We believe in “Insects Run The World: manage and conserve them, or they will ruin the world”
Well, we decided what and where we protect the forests based on a) the plant diversity, endemism, and threat (global hotspot concept), large charismatic vertebrates (national protected area missions), and aesthetic values (UNESCO projects). Yes, it is a great beginning! But, can the plants tell us the current status of the forests? Can they warn you what is really happening inside the forests? We argue that monitoring plants alone will not be sufficient to predict the status of the protected areas. Take insects, microbes, and biotic interactions as your proxy. They are abundant, thermally sensitive, diverse, and have multiple generations per year! Follow their populations and community structure.
We study the litter insect community assemblage and population structure to understand what is the current status of the protected forests. We study and use everything that is caught in our traps. We use them to understand their DNA, their morphological and functional traits, their habitat specialization, and their interaction with plants and other animals. We study their diversity, functional group diversity, interactions to identify local biodiversity hotspots within protected areas and villages!
Manoj, Asha, Navya, Rajesh, Shibil, and Prashanth Ballullaya are participating in this research. See their pages to know their favourite taxa.
We have still more taxonomically unresolved taxa with us. Write Sinu, if you want to see them and study them.