Burgeoning dependence on fossil fuels for transport and industrial sectors has been posing challenges such as depletion of fossil fuel reserves, enhanced greenhouse gas footprint, with the imminent changes in the climate, etc. This has necessitated an exploration of sustainable, eco-friendly and carbon neutral energy alternatives.
Commercially available antivenoms in India can be ineffective in treating bites from certain medically important yet neglected snakes, a study conducted by the Evolutionary Venomics Lab (www.venomicslab.com), has shown. These so called the ‘neglected many’, are snakes whose bites are harmful to humans, yet remain poorly studied.
Around 33.5 million years ago, during the Eocene–Oligocene period, there was an abrupt shift towards a cooler drier climate. This resulted in a corresponding shift in biological diversity globally. In Peninsular India, the study of fossil pollens suggests a shift from wet rainforest vegetation to dry and seasonal species during this period. However, the grassland and open habitats that dominate the region today expanded relatively recently as a result of the Late Miocene aridification ~ 11 million years ago.
The Otomi tree cricket (Oecanthus mhatreae sp. nov.) which was recently described from the tropical deciduous forests of central Mexico has been named after a former CES student – Dr. Natasha Mhatre.
Natasha gives us a behind-the scenes peek into how a part of the natural world came to bear her name. Read the full story here: https://twitter.com/NatashaMhatre/status/1167118606125195264
Studying adaptive radiations, such as Darwin's finches from the Galápagos Islands, can give us key insights into generalities of ecomorphological diversification. This paper from the Karanth lab examines morphological diversification in Hemidactylus geckos from Peninsular India that occur in a wide range of microhabitats.
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).