Nikunj Goel wins Volterra Award and Damman Award at ESA 2016

Nikunj Goel has won two awards at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) 2016 Annual Meeting, Volterra Award by the Theoretical Ecology section and Ton Damman award from the Vegetation section. He was given these for his excellent presentation titled “Spatiotemporal dynamics of savanna-forest distribution”. Both of these awards are given to best graduate student presentation at the Annual meetings of ESA.

Congratulations to Nikunj!

Nikunj graduated with BSc(Research) from IISc in 2015 and worked in our lab for his final year project working on early warning signals of financial meltdowns that resulted in a publication. He is currently a PhD student with Dr Carla Staver at Yale University. We continue to collaborate after he has moved to Yale and I serve on his PhD thesis committee.

ISRO meeting and poster award

The National Centre for Remote Sensing at Hyderabad, an ISRO centre focussing exclusively on remote sensing related activities, organised a one day ‘Academica and student interaction meeting’ on 5th Feb 2015. Myself and my PhD student Sumithra Sankaran attended this meeting.

We had very good interactions with scientists at NRSC. We discussed our requirement of high resolution data of various ecosystems for our research work for which they offered lot of support. We hope to build strong collaborations with the ISRO scientists.

Congratulations to Sumithra Sankaran who won a best poster award for her poster on ‘Characterising vegetation of semi-arid ecosystems’. She presented her modelling work on based on simple cellular automata models and how one can use spatial metrics of remote sensing data to infer ecological features underlying the system.

Jaideep Joshi has been selected for Young Scientists Summer Program, IIASA, Austria

We are delighted that Jaideep Joshi, a third year PhD student in our lab, has been selected for Young Scientists Summer Program, at IIASA, Austria. This is a highly competitive and prestigious summer program for those working in theoretical ecology and evolution. He will be working on a research project in collaboration with Dr Ulf Dieckmann and Dr. Ack Brannstrom. All the best to Jaideep!

We have been awarded an Indo-French grant

We are delighted that we have been awarded a grant from Indo-French Centre for Applied Mathematics. This is a collaborative grant with Dr. Sonia Kefi, a researcher at the CNRS based Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM), France. This will help us continue our collaborations on the topic of mathematical and computational models of self-organization in semi-arid ecosystems.

The grant is awarded for a duration of two years. It allows for visits of both of our labs working on this problem to travel to each other labs. The total funds for the first year is around 12,000 Euros.

For those interested in knowing more, see Kefi, Guttal, et cl 2014, Plos ONE for our previous work where, together with various leading researchers in the field, we developed a systematic methodology to detect early warning signals of ecological transitions.

Student project on Tipping points wins first prize in Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 competition

As always I am slow in posting what’s happening in the lab.

ImageThree undergraduate students, one from Physics and two from Math department, who worked with me during the summer of 2013 did a very cool project. They built a physical model to demonstrate the principles underlying early warning signals of tipping points. They submitted this project to a all India level competition organized by TIFR-CAM to celebrate the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013. In Nov 2013, they were given first prize for their work at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bangalore.

On the right is a picture of students posing with their physical model! Congratulations to Nikunj Goel, Athmanathan and Sriram (left to right) for their excellent work and for winning the prize.