Date of release: Monday, December 7, 2015

 Richard Baines, Eulalia Gomez Martin and Vincenzo IannuzzielloNomads and villagers in western India are being helped to conserve their coastal grasslands by environmental scientists from the University of Greenwich.

The grasslands are under threat from expanding salt deserts along the Gujarat coast and non-native invasive plants.

Three postgraduate students, Richard Baines, Eulalia Gomez Martin and Vincenzo Iannuzziello, will head to Gujarat on 17 December, with Dr Debbie Bartlett, the university's Principal Lecturer in Environmental Conservation.

Dr Bartlett says: "We have been working with villagers in this area of Kachchh for some time to understand the importance of their landscape and how the local ecosystems can be supported within planning and development programmes.

"It is a shame to be missing Christmas at home but I hope we will be able to enjoy the mid-winter festival in the salt desert as we complete this phase of the project."

The university's Faculty of Engineering & Science is working in partnership with the Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE) to contribute skills and provide student exchange research opportunities.

The partnership is part of the UK India Education & Research Initiative (UKIERI) funded by the British Council.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Christmas in India for environmental conservationists, from left to right, Richard Baines, Eulalia Gomez Martin and Vincenzo Iannuzziello.