Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt is a Fellow at the Resource Management in Asia Pacific Program at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University. Kuntala has extensively researched the social and ecological politics and gender equity issues related to extractive industries since 1993-94, initially in India and later on in other Asian countries. In particular, she has written on gender and livelihood issues in large and small-scale mines, on the displacement of peasantry and indigenous peoples in eastern Indian colliery areas, on illegal mining, on the social impacts of the coal mining industry in Raniganj, and on subsurface coal fires. Most of these papers are downloadable from her official website http://crawford.anu.edu.au/staff/rmap/klahiridutt.php.
Another related field of her interest comprises the social and gender equity issues that are expressed at different geographical scales in community-based integrated water resource management. Currently she is also researching the livelihoods of poor and immigrants living on ecological boundaries or borders of land and water, in charlands or river islands in deltaic Bengal. Kuntala convenes the Gender Specialisation in Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development and teaches courses on Gender and Development. She has established a Learning Network on informal, small-scale, artisanal and illegal mining (see www.asmasiapacific.org) and a Gender Water Network (see at http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/).
Kuntala has written and edited several books; in the area of mining they include In Search of a Homeland: Anglo-Indians and McCluskiegunge (Minerva, Kolkata, 1990); Women Miners in Developing Countries: Pit Women and Others (Jointly edited with M. Macintyre) was published from Ashgate, UK, in 2006; Fluid Bonds: Views on Gender and Water, published from Stree, Kolkata in 2006; Water First: Issues and Challenges for Nations and Communities in South Asia (jointly edited with Prof Robert Wasson) was published from Sage, in 2008; and Doing Gender, Doing Geography: Emerging Research in India (jointly edited with Saraswati Raju) published from Routledge, 2011.