INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION & RESEARCH, MOHALI
Assistant Professor (Biology)
Knowledge city, Sector 81, SAS Nagar,
Manauli PO 140306
Research Area: Behavioural Ecology; Evolutionary Biology; Biodiversity and Conservation
I am a behavioural ecologist and my research interests lie in the interface of ethology, ecology and evolutionary biology. I am primarily interested in understanding the ecology and evolution of acoustic communication in animals. Variation and complexity in acoustic communication, the numerous constraints on communication and how animals deal with these are the main drivers of my curiosity and my research largely revolves around these topics. The approaches used are a combination of field and lab-based experiments, empirical observations and theoretical modeling. My work is question-driven and I work on a range of study systems including insects, birds and mammals.
- Evolution of signal design: An astonishing variety of signals exist in the animal kingdom. One of the major aims of my research is to understand the structure of signals used by animals, the ecological contexts in which they are used, the constraints under which the animals must communicate and the evolutionary forces driving the communication system.
- Acoustic communication and sociality: Over the course of evolution, non-human social animals have achieved remarkable complexity in the organization of their societies and sophistication in communication. I am interested in understanding the social evolution of acoustic communication. A variety of animal societies, across different taxa, allow us to study this by examining interaction between animals that are mediated by acoustic communication.
- Biodiversity and conservation: Living in the tropics, we are blessed with a rich diversity of habitats, flora and fauna. We cannot turn a blind eye towards the rapid loss of biodiversity and degradation of habitats due to rapid urbanization. One of the major drawbacks of living an urban life is developing a disconnect with nature and an indifference towards issues related to loss of biodiversity, sometimes even entire ecosystems. Through my research I aim to develop non-invasive and whenever possible, inexpensive techniques to monitor biological diversity in order to concentrate conservation efforts to biodiversity-rich areas. I also want to create awareness about these issues through public outreach and nature education.
- Jain M., Diwakar S., Bahuleyan J., Deb R. and Balakrishnan R. (2013). A Rain Forest Dusk Chorus: Cacophony or sounds of silence? Evolutionary Ecology (online) doi: 10.1007/s10682-013-9658-7.
- Rajaraman K., Mhatre N., Jain M., Postles M., Balakrishnan R. and Robert D. (2013). Low pass filters and differential tympanal tuning in a paleotropical bushcricket with an unusually low frequency call. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216: 777-787.
- Jain M. and Balakrishnan R. (2012). Does acoustic adaptation drive vertical stratification? A test in a tropical cricket assemblage. Behavioral Ecology, 23(2): 343-354.
- Jain M. and Balakrishnan R. (2011). Microhabitat selection in an assemblage of crickets (Orthoptera: Ensifera) of a tropical evergreen forest in Southern India. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 4(2): 152-158.
- Diwakar S., Jain M. and Balakrishnan R. (2007). Psychoacoustic sampling as a reliable, non-invasive method to monitor orthopteran species diversity in tropical forests. Biodiversity and Conservation, 16 (14): 4081-4093.
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