I am an engineer-turned-ecologist and 2020 National Geographic Explorer. My research involves applying quantitative tools to visualize and analyze scientific data. I am a data geek who likes to study wildlife and animal behavior. I'm a PhD candidate in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, working with Toni Lyn Morelli on modeling terrestrial vertebrate communities while incorporating species interactions.
I am an alumna of the Post Graduate Programme in Wildlife Biology and Conservation offered by the National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and Wildlife Conservation Society - India, where I learnt to combine my love for field work and ecology with quantitative tools. My Master's thesis involved identifying the determinants of distribution and landscape use of sympatric carnivores, as well as intra-guild interactions between them, with canids as my model system. My advisors were Abi Tamim Vanak from ATREE and Vishwesha Guttal from IISc.
My primary interests are community ecology and ecological interactions -- prey-predator, intra-guild, plant-animal and human-wildlife. I am also interested in wildlife assemblages in both human-dominated and human-modified landscapes, with a soft-spot for semi-arid, arid, and grassland ecosystems.
I was diagnosed with cancer towards the end of 2013. The Barbet's Lullaby chronicles some of my experiences and emotions before and during the treatment. As of 2015, I'm in remission, having successfully finished treatment, and just as importantly, I'm back doing what I love! In 2018, the Field Secrets blog featured this post on my time in the field after cancer.
For up-to-date information on my global birding activity, check my eBird profile page.