As faculty at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, I work on diversity at various levels of organisation, from genes to ecosystems, and at various scales from local communities to macro-ecological scales. We combine field ecology, phylogenetics and ecological modelling to understand evolutionary and biogeographic patterns in various marine and terrestrial taxa. We also work on the ecology and evolution of communities, particularly on mixed species foraging groups. We conduct research on the ecology and evolutionary biology of marine turtles and maintain long term monitoring programmes for species found in Indian waters.
I am working with my colleagues at Dakshin Foundation to develop and implement community based resource monitoring programmes towards more participatory governance of these resources, mainly in coastal and marine ecosystems.
What else do I do ? Check out kartikshanker.in
See our collaborative review on mixed species groups:
- Goodale, E., H. Sridhar, K.E. Sieving, P. Bangal, G.J. Colorado, D.R. Farine, E.W. Heymann, H.H. Jones, I. Krams, A.E. Martínez, F. Montaño-Centellas, J. Muñoz, U. Srinivasan, A. Theo and K. Shanker (2020) Mixed company: A framework for understanding the composition and organization of mixed-species animal groups. Biological Reviews. [PDF]
- 'Marine Integrated Science for the Tropics (MIST)' funded by IISc, takes an inter-disciplinary approach that will engage experts from the disciplines of ecology, oceanography, climate sciences, computational sciences and conservation biology, in order to develop a broad understanding of marine ecosystems in the islands.
- We have also deployed 'Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures', a programme pioneered by the Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with Archana Anand and David Baker of Hong Kong University.
Diversity and distribution
We work on the diversity and distribution of a range of taxa at multiple spatial and temporal scales. We are also interested in large scale altitudinal and latitudinal patterns using integrated models which incorporate neutral theory, ecology and evolution. Our current research includes studies of distribution patterns of birds and plants, and phylogeny and biogeography of snails, frogs, lizards and snakes.
Mixed species foraging
We are examining the role of positive interspecific interactions in structuring biological communities. Research in our lab focuses on different kinds of interactions including mixed-species foraging groups. We examine the costs and benefits of hetero-specific grouping in diverse systems from bird flocks in tropical forests to schools of marine reef fish.
Marine turtle biology
I started conducting research on sea turtles in 1999 with a project on the molecular ecology of olive ridleys in Odisha. Since then, my team has established long-term monitoring programmes for olive ridleys in Rushikulya (Odisha) and leatherback turtles in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. More recently, we have started work on green turtles in the Lakshadweep Islands.
- Ramesh, V, Vijayakumar, S.P., T. Gopalakrishna, A. Jayarajan and K. Shanker (2020) Determining levels of cryptic diversity within the endemic frog genera, Indirana and Walkerana of the Western Ghats, India. PLOS One 15(9): e0237431.
- Page, N. and K. Shanker (2020) Climatic stability begets diversity: Latitudinal trends in ranges, richness and replacement of woody plants in the Western Ghats. PLoS ONE 15(7): e0235733.
- Gupta, T., H. Booth, W. Arlidge, C. Rao, M. Manoharakrishnan, N. Namboothri, K. Shanker and E.J. Milner-Gulland (2020) Mitigation of elasmobranch bycatch in trawlers: A case study in Indian fisheries. Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 571. [PDF]
- Mohan, A.V., P.O. Ter Wengel, K. Shanker and M. Vences (2020) The Andaman day gecko paradox: an ancient endemic without pronounced phylogeographic structure. Scientific Reports 10: 11745. [PDF]
- Atkore, V., N. Kelkar, K. Shanker, S. Badiger & J. Krishnaswamy (2020) Scale-dependent effects of water chemistry on fish guild species richness in regulated and non-regulated rivers of India’s Western Ghats: implications for restoration. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. [PDF]
- Stelfox, M.R., A. Burian, K. Shanker, A.F. Rees, C. Jean, M.S. Willson, N.A. Manik and M. Sweet (2020) Tracing the origin of olive ridley turtles entangled in ghost nets in the Maldives: a phylogeographic assessment of populations at risk. Biological Conservation 245: 108499. [PDF]
- Marathe, A., D.R. Priyadarsanan, J. Krishnaswamy and K. Shanker (2020) Spatial and climatic variables independently drive elevational gradients in species richness. PLoS ONE 15(1): e0227628. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227628. [PDF]
- Dinesh, K.P., S.P. Vijayakumar, V. Ramesh, A. Jayarajan, S.R. Chandra Mouli & K. Shanker (2020) A new lineage of Walkerana (Anura: Ranixalidae) from the Western Ghats of Peninsular India. Zootaxa 4729 (2): 266–276. [PDF]
- Mallik, A.K., A.N. Srikanthan, S.R. Ganesh, S.P. Pal, S.P. Vijayakumar and K. Shanker (2019) A deeply divergent new lineage of vine snake from the southern Western Ghats of Peninsular India. PLOS One. [PDF]
- Vijayakumar, S.P., R. A. Pyron, K.P. Dinesh, V.R. Torsekar, A.V. Srikanthan, P. Swamy, E.L. Stanley, D.C. Blackburn and K. Shanker (2019) A new, ancient, microendemic lineage of frog (Astrobatrachidae fam. nov., Astrobatrachus kurichiyana gen et. sp. nov.) from the Western Ghats of Peninsular India. PeerJ. [PDF]
- Oommen, M.A., R. Cooney, M. Ramesh, M. Archer, D. Brockington, B. Buscher, R. Fletcher, D.J. Natusch, A.T. Vanak, G. Webb and K. Shanker (2019) The fatal flaws of compassionate conservation. Conservation Biology 33: 784-787. [PDF]