PhD and Postdoc Alumni

Former Postdocs

HARI_SRIDHAR_photoHari Sridhar:  Hari’s main research interest is understanding the causes of heterospecific sociality and its influence on community organization. He have been involved in organizing various student-based ecology conferences in India (YETI and SCCS), taught courses on birds at Azim Premji University, Bangalore and served as an editor for the magazine Current Conservation.

Check Hari’s Google Scholar page for his publications.  Hari is also interested in history of science and how ideas/papers develop. He has also conducted a fantastic set of interviews of scientists on their key publications. Hari was supported by INSA Young Scientist program from June 2016-May 2019.

In Aug 2019, Hari joined NCBS as a postdoc to continue his work on bird flocks, history of ideas in ecology, etc.

Publication from the lab: 

Hari Sridhar (Ongoing Work) Reflections on Papers Past: Revisiting old papers in ecology and evolution through interviews with their authors. 

Hari Sridhar and Vishwesha Guttal, 2018, Friendship across species borders: factors that facilitate and constrain heterospecific sociality, In Press, Phil. Transactions of Royal Society London B.


Dr. Krishnapriya Tamma did her postdoctoral research in our lab, supported by SERB National-Postdoctoral Fellow and DST Mathematical biology program (IISc), from April 2016 to February 2019. She joined Azim Premji University as an Assistant Professor in March 2019! Prior to joining our lab, she did PhD from Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan’s lab at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

The major focus of her PhD thesis was the biogeography of mammals in the Himalayas, and she used a variety of approaches (spatial analyses, phylogenetic) to understand the same. While in our lab, Dr Tamma worked on spatial ecology, specifically, in large-scale datasets of ecosystem change. She used remotely sensed data to measure changes in vegetation cover in savanna and semi-arid ecosystems. She is also interested in science communication, working in Northeast, underprivileged groups and hopes to increase her engagement with these in the coming years.

Visit her Google Scholar profile to read her papers.

Publication from the lab:

Sabiha Majumder, Krishnapriya Tamma, Sriram Ramaswamy, and Vishwesha Guttal. 2019, Inferring critical thresholds of ecosystem transitions from spatial data. Ecology, 100:e02722; PDF of Maintext; PDF of Maintext+SI;  Data and codes. 

Krishnapriya Tamma, Prashastha Mishra and Vishwesha Guttal, Human influence on extent of bimodality in forest/savanna ecosystems. In preparation.

Grants from the lab:

Investigating the stability of forest-savanna ecosystems using remotely sensed data and mathematical modeling, SERB National-Postdoctoral Fellowship, April 2017 (PI: Dr Krishnapriya Tamma). Funds ~ Rs 20 lakhs for two years.

Monitoring resilience of forests in protected areas using remotely sensed technologies, by DBT call for Forest-Biotechnology proposals, (Co-PI: Dr Krishnapriya Tamma; PI: Vishwesha Guttal), Funds ~ Rs 58 lakhs for three years (tentative start date: April 2019).


anindita-dasDr. Anindita Das did a short postdoc in our lab from August 2017 to Jan 2018. She is integrated  interest ined the mechanistic underpinnings of behaviour. She did her PhD on the neurophysiological basis of learning and memory as part of my thesis (advised by Prof Rishikesh Narayanan, MBU, IISC) using a combination of computational modelling and electrophysiology. After submitting her thesis, she worked in her lab as a Research Associate delving into the ecological basis of behaviour, learning methods of ecological modelling to understand heterospecific sociality. She then moved to her postdoctoral position with Prof Jesse Goldberg at Cornell University.

Karpagam Chellaiah did her PhD in ecology at the Centre for Ecological Sciences working on Asian elephants with Prof R Sukumar. She did a joint postdoc with Dr Maria Thaker (CES) and Dr Srikanth Iyer (Math department), working on analyzing elephant movement data from Africa. Duration: Jan 2014 to July 2016.

Former PhD Students

Jitesh Jhawar joined our lab as a PhD student in 2014 and worked on investigating the role of stochasticity in the collective motion of animal groups. He submitted and defended his thesis in 2019 and continued in our lab for a short postdoctoral position.

In March 2020, Jitesh joined for a postdoctoral position at the Department of Collective Behaviour, Max-Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour, Konstanz, Germany.  

Jitesh’s publications arising from thesis work:

1) Jitesh Jhawar, Richard G. Morris, U. R. Amith-Kumar, M. Danny Raj, R. Harikrishnan, Tim Rogers and Vishwesha Guttal, 2020, Noise-Induced Schooling of Fish, Nature Physics,  doi:;  View PDF;  Codes and Data
2) Jitesh Jhawar and Vishwesha Guttal, 2019, Noise-induced Effects in Collective Dynamics and Inferring Local Interactions from Data,
3) Jitesh Jhawar, Richard Morris, and Vishwesha Guttal, 2019, Deriving mesoscopic models of collective behaviour for finite populations, In Handbook of Statistics Vol 40: Integrated Population Biology and Modeling  (edited by Arni Srini Rao and C R Rao), Part B, 551-594. DOI:;  Pre-print from Arxiv;  Codes and data on GitHub.  Download PDF


Sabiha Majumder submitted her PhD thesis in July 2017 and defended her PhD thesis in Feb 2018. She was a student of the Integrated PhD program  of Department of Physics, IISc. She worked jointly with myself and Prof. Sriram Ramaswamy (Department of Physics, IISc) to investigate “Multiple stable states and abrupt transitions in ecosystems”.

After her PhD, in March 2018, Sabiha joined as a postdoctoral fellow at Crowther Lab at ETH-Zurich. In Jan 2020, Sabiha joined an exciting position in banking sector at Amsterdam. 

Sabiha’s Publications arising from Thesis work: 

  1. Sabiha Majumder, Krishnapriya Tamma, Sriram Ramaswamy, and Vishwesha Guttal. 2019, Inferring critical thresholds of ecosystem transitions from spatial data. Ecology, 100:e02722; PDF of Maintext; PDF of Maintext+SI;  Data and codes. 
  2. Sumithra Sankaran, Sabiha Majumder, Ashwin Viswanathan and Vishwesha Guttal,Clustering and correlations: Inferring resilience from spatial patterns in ecosystems, 2019, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 10: 2079-2089, Download PDF;  Data and codes.
  3. Alexandre Genin, Sabiha Majumder, Sumithra Sankaran, Alain Danet, Vishwesha Guttal, Florian Schneider, Sonia Kefi, 2018, Monitoring ecosystem degradation using spatial data and the R package spatialwarnings,  Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9: 2067-2075, DOI:
  4. Alexandre Génin*, Sabiha Majumder*, Sumithra Sankaran*, Florian D Schneider, Alain Danet, Miguel Berdugo, Vishwesha Guttal, Sonia Kefi, 2018, Indicators of regime shifts in ecological systems with spatially heterogeneous stressors, Ecological Indicators, 94:520-533 (*These authors contributed equally to this work).
  5. Sumithra Sankaran*, Sabiha Majumder*, Sonia Kefi, Vishwesha Guttal, 2018, Implications of being discrete and spatial for detecting early warning signals of regime shifts, Ecological Indicators, 94:503-511 (*These authors contributed equally to this work).
  6. Stephanie Eby*, Amit Agrawal*, Sabiha Majumder, Andew Dobson and Vishwesha Guttal, 2017, Alternative stable states and spatial indicators of critical slowing down along a spatial gradient in a savanna ecosystem,  Global Ecology and Biogeography,  DOI 26: 638-649;  Codes and Data are available on Github.  PDF  (*These authors contributed equally to this work). This work was highlighted with a cover image of the journal. 
  7. Sabiha Majumder, Sumithra Sankaran, Kushal Apilineni, Vishwesha Guttal, Demographic noise and abrupt transitions, In Preparation.


Jaideep Joshi got his PhD from Centre for Ecological Sciences in 2017-18, working on “Spatial and coevolutionary dynamics of cooperation”. Before joining our lab, he graduated from IIT Bombay with a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering but his true interest lied in ecology, and fieldwork.


After his PhD, Jaideep joined as a postdoctoral researcher at Divecha Centre for Climate Change, IISc with prof Sukumar of CES.

He was awarded the prestigious Marie-Curie Fellowship to pursue his postdoctoral research in Europe – which he began in mid – 2019. 

Jaideep’s Publications arising from thesis work:

  1. Jaideep Joshi and Vishwesha Guttal, 2018, Demographic noise and cost of greenbeard can facilitate greenbeard cooperation, Evolution, 72:2595-2607, DOI:
  2. Jaideep Joshi, Iain D Couzin, Simon A Levin, Vishwesha Guttal, 2017, Mobility can promote the evolution of cooperation via emergent self-assortment dynamics, PLoS Computational Biology. DOI: and [BioRxiv]
  3. Jaideep Joshi, Brännström Å, Dieckmann U (2020) Emergence of social inequality in the spatial harvesting of renewable public goods. PLoS Computational Biology 16(1): e1007483.
  4. Jaideep Joshi and Vishwesha Guttal, Assortment in randomly structured groups, In Preparation