Visit by Prof Marlene Zuk to KVPY and CES

I am on the core-committee of KVPY from July this year and got an opportunity invite speakers for the KVPY Vijyoshi camp.

I (and everyone else involved) was thrilled that Prof Marlene Zuk accepted the invitation! She visited India to deliver spectacular talks at KVPY-2019 on sexual selection. She also attended and gave a talk at a mini-symposium/discussion on animal signals in CES.

Here is a picture of her with our lab:


L to R: Archana Prakash, Priya Iyer, Shuaib, Tanveen, Vishwesha, Marlene Zuk, Ashwin, Arun and Jitesh. 


Collective behaviour workshop and symposium during the visit of Guy Theraulaz

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Guy Theraulaz visited CES and our lab as Infosys Chair Professor.

During the visit, the lab members of Dr Vishwesha Guttal organized an interdisciplinary one-day symposium titled Collective behaviour.  Around 10 faculty members from IISc and other institutions gave presentations. Prof Theraulaz also gave a fascinating special seminar at the Collective behaviour symposium on self-organized nest architecture.

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In addition, Prof Theraulaz attended a workshop on collective behaviour was organized by Dr Vishwesha Guttal at Valparai, Tamil Nadu from 08.09.2019 to 10.09.2019.  Many students working on collective behaviour from our lab attended the workshop. We discussed the state of research in the field of collective behaviour and potential future advances in the same. The team also did a number of field visits to observe wildlife, assisted by superb staff and volunteers from Nature Conservation Foundation.

Apart from faculty members at CES, Prof Theraulaz held a whole range of discussions with faculty members spread across the Institute as well as neighbouring institutions such as NCBS and ICTS. Some faculty members he met included: Prof Ashish Verma (Civil engineering), Prof Renee Borges (CES), Prof Rohini Balakrishnan (CES), Prof Sanjay Sane (NCBS), Prof Axel Brockmann (NCBS), Dr Danny Raj (Chemical engineering), etc.

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Prof Guy Theraulaz visits our lab from France

We are all absolutely thrilled that Prof Guy Theraulaz is visiting our lab from CNRS, France.

Prof Theraulaz is a world leader in the field of self-organisation and collective animal behaviour. He is visiting IISc as an Infosys Chair Professor which is awarded to him for three years. This is his first visit, from 4th September 2019 to 22nd Sept 2019.

We are all very excited and have begun many possibilities for collaborations and new research projects!


Arun, Vishu, Prof Guy Theraulaz, Vivek, Shuaib, Jitesh, Akanksha and Tanveen!

My tweet:


Visit by Colin Torney and Mikolaj Kundegorski to our lab

In the last week of May this year, Dr Colin Torney (Dept of Math, University of Glasgow) and his student Mikolaj Kundegorski (Miks) visited our lab to continue our collaboration on studying blackbuck collective behaviour with Akanksha. We had a really productive week of implementing AI based image processing to our datasets. Their visit was funded by UGC-UKIERI grant.

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Miks (second from left) and Colin (third) feasting on a fruit lunch with our lab members!

Visitors at the turn of the year!


Vivek Hari Sridhar – ready to present his work on collective behaviour!

December-January often offers us surprise visitors – usually scientists visiting home during winter break or those attending conferences/workshops in Bengaluru area. This time too, we were lucky to host four visitors in December!

Two faculty from the Physics department of MIT — Jeff Gore and Nikta Fakhri paid a surprise visit to the lab. They were teaching at the ICTS-ICTP Winter School on quantiative biology. We had great fun discussing our work with them. They also gave brief talks at Physics department, which was very exciting and inspiring.

Two PhD students from Iain Couzin’s lab from the Department of Collective Behaviour at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Konstanz visited our department/lab.

Vivek Hari Sridhar, who visited us last year as well, gave a talk in our lab on his thesis plans on geometry of decision making with some very cool preliminary results.

Hemal Naik gave a talk in the department introducing the mind-blowing new animal tracking system ICARUS developed by Martin Wikelski and his team.

Thanks guys for stopping in our lab! Do visit us again.

Visit by collaborators

Our friends from France, Sonia Kefi and two of her group members Miguel Berdugo (currently a student of Prof Fernando Maestre in Spain and soon moving as a postdoc with Sonia) and Angeles Mayor (a postdoc with Sonia) visited Bengaluru for about a week. They enjoyed the tree festival Neralu and other small fun events in the town.

Of course, we all met them to have exciting discussions and how to take our collaboration forward. Here is a group picture at a cafetaria.


Recent visitors to lab: Silvia de Monte, Nikunj Goel and Vivek Hari Sridhar

Our lab has begun the (relatively) new year 2017 with a burst of visitors!

Prof Silvia de Monte from Institut Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris visited our lab today (9th Feb 2017). Our lab spent the entire morning through afternoon discussing exciting research works going on in both our laboratories. Thank you for dropping by Silvia! Do visit us IISc again.

Nikunj Goel visited us from Yale University for three weeks (13th Jan to 5th Feb) to discuss his ongoing thesis research plan on Savanna-Forest dynamics. Nikunj is no stranger to our lab, having done his undergraduate thesis, that led to a publication, with us! He is currently a PhD student with Dr Carla Staver at Yale University. I am also on his PhD thesis committee – so we expect our interactions and collaborations to continue.

In the first week of Jan, Vivek Hari Sridhar, a PhD student at the Department of Collective Behaviour at the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology, visited our laboratory. He gave a lab talk on his thesis research plan on how individual level heterogeneity influences collective behaviour. He also discussed the possibilities of using GPU based parallel programming for his research work. We hope to be in touch in the future too. Do give a shout anytime, Vivek.

These visitors have added burst of energy and enthusiasm to all of our group members. Now, we are getting ready to receive our next visitor from France next week!