Board of Trustees

Mr. Isaac Kehimkar, Chairman



A lepidopterist who has been pursuing butterflies through his camera for the past 25 years. His pursuance gave India its first modern Field Guide to Indian Butterflies. He is the elected member of the Governing Council of the Bombay Natural History Society and has been associated with them for 35 years. He is known for his excellent wildlife photography and immense knowledge about natural history. His other publications include Common Wildflowers and Moths. He started his passion for wildlife with reptiles and then got involved with several other subjects and finally settled with butterflies. He is aptly known as 'Living Natural History Encyclopedia' and 'Butterfly Man'.

Dr. V.Shubhalaxmi, Founder & Managing Trustee


An environmentalist with exceptional knack of merging business and biodiversity for common good with a global perspective. She is an entomologist, educationist and now an ecopreneur. Besides her scientific acumen, she is known for her communication, training and networking skills. In her exceptional journey of 23 years, Dr.Shubhalaxmi decoded the formula of returns on biodiversity (ROB) to attract corporate investments. She is the winner of Green CSR Award 2016, selected for TechnoServe’s Business Accelerator Programme for Women Entrepreneurs in 2015, recognized Ph.D guide for Mumbai University, two times winner of global competition of U.S. State Department’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (2014,2014) and Fulbright Fellow (2003, 2009). She is India’s first women entomologist to study moths and she is nicknamed as Mothlady/Buglady. Her first book-Field Guide to Common Moths of India is scheduled to release shortly. She holds a Ph.D. from Mumbai University in Entomology. She studied nonprofit management and distance education from Boston University. She studied over 75 nature education centers of United States of America. She worked with the conservation education department of BNHS for 21 years and left as Deputy Director in 2014 to start her social enterprise- Ladybird Environmental Consulting. During her tenure at BNHS, she designed over 55 programmes, 35 projects and developed India’s first online courses in Biodiversity Conservation, Entomology, Herpetology & Ornithology. She is a member of Advisory Council for World CSR Day. She also represents the environmental studies board of K.J. Somaiya College. She is member of IUCN group on Conservation Education. She is an online guest faculty at Boston University.

Ms. Jyoti Palekar, Honorary Secretary


Jyoti has Masters Degree (M.Tech) in Environmental Science and Engineering from IIT Mumbai and diploma in Business Management from NMIMS. She has 24 years of consulting experience out of which 17 years is with Jacobs Engineering India Private Limited. Jyoti Co founded STEP, an organization working in the area of sustainability and environment the year 2010. She has managed large environmental & waste management projects from multinational clients, large Indian private sector and public sector companies. She has worked as a technical expert on diverse assignments involving Industrial Effluent Treatment and Recycle, Municipal Sewage Treatment Plants, Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for Infrastructure Projects, Environment & Social Impact Assessment Studies (ESIA), Environmental Audits and Due diligence & Resource Management Assignments and Capacity Development Programs. Jyoti has work experience in United States of America, United Kingdom and Thailand. She is a life member of National Safety Council and Indian Environmental Association and member of Bombay Natural History Society. Jyoti is on empanelment of TUV India Private Limited. During her IIT days, she has also worked on a rural water resource development project funded by Advancement of People's Action in Rural Technology (CAPART), Govt. of India. For more details visit

Dr. Ketki Marthak, Vice Chairman


Dr Ketki Marthak is a consultant ear nose and throat surgeon by profession. She is attached to Ram Krishna Mission hospital, BCJ hospital or Asha Parekh hospital and Millat hospital. She is a Life member of BNHS and a member of IBCN (BNHS) Mumbai. She has done several online courses – entomology, ornithology, volunteer training, botany etc. She has a special interest in birds and their conservation and has helped in compilation of the Orinthology chapters for BNHS (batch 2014-15) with guidance of Dr V Shubhalaxmi and Ms Priti Choghale. She has also worked on the mobile application project “inaturewatch” (birds). She has conducted several nature trails for students in local languages in and around Mumbai and has conducted nature camps for BNHS. She has travelled different parts of India and the world to enjoy nature and birds. She has given lectures on her travels in different pharma centres and has written articles in several magazines on nature with special interest on birds. Her personal bird count in India is 582 species.

Ms. Avi Sabawala, Vice Chairman


Avi has a MSW LlB, Advanced Diploma in management. She is a well known Corporate Trainer specializing in soft skills & conducting training for industrial personnel at all levels. Her most popular programme is Presentation Skills. She also is a regular speaker at many forums and besides management subjects also give talks on subjects as management lessons from nature, enjoying India's Bio-diversity etc. which are very well received. She is the first Lady President at VCCI in its 50 years history. She also runs her own SSI unit manufacturing heat Treatment Equipment. As a member  she is affiliated to All India Management Association (AIMA), Baroda Management Association (BMA), Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Bird Conservation Society of Gujarat (BCSG) and Gujarat Nature Conservation Society (GNCS). Her other interests include reading, travelling, western classical music, debates, dramatics, heritage, archaeology and astronomy.