I am just returning from an highly stimulating workshop/conference on “Multi scale analysis and modeling of collective migration in biological systems”, Bielefeld, Germany, Oct 2017.
One day of the conference was on collective behaviour in organismal biology. There were great talks on quantifying interactions in fish and sheep, intermittent behaviour in sheep, collective feeding in C elegans, models of swarming bees, criticality in schooling systems, etc. I gave a talk on our recent (unpublished) work on fish schooling by Amith-Kumar and Jitesh Jhawar followed by my previous work on evolutionary models of collective migration, including Jaideep’s recent work on cooperation.
It was great to catch up with Pawel Romanczuk (with whom I collaborated on locust cannibalism) and Guy Theraulaz (a leader in the field of collective behaviour). There were not too many people I knew previously. So it was nice to many others whose papers I had read but not never met.
Guy shared his fond memories of his visit to Bengaluru in 1990 when he attended International meeting on social insects. Guy has been encouraging me to organise a meeting on collective behaviour in Bangalore. Should I 🙂 ?
We are delighted that Sabiha Majumder (PhD student) has won a travel grant from British Ecological Society (BES) to attend their annual meeting in december 2017.
Congratulations Sabiha! She will be presenting her theoretical work on how demographic noise can promote bistability in simple ecological systems.
As I mentioned in the previous post, our postdoc is attending Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Portland this week. In addition, our lab had presence in various other international conferences and workshops this summer.
Four PhD students from our lab presented their work at the conference “Mathematical models in ecology and evolution” (MMEE) held at London in July 2017.
- Jaideep Joshi, final year student who has already submitted his thesis, presented his work on “Demographic noise and the evolution of tag-based cooperation”.
- Sumithra Sankaran, finishing her 4th year of PhD, presented her work on “Demographic noise promotes bistability in ecosystems”
- Jitesh Jhawar, finishing his 3rd year of PhD, presented his work on “Role of stochasticity in the dynamics of fish schools”
- Aakanksha Rathore, finishing her 2nd year of PhD, presented her work on “Spatial dynamics of Blackbuck herds”
Three of the students, Sumithra, Jitesh and Aakanksha, also attended BES organised one day symposium on movement ecology in London.
After the conference, Aakanksha went to visit Dr Colin Torney at University of Glasgow.
Jaideep went on to Puerto Rico to attend a workshop on tropical forest ecology.
Student trips were supported by funds from Indian Institute of Science (MHRD) and a grant from Royal society to visit Dr Torney’s lab.
Our postdoc Krishnapriya Tamma is currently in Portland, USA attending Ecological Society of America’s Annual meeting.
She will be presenting her work titled “Inferring critical points from spatial ecological data”. This is a joint work with PhD student Sabiha Majumder and Sriram Ramaswamy, both from Physics Department, IISc.
Her presentation is scheduled for Friday, 11th August at 8:20am. If you are attending ESA, do go to her talk!
Congratulations to Dr Krishnapriya Tamma for the National-Post Doc Fellowship from SERB to work in our lab.
Krishnapriya will work on analysing various remotely sensed images of vegetation to understand and to predict tipping point phenomena natural forests across the world.
Priya Tamma is not really new to our lab. She was already on a postdoctoral position in our lab from April 2016. This fellowship gives her additional three years to continue her work. This will also allow her to pursue newer directions of research apart from primary focus areas of our lab. Apart from global scale analyses of vegetation, she is deeply interested in understanding biogeography, ecosystem patterns and conservation issues n North-Eastern India.
Before joining our lab, Priya Tamma did her PhD from our neighboring institution NCBS, in the lab of Prof Uma Ramakrishnan, on biogeography of Himalayan region. Check our her Google scholar profile to see her interesting publications.
We are delighted that we have been awarded an extramural research grant from Science and Engineering Research Board, Govt of India, to a project titled “Inferring nonlinear and stochastic dynamics of flocking systems from real data”.
We will get around Rs 36 lakhs plus overheads over a period of three years. The grant will support conducting experiments using fish schools and to use tools from physics to infer nonlinear dynamics of schooling fish.
I would like to thank our former project assistant Amith Kumar and the PhD student Jitesh Jhawar for offering immense help in the process of this grant writing and application.
This is funded by the Physical Sciences panel of SERB. It is interesting to note that two of our other grants to study collective behaviour too are funded by non-biology panels — one of them an Applied Mathematics section of CSIR and the other a Mathematics section of SERB (via Mathbio program at IISc).
We welcome Prashastha Mishra, a student of biology from IISER Pune, to our lab for her final year research project! She will be working with Krishnapriya Tamma, a postdoc in our lab, to analyse remotely sensed vegetation patterns.
We bid adieu to two UG students: Aakash Sengupta defended his Masters thesis titled “Transitions in Collective Behavioural States in Animal Groups” in Dec 2016. Kushal Appilineni, an IISc UG student from physics department, did his BS project with a bunch of cool analytical calculations of a vegetation pattern formation model. He has moved onto work with Shashi Thutupalli at NCBS for his Masters thesis.