I am interested in studying the evolutionary history of natural populations and in understanding how genetic variation in a population is shaped by processes such as migration and selection over time. During my PhD., I worked on tigers, a species that has been subjected to a severe population bottleneck in the past due to hunting and habitat decline. While once they were distributed across much of the country, today they are largely restricted to small protected areas. My work involved the use of genomics to understand genetic differentiation among tiger populations across India. We also worked on developing an improved method to identify individual tigers from fecal samples using single nucleotide polymorphism markers.
I am currently part of an ongoing collaborative project aimed at understanding the demographic history of three owlet species in India, including the highly range-restricted and critically endangered Forest Owlet. Climatic niche models for the three species suggest that quarternary climate fluctuations may have led to changes in their distribution over historical time scales. We hope to use genomic data to test these predictions.
Projects Involved: Forest Owlet
- Natesh M, Vinay KL, Ghosh S, Jayapal R, Mukherjee S, Vijay N and Robin VV (2020) Contrasting Trends of Population Size Change for Two Eurasian Owlet Species—Athene brama and Glaucidium radiatum From South Asia Over the Late Quaternary. Front. Ecol. Evol. 8:608339. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2020.608339
- Natesh, M., Taylor, R. W., Truelove, N. K., Hadly, E. A., Palumbi, S. R., Petrov, D. A., & Ramakrishnan, U. (2019). Empowering conservation practice with efficient and economical genotyping from poor quality samples. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 10:853-859. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13173
- Natesh, M., Atla, G., Nigam, P., Jhala, Y. V, & Zachariah, A. (2017). Conservation priorities for endangered Indian tigers through a genomic lens. Scientific Reports, 1–11. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09748-3.
- Lamba, S., Kazi, Y. C., Deshpande, S., Natesh, M., Bhadra, A., & Gadagkar, R. (2007). A possible novel function of dominance behaviour in queen-less colonies of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata. Behavioural Processes, 74, 351–356. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2006.12.003