K. Manoj

Ph.D. Student (Pre-submission synopsis submitted)


I fall in loving insects from my childhood days. I was keen observing and following them everywhere I see them. Being a tropical resident, I was fortunate to have many insects and other invertebrates in my own house, garden, and orchard. Perhaps, this would have attracted me to do my research on insects and their ecology. After my bachelor degree I joined Central University of Kerala for studying M.Sc. in Animal Science. The eminent faculty, facilities, field-oriented course, and the study materials further nurtured my interest in ecological studies. I did my M.Sc. dissertation with Dr. Sinu. I studied the plant-animal interactions in Ficus trees of the avenues of Malabar region for my M.Sc. dissertation. I am working on an interesting article on this research now. After my M.Sc., I joined Sinu in his project to examine the conservation value of sacred groves by studying the little things, nothing but the insects, their functional diversity.

Sacred groves although were plenty near my home town, I never imagined that they were conserving a great diversity of insects. I survey insects from sacred grove of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra for my research.

I was so excited to present my very preliminary research findings with the audience of ATBC meeting at Merida, Mexico very recently. Merida meeting gave me a fantastic opportunity to know more about the tropical biology and the current direction of the ecology research in tropics.


Rajesh et al. (2021) 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)

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

U. Prashanth Ballullaya, K.S. Reshmi, T.P. Rajesh, K. Manoj, Lowman, M., Sinu, P.A. 2019. Stakeholder motivation for the conservation of sacred groves in south India: An analysis of environmental perceptions of rural and urban neighbourhood communities. Land Use Policy 89: 104213. (pdf) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.104213

Varma S, Rajesh TP, Manoj K, Asha G, Jobiraj T, Sinu PA (2020) Nectar robbers deter legitimate pollinators by mutilating flowers. Oikos 129: 868-878

Manoj, K., Rajesh, T. P., Prashanth Ballullaya, U.,  Meharabi, K. M., Shibil, V. K., Rajmohana, K., and Palatty Allesh Sinu., (2017), Diversity of Platygastridae in Leaf Litter and Understory Layers of Tropical Rainforests of the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, India, Environmental Entomology 46: 685 – 692.


Kambli S., Aiswarya, M. S., Manoj, K., Sangeetha Varma, Asha, G., Rajesh, T. P., and Palatty Allesh Sinu., (2017), Leaf foraging sources of leafcutter bees in a tropical environment: implications for conservation, Apidologie 48: 473-482.