Kadambari Deshpande
Batch: 2015
Phd Title: Biodiversity underpinnings of ecosystem services: A study of bats in agroforestry landscapes of India’s Western Ghats
Phd Guide: Jagdish Krishnaswamy
I am interested in understanding the relationships between non-charismatic species like bats and people in agroforestry systems. Support for conservation of bats is generally limited in India – mainly due to misconceptions, cultural beliefs and limited scientific knowledge, despite their important ecological functions. Bats are good examples of the complexities inherent to biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes, as they can be both beneficial and harmful to people in different contexts. Hence, assessing the implications of ecosystem functions of bats and local ecological knowledge are crucial for bat conservation. For my PhD research at ATREE, I studied the ecosystem services generated by frugivorous and insectivorous bats in agroforestry systems of the Western Ghats, India. In addition, I am keenly interested in the sensory ecology of animals. My work on insectivorous bat ecology primarily includes non-invasive acoustic methods to record bat ultrasound in the field, to understand their foraging habitat use. I am also involved in studies on echolocation of river dolphins and underwater acoustics. Other academic interests include community ecology, animal movement and landscape ecology, evolutionary biology, biogeography, chronobiology, and conservation education.