Purna Chhetri, Ph.D.


Lecturer in Mountain Ecology




Ph.D. in Silviculture
Universitat fur Bodenkultur (BOKU- Vienna, Austria)

M.Sc. in Mountain Forestry
Universitat fur Bodenkultur (BOKU- Vienna, Austria)

B.Sc. in Forestry
University of the Philippines (Los Banos, Philippines)


SFS 3060 Mountain Ecology
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3580 Eastern Himalayan Forests and Rural Livelihoods
(The School for Field Studies)

Back to All Staff

Faculty Profile

Purna has worked as a researcher in a renewable natural resources research and development centre for the last 17 years in Bhutan, which was an integrated system of forest, horticulture, crop and animal sciences. He has a wide range of experiences in research agenda-setting, program coordination, work planning, budgeting, reporting, monitoring and evaluation of projects, programs, and other activities.

He has spent considerable time in participatory research and accumulated extensive knowledge and experience in addressing issues covering ecology, socioeconomics, and policies at different scales and complexity. He has been engaged in action research that gave him ample opportunities to acquire strong operational and analytical skills and a demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and actions.

He has occasionally taught at the College of Natural Resources (CNR) as adjunct lecturer and has also supervised B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. students in various research topics.

Currently he is the country expert on Ophiocordyceps sinensis, non-wood forest products and integrated watershed management.

Apart from being a researcher he was also a forestry research program officer for over a decade, supervising many research staff for the last 16 years and working with international partners from Japan, USA, Europe and other Asian nations.



He has been engaged in management and implementation of various projects in Bhutan, including managing the CORET project (a forestry research project between the Austrian Government and Bhutan), and the BC-CAP project (another research project focused on the study of adaptation measures and understanding of ecosystems in Bhutanese forests), to name a few.  He was engaged in the implementation of  community based natural resources management (CBNRM) projects focusing on integrated watershed management planning, and management of forest resources focusing on Eastern Bhutan.

Very recently he has managed the development of allometric equations for tree species of Bhutan.

Academics & Research

Professional Activities

  • Task force member: REDD+ Bhutan
  • Member of BOKU alumni

Research Interests

Purna‘s overall goal relates to the sustainable management of forestry resources, especially looking at the interface between human interference in natural systems and how to make them sustainable. In this quest he has applied equilibrium diameter models to quantify the timber demands of populations from broadleaved forests. He is interested in Participatory Rural Development such as the development of specific management plans for rural livelihoods using natural resources. He is also interested in management of landscapes through engagement of multiple stakeholders. Another area of interest is conflict management. As a researcher he has come across many challenges in sustainable management of natural resources, one such challenge being the management of conflicts.  Research on different conflicts (including human-wildlife conflict) of various scales and complexity is his passion for future research.  As a researcher he is also interested in developing technologies which are helpful in generating income for rural communities; that is one of the reasons he had taken keen interest in Ophiocordyceps sinensis, lemon grass, pipla, bamboos and lately on agarwood.



Chhetri, P.B., Katwal, S., Dukpa,T., Drukgyel,S., and Gregoire , T.G., (2016) Indian Forester (142)1
Chhetri, P.B., Wangdi, J. Richen and Pelden K. 2013. Article in progress.
Chhetri, P.B. and Tenzin, K. 2012. FAO Rome.
Katwal T. B. , Penjor T., Wangdi S., Adhikari N.B., Domang and Chhetri, P.B. 2007. Bhu.J.RNR.( 3)1. pp 119-127.
Prommegger, W., Budur, K., Dorji, Chhetri, P.B. 2006., Special publication RNR RC Jakar, MOA.
Grazter, G. Rai P.B., Darabant A, Chhetri, P.B. , Eckmuller, O. And Glatzel, G. 2004. Ekológia (Bratislava) ( 23) 3, 283-297.
Gratzer G., Darabant A, Chhetri, P.B. Rai P.B. and Eckmuller O. 2004. Can J. For Research. (34) 5 pp 1093-1107.
Chhetri, P.B. 2004. M.Sc. Thesis, UNI BOKU, Vienna Austria.
Grazer, G., Rai, P.B., and Chhetri, P.B. 2002. Proceedings of Bamboo 2000, Chiang Mai Thailand.
Chhetri, P.B., Gurung, M.K, Hailu., Assefa, B. Kamal, MD.T. and Dorji, S., 2002 Austrian Journal of Forest Sciences (119 Jahrgang Heft ¾.2002) page 241.
Darabant, A., Chhetri, P.B., Rai, P.B., Dorji, K., and Gratzer, G. 2001. Special Publication No. 4 RNR RC Jakar.