2017 PhD, Development studies, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
2008 MSc, Molecular and Human Genetics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
2006 BSc, Life Sciences and Biochemistry, University of Mumbai, Mumbai
Languages: English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil
Soundarya Iyer has a PhD in Development Studies from the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore. She is a Postdoctoral researcher working on the CARIAA (Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Asia and Africa) project. Soundarya’s dissertation traced the processes of transformation in three villages in different regions of Karnataka using quantitative and qualitative methods. She identified agrarian resilience in the Old Mysore region, localised urbanisation in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region and localised modernity in the Coastal Karnataka region as the ongoing processes of rural transformation in different regions of Karnataka. Her dissertation uses insights from agrarian history, development economics, sociology, social anthropology and political science to comment on processes in rural transformation.
Soundarya has been trained in life sciences and was researching questions of evolutionary biology in laboratory settings before she moved into the social sciences in 2010. She made the transition to pursue her passion of conducting field-based research in rural India. Her approach to research has been interdisciplinary ever since. At IIHS, Soundarya is involved in the CARIAA project and her research focuses on the barriers and enablers to climate adaptation.