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The Team

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N G Prasad

Principal Investigator

My research interests are in the broad areas of Sexual conflict, Sexual Selection, Life-History Evolution and Evolutionary Ecology of Immunity. My research program aims to understand the effects of sexual conflict and sexual selection on aging and immune response. Theory predicts that intersexual conflict promotes increased investment in sexual activity under certain conditions. Hence, when these conditions are satisfied, increased investment in reproduction related activity should divert resources away from other activities involved with somatic maintenance. Further, sexual conflict may also influence the sex- specific gene regulation, especially of the ones involved in metabolic and immune path ways. Hence iIt follows that with resource acquisition having an upper limit, sexual conflict will influence both aging and immunity. I am testing these hypotheses using classical laboratory selection, phenotypic manipulation as well as molecular approaches. Find more about me here

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PhD Student

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Harisankar Durga

PhD Student

Hello, I'm a PhD student with a passion for ecology and evolution. Belonging from the semitribal region of Kalahandi, Odisha, I find inspiration in the rich biodiversity around me. When I'm not immersed in my research, I enjoy experimenting with various cuisines, both in the kitchen and on my plate. I enjoy exploring new places which increases my curiosity and complements my academic journey. Apart from that, I have a deep love for traveling, especially on my bike. I obtained my BSc and MSc in Botany but gradually my research interests took a new turn towards evolutionary biology. I am interested in how various reproductive traits gets affected due to the selection of larval crowding in Drosophila melanogaster. I have looked at how various reproductive traits like male mate choice, sperm length and SR (Seminal Receptacle) evolve due to the larval crowding. I am currently working on how male sterility gets affected post heat shock after larval crowding and will also look at the changes in the genomic level.


Tsering Choton

PhD Student

I study how the immune system of Drosophila melanogaster changes when it's under selection pressure and how it affects the life-history traits of the flies. I focus on how immunity evolves during bacterial infections. Additionally, I do molecular work, like RNA sequencing and genomic sequencing, to explore gene expression and other aspects of biology. I am from the picturesque region of Ladakh in India and have a profound appreciation for nature. I am quite interested in learning diverse cultures and languages. Beyond my academic pursuits, I enjoy watching movies and touring around new places. 


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Shivam Srivastava

PhD Student

Hey everyone! I'm delving into the mysteries of evolutionary biology with our tiny friends, the Drosophila melanogaster. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, my days are a blend of caffeine-fueled science adventures. When I'm not in the science world, I hang out with my favorite creatures—dogs! I love to sing. You can find me bothering everyone when I am in the lab. My research focuses on elucidating sexual conflict dynamics in Drosophila melanogaster, with an emphasis on understanding the coevolutionary processes between males and females. Additionally, my work extends to probing the effects of dietary protein restriction on intersexual conflict.

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Aindrila Das

Int-PhD Student

Hi, I’m Aindrila but after joining EBL, my name got modified a lot! I obtained my B.Sc Hons in Biological Sciences from Presidency University, Kolkata and joined IISER Mohali as an Integrated PhD student in 2021. Temperature is a crucial abiotic factor influencing ectotherm distribution and abundance, with a profound impact on various aspects of their survival and fitness, encompassing its physiological, reproductive, and life-history characteristics. Extreme temperatures, caused by rapid climate change and cold temperatures, have a significant impact on ectotherms. I am interested in looking at the evolution of reproductive traits in population selected for extreme thermal stress in Drosophila melanogaster. I also want to explore the evolution of thermal fertility limits in males and females adapted to cold shock and as well as eager to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying evolution of extreme thermal stress. The first thing that comes to my mind about myself that I was an introvert person but this has changed after joining the EBL. I am a big foodie and love cooking which is one of the important criteria of our lab. I also love to travel and enjoy the beauty of  nature which has increased my interest towards the intricate realms of ecology and evolution.



PhD Student

In the realm of Drosophila innate immunity, elucidating the intricate molecular mechanisms that underlie host defense against microbial challenges is paramount. As a research student immersed in this dynamic field, my focus lies in unraveling the interplay between evolutionary conserved signaling pathways, immune effectors, and the adaptability of Drosophila melanogaster to pathogenic threats. The innate immune responses of Drosophila serve as a paradigm for understanding fundamental principles of host-pathogen interactions, offering invaluable insights with translational implications for broader contexts, including human health. By delving into the genetic and cellular processes that govern Drosophila innate immunity, our research endeavors aim to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the conserved defense mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years in the insect immune system. 


PhD Student

Hello, I'm currently pursuing my PhD in EBL since January 2023. I am originally from the vibrant city Kolkata, West Bengal. You'll find me in lab “Dark Room”, particularly during lighter work hours. When not engrossed in research, you'll often find me embracing my love for performing on stage—be it through dance or ramp walking. From time to time, I enjoy spicing up my room's bland walls with my own paintings. Additionally, count me in for impromptu adventures and delicious food; saying 'no' to either is simply not in my vocabulary. I completed my BS-MS Dual Degree from IISER, Berhampur. My fascination with research ignited during my bachelor's studies, sparked by an encounter with this little insect called fruit fly. Exploring the impact of ecological factors on life history traits and reproductive traits in Drosophila melanogaster captivates me. Currently, I'm investigating the effects of heat shock on the reproductive fitness of male Drosophila melanogaster.

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Sneha Saha

PhD Student

I'm originally from West Bengal and completed my BS-MS from IISER Mohali.  I have a keen interest in the fields of ecology and evolution .My research work is a fascinating exploration into the world of Drosophila melanogaster. Specifically, I investigate the intricate effects of heat shock on their life history traits like egg viability, fecundity, survivorship and mating frequency and how these shape their evolutionary path. Beyond the scientific realm, my life is enriched by the loyal companionship of beloved dogs, an integral part of my daily joys. Whether experimenting in the kitchen with my mother or creating culinary delights for friends, the essence of Bengali flavors permeates my cooking adventures. Treasured moments find me in the simple pleasure of sipping chai, taking unhurried strolls, and engaging in heart-to-heart conversations with friends. Dance transcends being a mere passion; it's a rhythmic celebration of joy that permeates my life. Whether gracing the stage at events or spontaneously swaying to the music at parties, each step on the dance floor echoes my fervor for embracing the diverse rhythms of life. And did I mention I have a doggo named muffin!

Naveen Mathodan

Master's Student

Hi there! I'm a nocturnal scientist who embraces the serenity of the night. I'm immersed in the intriguing world of Drosophila melanogaster's immunity. When I'm not decoding the secrets of tiny fruit flies, I makes sketches. Beyond the lab coat, I wear an apron showing my decent cooking skills.Travelling and trying new food is my therapy. Dedicated to unraveling biology's mysteries, my research focuses on deciphering the impact of caffeine on  Drosophila melanogaster populations adapted to larval crowding. Delving into the intricate links between caffeine exposure and vital biological parameters such as immunity, sleep cycle, circadian rhythm, life span, and reproduction by employing a multidisciplinary approach. My objective is to provide profound insights into the wider implications of caffeine consumption on organismal biology. Come along with me on this fascinating exploration of the relationship between behavior and molecular biology.

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Pallavi Jaswal

Master's student

My current research interest is to check how the modes/ routes of infection, oral and systemic, affect the immune responses in Drosophila when infected with pathogenic bacteria Enterococcus faecalis, when the flies are evolved to have immunity against systemic infection by Enterococcus faecalis. For evaluating the immune responses, I have used two parameters which are measuring Bacterial Load and observing survivorship of flies post infection at different time points. I'm a nature lover, which gives me an enthusiasm to observe the changes in nature, and that's why I chose to do research in evolutionary biology.

Abhay Gupta

Master's Student

I'm a nocturnal gamer and a coffee enthusiast. Whether it's rallying with my friends at the gaming club or perfecting my brew, I find joy in the simple pleasures. When not immersed in gaming, you'll catch me hunched over my PC, probably annoyed over the countless errors in my code. On top of this, I love traveling; going to new places and exploring their lifestyle and culture is extremely fun and interesting for me. Also, did I mention I can solve a Rubik’s Cube? I delve into the intriguing realms of theoretical and computational biology to unravel questions in evolution and ecology. My current focus involves developing a model on sex-biased cooperation, with an emphasis on pine sawfly larvae. Going beyond traditional models, we're delving into the world of these juvenile insects, deciphering how they utilize defense mechanisms. This research contributes to a broader comprehension of cooperation in non-eusocial settings. Join me on this journey of discovery!

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Akanksha Singh

Master's Student

I am quite intrigued by how interactions between individuals can act as potent evolutionary forces. I am interested in looking at biological interactions at multiple scales, ranging from interactions between genetic loci, to those between populations in a community - using a mixture of mainly theoretical and empirical approaches. I am a big fantasy nerd with a soft spot for the Harry Potter series (the books, of course), with allegedly more knowledge about fictional worlds than the one we live in. When I don't have my nose buried in a book, you'll find me either making questionable food choices like ordering brownie samosas (definitely worth giving a shot), or playing badminton.


Master's Student

I'm working on the effects on immunity of (F1) Drosophila flies whose parents (F0) have been fed a modified yeast-containing diet. I'm Mihir, and what can I say, I'm just a normal guy. (α=0.05)


Ritam Das

Master's Student

Hi, I am Ritam. Originally from Kolkata, I moved to Mohali in 2019 for my BS-MS degree. Food, football and traveling are my biggest passions. I love visiting new places and dipping my toes in the cuisine and culture. When I am not breaking my head over a stubborn piece of code, I am usually hanging out with my friends drinking chai and going on and on about history and politics. My fascination with social structures piqued my interest in animal behavior. I am currently working on my master’s thesis on bioacoustic event detection. Understanding animal communication is essential for studying social animals. Thus, my masters project involves detecting animal calls from meerkat collar data using machine learning techniques. Studying caller-receiver behavior gives us insight into how animals perform activities in cohesion.

Naginder Kumar

Laboratory Assistant

Hello, I'm Naginder. I am the laboratory assistant. My role involves ensuring the cleanliness of fly vials and fly cages, as well as providing students with every assistance they need for seamless experiment execution. As one of the two longest serving members of the lab, I also hold the following (un-official) positions: lab historian, keeper of lore, and custodian of lab work culture. Beyond the lab, I have a passion for cooking delightful meals, which I enjoy sharing with students who greatly appreciate my culinary skills. Additionally, I find joy in watching movies during my leisure time. 

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Gayatri Raina

Master's Student

Hey, a master's student at IISER Mohali. I think the best way to describe me would be an extrovert. I enjoy meeting people and discovering new places. I recently got into solo travelling, and honestly couldn't recommend it more. I enjoy running while listening to my favourite true crime podcast, playing my ukulele and cooking (and calling myself a culinary god). If I didn’t like evolution so much, I’d probably be a chef. Since my undergrad, I have been fascinated with evolution, especially sexual selection. My master's thesis focuses on understanding sexual selection and sexual conflict in black widow spiders. I study the pure species and their hybrids to document their extreme sexual size dimorphism and mating behaviour traits like aggression and cannibalism. I want to understand why and how sexual size dimorphism originates and how it is inherited. I also explore the questions like why the females cannibalise their mating partners. 


Master's Student

Hi, I’m a master’s student at IISER Mohali (2019-2024). I am an extroverted ambivert and love interacting with new people. Before you ask me whether I am a ‘cat person or dog person’ - the answer is both, and you can add rats in there too. I love goofing around with my friends in my free time and as far as hobbies go, I love trying my hand at different things, be it dancing, singing, sports or art; as the saying goes - ‘jack of all trades master of none’. Apart from that, I also love to run. Over the weekends, you can find me in my kitchen trying my best to follow some YouTube recipe to the t.  Just like my hobbies, my academic interests are spread out as well. My primary interests lie in the realm of memory, navigation and sleep. I am currently working on a project to decode how our brain stores our everyday memories a.k.a ‘episodic memories’, onto the cognitive map of our brain. In particular, I am focussing on the role of theta oscillations in storing and retrieving memories for my master’s project. 


Radhika Rajendra

Master's Student

I am a 5th year student at IISER Mohali, currently doing my master’s thesis in community ecology. A general interest in my surroundings and the apparent increase in habitat loss drew me to the field of ecology, and trying to understand the mechanisms of diversity helped cement my interest in the same. In this regard, in my master’s thesis, I am examining the role of intraspecific trait variation in shaping tree species distribution in a dry tropical ecosystem of India. I recently discovered my love for trekking and had the opportunity to scale a few peaks in the Western Ghats. When I'm not outdoors, I enjoy playing the violin or curling up with a cup of coffee and a good book, preferably a thriller. I also like to dabble in baking, though there is room for improvement in my culinary exploits.

Sreelakshmi KS

Master's Student


Master's Student

Ananya Chandra

Master's Student

Soumyadev Paul

Master's Student

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