Projects

"...deals the cards to find the answer

The sacred geometry of chance

The hidden law of a probable outcome

The numbers lead a dance"

-- Sting

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I am an engineer-turned-ecologist (computer-scientist-turned-conservation-biologist, if you will) and my research involves applying quantitative tools to visualize and analyze scientific data. I’m fascinated by the sheer diversity of organisms on earth, how these organism interact with each other, and how these interactions affect where they are found, what they do, and how they go about doing them. I’m interested in how species are distributed in space and time, and how their interactions influence them at different levels - individual, population, community, ecosystem.

As a PhD student in OEB, I’m working on modeling wildlife communities with a focus on monitoring vertebrates. My PhD research focuses on the effects of global change and species interactions on carnivore communities. I am trying to understand the abiotic and biotic drivers of carnivore community dynamics at local scales using a field study in a protected area in Zambia with fifteen species of carnivores.

Community Ecology

Carnivore Community Dynamics

Field site: Kasanka National Park (Zambia)

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I am working with the Kasanka Trust on studying the entire carnivore community at Kasanka. There are fifteen species of carnivores, ranging from leopards and hyenas to genets and otters, in the Park. I'm interested in understanding the effects of abiotic factors (such as habitat and climate) and species interactions on the distribution patterns of the different carnivores. This has enormous conservation implications in terms of long term monitoring of the populations.

My pilot study in the summer of 2019 was made possible thanks to funding from the UMass Natural History Collections Grant and the UMass OEB Research Grant.

Publications


Canids and Competition

Field site: Banni Grasslands, Kutch (India)

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I worked on understanding how a community of four co-occuring canids (golden jackal, Indian fox, desert fox, and domestic dog) partitioned space, time, habitat, and diet in an arid landscape. This was one of the first studies designed to study multiple species simultaneously, with an emphasis on incorporating species interactions.

This project was funded by the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - India, Department of Science and Technology (DST) - Government of India, and Research and Monitoring in the Banni LandscapE (RAMBLE) Fellowship through the Thakar Jaikrishna Indraji Research Fund.

Publications


Studying Communities

I am working on reviewing existing methods for studying communities including multi-species occupancy models (MSOMs) as well as coming up with best practices and frameworks for modeling communities, in a shift from studies focusing on single species.

Publications

  • Kadambari Devarajan & Toni Lyn Morelli (2019), "Multi-species Occupancy Models: Review, Roadmap, and Recommendations", in review.

Spatial Ecology

Field site: NCBS, Bengaluru and IIT Madras, Chennai (India)

I worked on a term paper for an invertebrate ecology course on the factors influencing the structure and arrangement of weaver ant nests in trees. With encouragement from the course instructor, I was able to convert an assignment into a journal publication.

Publications

  • Kadambari Devarajan (2016), "The Antsy Social Network: Determinants of Nest Structure and Arrangement in Asian Weaver Ants", PLoS ONE 11(6): e0156681. (Online, PDF 24.6MB)

Software

ViXeN : View eXtract and aNnotate media

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Blog post: https://methodsblog.com/2019/05/14/vixen/

Paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/2041-210X.12892/full

Documentation: http://vixen.rtfd.io

Download: https://github.com/vixen-project/vixen/releases

Mailing list: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/vixen

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ViXeN is a simple tool to facilitate easily viewing, adding, and annotating metadata associated with media. ViXeN has been designed primarily to assist field biologists with managing the large amount of media they collect in a minimally intrusive manner. ViXeN is a special, customizable file browser with which one may view and edit metadata associated with media files like videos, images and audio.

It was designed and developed by Prabhu Ramachandran and me.

The documentation for ViXeN can be found on vixen.readthedocs.io. If you have any questions or are having any problems with ViXeN, please email or post your questions on the vixen-users mailing list.

Publication:

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All photographs by Kadambari Devarajan are licensed under Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA.