I have been fascinated by birds, and somehow, independently fascinated by biomolecules for as long as I can remember. I took my interests in biomolecules with my masters in Biochemistry. For my master's thesis, I looked at the effect of curcumin extracted from different varieties of turmeric on the K+/H+ ATPase pump. And found out that curcumin is the activator of the pump, which was not known to science earlier.
Meanwhile, I was pursuing my interests in birds as a hobby, taking up e-bird in a major way. I also interned with Bird Count India, the Indian partner of e-bird to help collate data on birds. Slowly I started developing an interest to research birds, particularly exploring the field in ecology. Molecular ecology is one such field which allows me to connect my formal education and interest in birds. I have always liked bird taxonomy and always kept up with the recent splits or lumps of the species, discoveries and kept up to date with the world taxonomies. Currently, I am working on the phylogeny of owlets of India, focused mainly on the Forest Owlet (Athene (Heteroglaux) blewetti) and trying to understand how the tree topology changes with additional genomic data. Along with that, I am also trying to understand the variation in the subspecies of Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) across mainland India and possible migratory dropouts in the high elevation of Southern Western Ghats. This brings me to my other interest which is migration in birds. I am very keen and fascinated by how birds know the migratory flyways and how they end up in the same place every season.
Projects involved: Forest Owlet, Peninsular Birds
PERSONAL AND OTHER INTERESTS:
In addition to spending time in nature, I enjoy photographing birds. I collect stamps and coins as well. I have been an active contributor to Wikimedia projects. Mainly projects related to regional language, Kannada. Also, a contributor to Wikimedia Commons and most of my photographs and recordings are under public domain (CC BY SA 4.0).
- K. L., V., Natesh, M., Mehta, P., Jayapal, R., Mukherjee, S. and Robin, V.V. (2022), Re-assessing the phylogenetic status and evolutionary relationship of Forest Owlet (Athene blewitti (Hume 1873)) using genomic data. Ibis. https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.13097
- Warudkar, A., Goyal, N., Kher, V., Vinay, K. L., Chanda, R., Bandi, R. S., Jenkins, C. N., Robin, V. V., & Pimm, S. L. (2022). Using the area of habitat to assess the extent of protection of India's birds. Biotropica, 00, 1– 14. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13132
- 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
- Vinay K L, Naman Goyal & Ashwin Warudkar,. 2020. An aberrant White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus with a white throat. Indian BIRDS Vol 16 No. 3: 95-96
- Gosavi, P, Mannar, H., Sumesh, P. B., Vinay, K. L., & Saleem, M., 2019. Status of Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus in south-western India. Indian BIRDS 15 (4): 117–119.
- Vinay, K. L, 2018. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus), an addition to the avian checklist of Karnataka. Piculet 1 (4): p9.