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

/photos/zambia/3_sc.jpg

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 organisms interact with each other, and how these interactions affect where they are found. 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 candidate in organismic and evolutionary biology at UMass, 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)

/photos/zambia/2_sc.jpg
/photos/zambia/4_sc.jpg

I am working with the Kasanka Trust on studying the entire carnivore community at Kasanka National Park. 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. My dissertation research in late 2020 is funded through a National Geographic Early Career Grant, UMass Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, and UMass OEB Research Grant.

Collaborators - Toni Lyn Morelli, Jason Kamilar, and Geraldine Taylor

Publications

Media Coverage


Carnivore Communities Across Scales

I am using existing data on mammals in the global tropics and sub-tropics to understand patterns of variation in carnivore community structure, richness, and function across different spatial scales.

Collaborators - John Rowan and Toni Lyn Morelli

Canids and Competition

Field site: Banni Grasslands, Kutch (India)

/photos/kutch_sc/Jackal_CT10_sc.png
/photos/banni/work_sc2.JPG

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.

Collaborators - Abi Tamim Vanak and Vishwesha Guttal

Publications


Studying Communities

I reviewed 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.

Collaborators - Toni Lyn Morelli and Simone Tenan

Publications

Media Coverage

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.

Collaborators - Krushnamegh Kunte

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

/images/vixen_logo.png

---

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

---

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: