Thukral is one of the earliest computer literates of the country. In 1975, he developed expertise in computer programming in FORTRAN-IV, the only programming language developed at that time. At that time there were less than 10 computers in India and each computer occupied the space of a room.
Thukral did his PhD at BITS, Pilani, in 1980 and joined GNDU the same year. He did his post-doctoral research at the University of Moscow. He applied his knowledge of satellite remote sensing to study biodiversity and landscape of Kinnaur of Himachal Pradesh, Harike, etc.
Besides he is developing computational techniques for ecological modeling and remediation of polluted sites. He has developed statistical software for use of PhD students in biology at the university.
With about 100 research papers published and two books edited, he is also a fellow of the Linnean Society of London and National Environmental Science Academy. He has also been awarded Prof PN Mehra award and other awards for his contributions in environmental sciences.