Radhey Shyam Tripathi did his BSc from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, MSc from KN Government Postgraduate College, Gyanpur, Varanasi, and PhD (Weed Ecology) from Banaras Hindu University under the supervision of Professor R Misra. Starting his teaching career (1963) as Lecturer at BHU, he joined Faculty of the Department of Botany at University of Gorakhpur (1966). He carried out postdoctoral research in plant population biology at the University College of North Wales, UK (1971-73) with Professor JL Harper. On his return to India, he rejoined the University of Gorakhpur (1973), moved to North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong as Reader in Botany (1976), and also worked there as Professor and Head, Department of Botany, Coordinator, UGC's DSA Programme in Botany, Head of the Centre for Eco-development, Dean, School of Life Sciences, Director/Coordinator of NEHU Regional Centre for Afforestation and Eco-development Board of the Ministry of Environment & Forests till his retirement in 2004. He was Visiting Scientist (1993) at Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London where he worked on plant population interaction. He has been INSA Senior Scientist also.
Academic and Research Achievements: While at the University of Gorakhpur, Tripathi strengthened the ecology teaching and started intensive research in plant population ecology, weed biology and forest ecology. While at NEHU, he made outstanding contribution to the understanding of weed biology, population dynamics of exotic weeds in north-east India, reproductive strategies of weeds, regeneration ecology of forest trees, ecology of degraded ecosystems, agro-ecosystems and agro-forestry systems, and biodiversity. He is credited with pioneering researches in plant population ecology in India. He was actively involved in the sustainable development of forest resources of north-east India through a series of activities in the areas of community forestry, social forestry and joint forest management. He also published nearly 200 research papers and review articles in peer-reviewed journals, authored several scientific reports and book chapters, and co-authored/co-edited five books. He mentored 36 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Tripathi built a strong and vibrant school of ecology in the Department of Botany at NEHU. He served on several policy/decision making bodies and was the Leader of the Indian Delegation in the General Assembly of Scientific Committee on Problems of Environment (SCOPE) in 2001. He was Member of the National Mission for Sustainability of Himalayan Ecosystems, Coordinator for the Northeast Eco-region under the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) launched by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, and Chairman of the Committee for Identification and Status of Forests in Arunachal Pradesh in 1996.
Awards and Honours: Professor Tripathi was elected President of the Indian Botanical Society (2004), Vice President of National Institute of Ecology (NIE), New Delhi (2004-06), and Fellow of the NIE and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.