Lab updates: One more semester (and year) over, and new members

Happy new year to all! Its time to update what’s happening in the lab again!

Teaching: In the Aug 2014 semester I taught a course on Spatial dynamics in biology, although it should have been called Spatial and stochastic dynamics in biology since I covered some good material on stochastic processes as well. It was the first time I was offering the course, so it required some preparation and thinking on organizing materials. It was good revision of concepts for me.

Research: Various projects are ongoing. The entire year of 2014 saw only one research publication (Kefi, Guttal et al, 2014, Plos one) that summarized methods for analyzing spatial patterns to detect early warning signals. I also wrote an article for Resonance arguing why ecology is study of individuals to collectives. And, we finally submitted the “finance paper”; now waiting for the result (outcome is almost obvious, but still hopeful).

Lab members: Since my last update, two members have joined the lab and two have left the lab.

Hari Sridhar is joining us as a postdoc. In his PhD thesis, at CES with my colleague Karthik Shanker, he offered some really cool and new insights on associations between species in mixed species bird flocks that challenged existing notions on how species associate with each other. He is interested in synthesizing and generalizing some of those insights to understand how mixed species associations occur as a function of ecological conditions.

Pratik Gupte (BSc from St Xaveirs Mumbai) will join for an internship to work on fish experiments. Pratik has experience in working in the field, has worked with Kavita in Rishi Valley and with researchers in South Africa.

Welcome both to our exciting lab!

Elsa Mini Jos who worked on fish experiments for an year has moved to work with Dr Kavita Isvaran, my colleague at CES. Another student Karthik Azhagesan, who worked for about four months on learning methods of time series analysis to detect early warning signals, has moved onto a PhD position at IIT Madras. All the best to both for their future endeavours.

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