Getting to Know Our Lab – Raahil Madhok

Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Raahil Madhok is a current PhD candidate with the Wildlife Conservation and Economics Lab studying relationships between human activity and the environment. In one main project, he is estimating species diversity losses, and associated costs, from infrastructure expansion in India’s forests using a novel dataset of 10 million bird sightings from the bird-watching app eBird. Madhok intends to leverage these results into real-world applications “to inform the efficient design of conservation policy as well as contribute to our knowledge about the economics of conservation.” In addition to his lab research, Madhok and his co-authors are studying India’s expansion of electricity generation from coal fired power plants and the resulting effects on air quality and child health. In another joint project with WCEL member Frederik Noack and other co-authors, he is studying the consequences of rural-urban migration for technology adoption in agriculture.

Madhok’s passion for conservation economics stems from his roots in economics and his concern for conserving nature. He received his B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from McGill University, his M.A. in Economics at U.B.C, followed by two years working at J-PAL South Asia on the design and implementation of an emissions training program for particulate matter pollution. Prior to his PhD studies, Madhok was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School working on topics related to externalities from coal generation in India. His sole non-research position was “flipping burgers in high school at Hero Certified Burgers. I also made poutine.” 

In 2019, Madhok was awarded the prestigious SSHRC Joseph-Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship and in 2020 he was chosen as a Canadian delegate to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, set to take place in Germany in 2022. This convention will allow him to collaborate and create dialogues with other young economists and previous Nobel Prize winners. Madhok’s academic achievements have put him on the path to reach his continuing goals of working in academia and research. When he is not working or attending seminars and social activities with the lab, you can find Madhok performing improv in a local Vancouver troupe, playing tennis, hiking, volunteering with elementary school kids or listening to old school hip hop.

If you would like to learn more about Madhok’s research, you can find further information on this website as well as his contact information.