People

Nandini Rajamani

Research Interests
Behavioural ecology, life-history evolution, trait evolution, morphometrics, evolutionary demography, natural history, and conservation biology.

CV
since 2016, Assistant Professor, Biology at IISER Tirupati
2013-2016, Co-Director, IndiaBioscience Program, NCBS-TIFR
2012-2013, Research Associate, Nature Conservation Foundation
2012-2013, Postdoc, CNRS Montpellier, France
2007-2011, PhD in Evolutionary Biology, Auburn University, USA

Team

Aravind PS

PROJECT FELLOW
Animal behavior and invasive ecology have been my dominant interests. Currently, I am looking at the behavior changes of palm squirrels in the Western Ghats landscape. For my Master’s dissertation at Pondicherry University, I worked in collaboration with ATREE under Dr. Ankila Hiremath and Dr. Bharath Sundaram, studying the pattern of spread and impacts of invasive plant Lantana camara at BRT Tiger Reserve, Karnataka. My other interests include traveling and photography. My previous experience with animal behaviour was with Dr. Manjari Jain’s lab at IISER Mohali, looking at the reproductive behavior of field crickets.

Harsha Kumar

PhD STUDENT
The areas of my interest include animal behavior, ecology, and evolution. For my Ph.D., I am interested in studying the evolution of social behavior and mating systems of small mammals.

As far as my previous experience with animal behavior goes, I worked at Dr.Raghav Rajan's lab at IISER Pune for 2 years studying the effects of white noise on the crystallized song structure of Zebra finches. As part of this work, I built electronic circuits using microcontrollers to automate an experimental trial aimed at teaching zebra finches how to count. For my master's thesis, I worked at Dr.Rohini Balakrishnan's lab to elucidate mechanisms by which the tree cricket Oecanthus henryi measures leaf area in the context of baffling behavior. I spend most of my free time watching creatures of all kinds, photographing them, composing music and writing poetry (new book coming soon).

Nivetha Murugesan

PhD STUDENT
I am interested in ecology and animal behavior. During my PhD, I hope to understand the evolution of behaviours in small mammals.

I am trained as a biotechnologist, and I did my Bachelor's dissertation at Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), with Dr. Muralidharan, in which I estimated levels of pesticides in river Bhavani at Tamil Nadu and predicted their effects on enzyme activity (acetylcholinesterase) in fish. My other interests are writing and translating articles for environmental magazines, and maintaining a post-modern Tamil blog.

Senan D'Souza

PROJECT FELLOW
I am primarily interested in understanding the ecology and distribution of small mammals and birds. I've always wanted to explore the Himalayan landscape and the project on Marmots and Pikas in Kashmir and Ladakh has provided me with the perfect opportunity to do so!

For my Master's dissertation at AVC College, I looked at the effect of selective logging on non-volant small mammals in reserved forests of Arunachal Pradesh, North-east India. Some of my other interests include football, photography, and fishing.

Shijisha AC

BS-MS STUDENT
My interests lie in Animal Behaviour and General Ecology. In my third year I did a semester project on coat colour variation in palm squirrels along the Western Ghats. I have also been exposed to animal behaviour in the context of neurobiology and developemental biology through summer projects in the labs of Dr. Raghav Rajan and Dr. Aurnab Ghose at IISER Pune. I am also interested in Malayalam literature, the dramatic arts and traveling.

Swati Udayraj

PhD STUDENT
I am interested in the study of animal behavior in natural conditions, and in understanding how animal systems respond to changes in their environment. For my PhD, I propose to study the impacts of climate change on small mammals living in mountain ecosystems (eg: Himalayas) and the strategies these animals use to adapt to the changing scenario.

For my Master's Dissertation at Pondicherry University, I worked with Dr. Priya Davidar to determine connectivity across Asian Elephant populations in the Mudumalai-Bandipur landscape (Western Ghats), using a microsatellite-based approach. Apart from research, I am interested in Carnatic music, photography, and cooking.

 

Affiliates & Visitors

Namita Chutani (Integrated PhD Student at IISER Tirupati)
Molecular techniques with marmot faecal samples

Dhanesh P. (Masters Student from AVC College)
Nest site selection in Funambulus species.

Lab Alumni

Mihir Sule (Visiting Researcher, Aug-Nov 2017)
Taxonomic identity of succulent Euphorbias in South India.

Shijisha AC (IISER Tirupati BS-MS student, Monsoon 2017)
Coat colour variation in palm squirrels of the genus Funambulus

Anubhav Dhar (IISER Tirupati BS-MS student, Monsoon 2017)
Evaluating methods to detect the biological origin of potential wildlife trade products. 

Harikrishnan CP (IISER Tirupati BS-MS student, Spring 2018)
Camera trapping at IIT Tirupati.