The Centre for Ecological Sciences at IISc has a herbarium with a large collection of over 16000 species of plants from Karnataka, Western and Eastern Ghats and other parts of peninsular India. Over the past twelve years, Prof. Sankara Rao, a retired professor from the Biochemistry department of IISc and an expert botanist, and his small team of volunteers, have been digitizing the entire collection and produced a Digital Flora of Karnataka that is freely available online (http://florakarnataka.ces.iisc.ac.in).
The Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) – Bengaluru brings together young researchers in the science and practice of biodiversity conservation. The conference facilitates interaction, encourages exchange of research ideas and methods, sharing of knowledge and experience related to conserving wildlife and helps build contacts and capacity. As a sister conference to SCCS-Cambridge, SCCS-Bengaluru focuses on attracting student participants, primarily from countries in South and South-east Asia, and Africa.
Photo Credit: Viraj Torsekar
On Open Day, CES students, faculty and staff came together to put up fun-filled displays and activities showcasing research in the department as well illustrating broader principles in ecology and evolution.
With live exhibits, videos, movie screening, posters, nature walks and, most importantly, games, the public could experience diverse facets of ecology and evolution.
Previous studies have argued that movement of organisms typically does not favour animals helping or cooperating each other. Therefore, in species that exhibit collective movement and fission-fusion among groups, cooperation is considered unlikely to occur. In a recent paper published in PLoS Computational Biology, Jaideep Joshi (PhD student), Vishwesha Guttal and collaborators from Germany and USA challenge this common perception.
Image credit: Deepak Veerappan
Deepak. V (a postdoc) and Praveen Karanth show that fan-throated lizards consist of at least 15 species, with much of the diversification dating back to 8–5 million years and possibly caused by climatic shifts in India in that period. This is one of the few studies that establishes a link between climate change and adaptation in the Indian subcontinent. The study also highlights the importance of the dry zone as centers of biodiversity.
By Senji Laxme R R
The Evolutionary Venomics Lab (www.venomicslab.com) led by Kartik Sunagar at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, in association with Kalinga Institute conducted a one-day workshop on snake identification, rescue and bite management for the representative divisions of the Karnataka Forest Department.
A new study published in the journal eLife shows that tree crickets manufacture surprisingly accurate optimal aids for sound amplification. This work was led by Natasha Mhatre (a former PhD student of CES), Rittik Deb (a recent PhD student of CES), Rohini Balakrishnan and collaborators from UK (Robert Malkin and Daniel Robert).