ex vitro studies of endangered and rare medicinal plants and important forest trees for their propagation. The future research work will focus upon the advance studies of these endangered and ecologically important plants. Hands on training programmes in basic techniques used in plant tissue culture, are also being organized for M.Sc. students and faculty members of Uttarakhand state.


In Bryology laboratory, researches are being carried out on various aspects of bryophytes, viz., identification and listing of bryophytes on diverse habitats, diversity, habitat preferences, phytosociological and ecological studies, conservation. Besides these studies, antimicrobial potential and tissue culture of these plants is being done.

Ethnobotany and Traditional knowledge Systems

In ethnobotany, work is in progress on survey and identification of plants used by local people as food, medicine etc. plants used in drug preparation and religious ceremonies are being collected and identified. Ecological aspect and present status of important plant species is being studied and on the basis of these finding, conservation measures would be formulated to save the plants in their native habitat.


(i). Faculty

1.FNAs from the Department: Prof. K.S. Bhargava, Prof. J.S. Singh and Prof. S.P. Singh

2. FNASC from the Departemnt: Prof. S.P. Singh and Prof. Y.P.S. Pangtey

3. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award: Prof. J.S. Singh

4. Pitamber Pant award: Prof. J.S. Singh

5. Birbal Sahni medal by Indian Botanical Society: Prof. S.P. Singh

6. Zeer Shah Nidhi award: Prof. B.S. Mahrotra

7. Fellow of NIE: Prof. S.S. Bargali

8. Fellow of Botanical Society (FBS): Prof. S.C. Sati

9. Fellow of Phytpathology Society of India (FPSI): Prof. S.C. Sati

10. Fellow of Society of Plant Reproductive Biology (FSPRB): Prof. S.C. Sati


• Dr. Manish Belwal joined as visiting faculty in the Govt. P.G. College Gopeshwar. (2011)

• Dr. Jeewan Singh Jalal joined as Scientist in Botanical Survey of India at Pune. (2010)

• Dr. Priyanka Singh , Distt Agriculture Officer, Haridwar UK

• Mr. Vardan Singh Rawat joined as Lecturer in Government Inter College at Pauri District. (2011)

• Mr. Rupesh Kumar joined as Lecturer in Government Inter College at Pauri District.(2010)

• Miss. Sakshi Bhandari joined as Assistant Professor in Government Degree College at Kullu (H.P). (2011)

• Dr. Balwant Kumar joined as Assistant Professor in Department of Botany, S.S.J. Campus, Kumaun University, Almora. (2011)

• Dr. Kapil Khulbe joined as Assistant Professor in Department of Botany, D.S.B. Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital. (2011)

• Dr. Yogesh Joshi joined as Assistant Professor in Department of Botany, S.S.J. Campus, Kumaun University, Almora. (2011)

• Dr. Dhani Arya joined as Assistant Professor in Department of Botany, S.S.J. Campus, Kumaun University, Almora. (2011)

• Dr. Prachi Joshi joined as Assistant Professor in Department of Botany, R.H.G.P.G. College, Kashipur. (2013)

• Ms. Vijeta Manral joined as Inspector in Horticulture Department in Uttarakhand (2012)

Other significant achievements of the Department

1. 1. Department is recognized under DRS Phase –I (SAP) of UGC w.e.f.01-04-2011.

2. Departmental Newsletter “OAKS” is being published since last eight years.

3. Received 15 Research fellowships under BSR scheme of UGC.

4. Received 20 lakhs for infrastructure development under BSR scheme of UGC.

5. Received 8.50 lakhs for equipments (molecular biology) from State Biotech Programme, Haldi, Uttarakhand.

6. Recognized as FIST Department by DST, New Delhi.

7. One student (Dr. Jeewan Singh Jalal) awarded D.Sc degree.

8. Two student qualified USET examination-2015 and one student qualified NET and GATE -2015

9. Organised refresher course for Botany teachers

10. Organized two Tissue Culture Training Programme for M.Sc Botany student of Uttarakhand.

11.Recorded the Bio-Diversity of the Kumaun region with suitable examples in Herbarium (already 5000 specimens of 2800 angiosperms, 500 Pteridophytes, 180 mosses have been collected).

12. Recorded 6 species new to science and 30 species new to India of aquatic fungi

13. New technique developed for counting conidial production in aquatic fungi.

14.Characterization of Kumaun forests in relation to ecosystem services, nutrient cycling, conservation and energy flow in forest and agro ecosystems.

15.15. Young Scientist award to Ms. Pratibha Arya at 3rd UCOST and Mr. Ashish Pandey at 6th UCOST Science Congress in Botany Section.

  Campus Head; Department of Botany

Professor Neerja Pande
E mail:
Cell phone 09411199148 Off. 05942-235596

Faculty Members : DSB Campus Nainital

Name of Faculty member Designation Specialization Email id/ Phone Photograph Academic Profile
Dr. S.C. Sati Professor Mycology, Pl. Pathology, Bioactivity, and Lichens 09412969960 View profile
Dr. P. C. Pande Professor Ethnobotany 09412375590 View profile
Dr. N. Pande Professor & Head Bryophyte Ecology 09411199148 View profile
Dr. Y.S. Rawat Professor Ecology and Environment
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Dr. S.S. Bargali Professor Ecology, Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation 09410579117 View profile
Dr. L.M.Tiwari Professor Taxonomy, Medicinal Plants 09412362085 View profile
Dr. K. Bargali Associate Professor Ecology, Ethnobotany, Agroforestry, Ecorestoration and Biodiversity Conservation 09458939856 View profile
Dr. S. Tamta Associate Professor Plant Biotechnology 08126966284 View profile
Dr. N. Lodhiyal Associate Professor Ecology, Agroforestry, Biodiversity Conservation 09411538146 View profile
Dr. A. K. Bisht Associate Professor Plant Biotechnology
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Dr. K. Khulbe Assistant Professor Microbiology
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  SSJ Campus, Almora

The Department of Botany, S.S.J. Campus is located in a lush green picturesque area in Almora. It came into existence in 1966 when B.Sc. classes were started and upgraded to postgraduate level in 1974. Since 2004 it is functioning as main university department. It is one of the leading Departments of India recognized for excellence in teaching and research in major areas of Plant Sciences in general. For about four decades after its establishment, the Department was recognized for teaching and research in the areas of Phycology, Mycology, Bryology, Ecology, Forest Ecology, Pteridology, Economic Botany, Plant Pathology and Experimental Botany. While the contributions have been tremendous in the understanding of fundamentals of Plant Sciences, the department has also kept pace with the changing national priorities. Some of the major areas of research in the department are: improvement and propagation of living fossil gymnosperm – Ginkgo biloba,evaluation and conservation of plant biodiversity; discovery of several new species and importance of microbes in human welfare.

The department attracts students for Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies and Doctoral research from within the country. In addition to teaching through modern techniques; seminars, symposia, workshops, invited lectures and botanical excursions are an integral part of academic programme of the department. Young botanists in the Department undergo rigorous theoretical and practical training in classical as well as emerging areas in Plant Sciences by creative and dedicated faculty, including Emeritus Fellows and Senior Scientists. While, research scholars are trained in well equipped laboratories in different branches of Botany under guidance of teachers; post doctoral research is seriously encouraged in the Department to nurture talent. The department extends facility to young PI's working in mentors' laboratory. The research groups in different specialized areas regularly publish in peer journals of their field. The faculties have undertaken several individual and collaborative research projects from various agencies like, DST, UGC, MOEF etc.

The department has strong research programs on different areas of plant biology. The faculty members have successfully guided more 50 Ph.D.’s so far, authored 02 text books and more than 500 research papers in national and international journals, conference volumes etc. The department has been offering specialized course in the areas like Taxonomy of Angiosperms, Ethnobotany, Lichenology, Bryology, Mycology and Plant Pathology, Plant Biotechnology, Plant Pathology, Microbiology. Recently the department is offering diploma and degree courses in Bio-informatics. The department has a well-established ‘Botanical Garden’ and herbarium housing more than 1000 plant species collections with complete descriptions and is one of the main referral centers for plant identification, especially Pteridophytes and Lichens Algae and Gymnosperms.

Vision & Mission

1)to be a “Center for Excellence”
a. a. in thrust areas of the research and to equip our students to meet the nations demand.
b.b. for training and capacity building with requirements of the time in Plant Sciences, Bioinformatics and Climate Change Impacts Management.

2)to discover, maintain, and transmit knowledge concerning basic plant biology and provide leadership in the biological sciences.

3)to expand academic co-operation by offering new courses and upgrading programmes to a wider spectrum of students and researchers.

4)to produce entrepreneurs for prosperous ventures in the selected fields of their advancements with global perspectives.

Campus Head, Department of Botany

Dr. S. S. Gahalain

Phone: 9760721656

Faculty members (SSJ Campus, Almora)

Name of Faculty member Designation Specialization Email id/ Phone Photograph Academic profile
Dr. Hema Joshi Professor Ecophysiology
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Dr. S. S. Gahalain Professor & Campus Head Genetics & Plant Breeding
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Dr. Yogesh Joshi Assistant Professor Lichenology
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Dr. Balwant Kumar Assistant Professor Lichen Ecology
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Dr. Dhani Arya Assistant Professor Forest Ecology
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Dr. Subhash Chandra Assistant professor Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Immunology Bioinformatics
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Km. Neelam Dharamsaktu Assistant Professor (contractual) Plant Pathology
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