My broad interest lies in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology and I am primarily interested in avian vocal signaling. My current research focuses on looking into the cultural evolution of song in the White-bellied Sholakili (WBS), a bird endemic to the Shola Sky Islands of the Western Ghats. What is interesting is the high complexity of this bird’s repertoire which we are working to quantify via a newly devised metric (Sawant S. et al., 2021; bioRxiv). Across the Annamalai-Palani landscape I would like to look into genetic connectivity and prevalence of cultural song dialects of the WBS. I also further want to examine the role of song complexity on individual fitness in this species.
Another project I am involved in is a National Geographic funded project titled - Testing Anthropause in soundscapes of natural and urban habitats across India's cities. Through this we aim to examine the effect of anthropogenic noise on the natural soundscapes across seven Indian cities using Automated Recording Units.
Previously through a WCT Small Grant we worked on creating a detection framework using passive acoustic recorders for the detection of the critically endangered Jerdon’s courser, a bird endemic to the foothills of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.
Apart from my current research, I like to write popular science articles (articles for Research Matters) as well as interact with young students while engaging them with the ongoing research in my field (interactive session with Teach For India - Mumbai via WonderGirls).
Projects Involved: Jerdon's Courser, Avian Malaria
PERSONAL AND OTHER INTERESTS
I love to backpack, explore uncommon places and try out new cuisines (it's always all about the food, always). When not on the move, one can find me experimenting in the kitchen, primarily baking, which relies more on intuition rather than measures. I also enjoy maintaining (try) a green space at home!
- Sawant, S,. Arvind, C., Joshi, V., Robin, V.V (2021) Spectrogram cross-correlation can be used to measure the complexity of bird vocalizations. BioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.30.437665
- Sarangi M, Ganguly P, Zenia, Arvind C, Lakshman A, Vidya TNC. 2014. Common Myna roosts are not recruitment centers. PloS One 9: e103406. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0103406