Scientist, Education and Public Engagement
My main interest is in engaging with the larger public in better understanding the natural world and how it is changing. This is sometimes called Citizen Science or Public Participation in Scientific Research. Our projects along these lines are run in collaboration with the National Centre for Biological Sciences, as well as other partners. We work through the Bird Count India partnership to better understand the distribution, seasonality and abundance of birds. And in SeasonWatch, we work with schools and individual participants to investigate seasonal patterns in leaf-flush, flowering and fruiting of trees. Everyone is welcome to participate!
My formal background and training is in the field of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology. Over the years, I have studied various aspects of animal behaviour: flocking in Cinereous Tits, mate choice in Baya Weavers, and brood parasitism by Koels on Crows. With students and collaborators we have asked questions about plant-pollinator interactions, the behaviour of mosquito larvae, and the demographic responses of birds to forest alteration.
Apart from these interests in the natural world, I spend a fair bit of my time thinking about how ecologists ask and answer research questions, including about the quantitative and data analytic techniques we use and should be using.