Dr. G. Manikandan (faculty member, Sri. Kaliswary College, Sivakasi) and Mr. Laytho T. Bhutia (SRM University, Gangtok) have joined the lab as Academy Summer Research Fellows.
Sinu has been one among the few members felicitated by the Central University of Kerala Vice Chancellor, Prof. H. Venkateswaralu for outstanding research output. “It is an honor for the research in Ecology and Entomology, what the lab is involved in. I also congratulate all the members of the Ecology Labs for their sincere efforts for this recognition for the lab”. Dr. Sinu said.
He has featured Prof.s. Renee Borges (IISC-Bangalore), Robert Chandran (IISER-Kolkata), and Silanjan Bhattacharya (West Bengal State University), and the Western Ghats, the central Himalayas, and the Sunderbans as the vulnerable landscapes.
You can see the entire proceedings of the program in the YouTube channel Please scroll to 3:30 for the proceedings of the symposium Dr. Sinu organized.
We congratulate Dr. Sangeetha Varma and Dr. Roshnath Ramesh for successfully defending their open defense and awarding Ph.D. degree!
Sangeetha has involved in our flower and pollinator watch programs and extensively studied plant-pollinator interactions in agricultural landscapes, and an author of excellent papers published by Oikos, Scientific Reports, Apidologie, Scientia Horticulturae and Current Science.. A couple more excellent papers are in making.
Roshnath is a popular wildlife biologist of Kerala and work for the welfare of water birds. He is committed for the conservation of water birds, migratory birds, and snakes! He has published his scientific articles in Current Zooogy, Ecological Complexity, People and Nature, Herpetological Journal, Journal of Natural History, Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity and so on. He is a coordinator of Malabar Awareness and Rescue Centre for Wildlife (MARC), an NGO committed for wildlife rescue and conservation.
Our new research published in Scientific Reports unravels the mysterious diel activity of dung beetles. This research is novel in terms of finding that the dung beetles not only have a diel period for their flight and foraging activity, but also driven by the type of habitats, a closed one and an open one.
Dung beetles can be sampled using a dung bait on open floor and in a baited pitfall. Both the methods have their own pros and cons. We have suggested using dung as a bait on open ground, because, this is a non-invasive method of sampling beetles. This can provide a great deal of information on the community ecology of the beetles. But, the worry was the rollers might not be sampled in this method! We have suggested to keep pitfalls around the dung pads to sample the beetles rolling the dung balls! That worked out well. We have assessed its efficiency in three habitats, a closed protected forest, fragmented forests of sacred groves, and open yards. The results have been published in Journal of Tropical Ecology.
The lab has collaborated with Dr. Nasser and Rajesh of the University of Calicut on their research on organic rice cultivation aka Kaipad in North Malabar region recently.
White stem borer is a sporadic major pest of rice in this region, and for the rice growing in the organic and conventional fields of Kasaragod and Kannur regions of Kerala. To our greater surprise, this pest in terms of their adult abundance and egg clutch abundance were higher on Chinese Water Chestnut – a weed growing in the fringes of the rice fields – than on the rice! Dr. Nasser and Rajesh argue that this is a good dead-end trap crop, because, the eggs that hatch on the chestnut hardly survive. Sinu based on his experience in tea systems thinks that this moth can’t be that stupid and not rules out the possibility that the hatchlings spread to rice immediately after hatching. Chestnut might be a good oviposition site! You can see the findings of this study in our joint publication in Biological Control
Coffee is next (not same) to the forests in their neighborhood as per the latest research on biomass and biodiversity. However, this tag fits well for the shaded coffee, that too the coffee under the shade of wild trees. Silver oak is a threat for the biodiversity of coffee orchards, but is replacing the wild trees in the orchards. This change in the land-use can affect the delivery of natural ecosystem services.
Our new research suggests that the delivery of natural pest control was not really affected by the change in the shade tree species! Want to know more about the research, please see our article published in Biological Control
Congratulations all authors, and in particular our Master’s dissertation students Gopika and Fahira!
We are proud to announce that the lab members (so the lab) are in the lime light!
Dr. Roshnath Ramesh was awarded Kerala State Biodiversity Board (Researcher) award!
Mr. T.P. Rajesh was awarded the Kerala Forest Research Institute – Chandrasekharan memorial researcher award!
Ms. G. Asha was awarded the Best Presenter Award in the National Conference on “Recent Trends in Economic Zoology” held at Nagpur University!
While Roshnath works prolifically on water birds, the laurels Rajesh and Asha bagged due to their extensive research on ants and dung beetles!!!
Rajesh is receiving Dr. Chandrasekharan Memorial Researcher Award from KFRI
Sangeetha Varma to give a talk on nectar robbing and its effect on pollinators!