Lab News And Blog

Sangeetha Varma successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation!

Sangeetha Varma is going to be the second Ph.D. holder of the lab. She has successfully defended her thesis. She is the “pollinator face” of the lab and helped many Master’s dissertation works along with me. She is an author of seven excellent papers published in Scientific Reports, Oikos, Apidologie, Biological invasions, Scientia Horticulturae, Current Science!

Anjana Unni joined Max-Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology for her Ph.D. work

Anjana joined the lab as an intern and then as a project fellow after her M.Sc. in Zoology in Central university of Kerala! She was a productive member of the lab and part of the papers published in Journal of Tropical Ecology, Scientific Reports, Urban Ecosystems, and a book chapter during her stint for about two years in the lab!


While away, she is still active in our lab activities!

Our lab is officially collaborating with the Indian Pollinator Initiative, a consortium of Indian pollination ecologists to advance the research on Indian pollinators!

Indian pollinator initiative is a growing consortium of researchers interested in Indian pollinators. Parthiba Basu (Calcutta University), Hema Somanathan (IISER, Trivandrum), Axel Brockmann (NCBS-Bangalore), Vasuki Belavadi (GKVK-Bangalore), Smitha Krishnan (Bioversity International), Joby Joseph (University of Hyderabad), and myself make up into the founding team. It hosted several excellent talks by international pollination biologists, such as Dave Goulson, Paul Williams, Lucas Garibaldi, Christina Gozinger, Alyssa Stewart, Damayanti Buchori, Debora Smith, Xin Zhou, and myself. You can view these talks here.

We have launched a website for bringing you resources and ensuring your participation in the initiative. Please join us through


We are pleased to bring you the papers the lab published during COVID19 locked down period!

The lab was very productive since March 2020, when the restrictions came into force! The community in the lab, researchers and Master’s dissertation students published excellent papers. Please write to for full papers if you have no access to them! Here you go! Stay Safe!

An insight into the quality of sacred groves – an island habitat – using leaf-litter ants as an indicator in a context of urbanization. Journal of Tropical Ecology (2021)

Shade tree diversity may not drive prey-predator interaction in coffee agroforests of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India. Biological Control (2021)

Eleocharis dulcis (Burm.f) as a promising trap plant for the biocontrol of rice white stem borer, Scirpophaga innotata (Walker). Biological Control (2021)

Co-breeding involving herons and a potential egg predator, the Indian House Crow (Corvus splendens), in Peninsular India. Ecological Complexity (2021)

Native and invasive ants affect floral visits of pollinating honey bees in pumpkin flowers (Cucurbita maxima). (2021). Scientific Reports (2021)

Urban heronry birds tolerate human presence more than its
conspecific rural birds. Journal of Natural History (2021)

Does the solitary parasitoid Microplitis pennatulae use a
combinatorial approach to manipulate its host? Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (2020)

DNA barcode and phylogenetic analysis of dung beetles (Coleoptera:
Scarabaeidae) from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science (2020)

Biotic Seed Dispersal Mechanisms of Tropical Rain Forests – Bats, Fishes, and Migratory Birds. In Reproductive Ecology of Flowering Plants: Patterns and Processes. Springer Nature (2020)

Sacred groves and serpent‐gods moderate human–snake relations. People and Nature (2020)

A report on our research on invasive ants in Mathrubhumi

A report on our research on invasive ants in sacred grove in the New Indian Express

Prabitha joined ZSI as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in a multi-institutional Long-Term Monitoring Project

Prabitha Mohan, the first Ph.D. student of the lab, worked passionately on manipulative parasitoids, published two excellent papers, and later joined the COVID lab of the University, has been selected as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in a multi-institutional long-term project monitored by the Indian Institute of Science. She has joined Dr. K.A. Subramaniam’s lab in Zoological Survey of India, Chennai! We wish her the best!