Research Areas

We are interested in research that focuses on generating information and developing methods to support conservation decision making in tropical aquatic ecosystems. Our work cuts across multiple disciplines from taxonomy to evolutionary biogeography, fisheries management and conservation policies, and range from local to global scales. Much of our work over the last 15 years have focused on freshwater (riverine) ecosystems of the Western Ghats region (part of the Western Ghats – Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot), but recent and on-going research has expanded to the entire aquatic spectrum from freshwater to estuarine, and coastal to coral reef ecosystems.                                                                

Current research is focused on the following themes:

  • Taxonomy, systematics and evolutionary biogeography of South Asian freshwater fishes
  • Small-scale inland fisheries and its impacts on biodiversity and livelihoods 
  • Mahseer (Tor spp) conservation in South Asia
  • Protected areas and freshwater biodiversity conservation
  • Threatened freshwater fish and the global aquarium pet trade
  • Conservation assessments, extinction risk and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
  • Shifting baselines and freshwater biodiversity
  • Diversity, distribution and conservation of poorly known marine taxa of the Central Indian Ocean

Research Opportunities 

Enthusiastic young scholars looking for opportunities to further their research career in aquatic biodiversity conservation may contact us for further details. Currently, there is no vacant PhD position and new openings are expected only in 2020/2021. Potential postdoctoral applicants (with at least 2 peer-reviewed papers in SCI cited journals) can contact Rajeev Raghavan to discuss opportunities for funding through the DST-SERB, DBTKSCSTE, KSBB or other similar national/international fellowship programs. Postdocs will have the option to work on their own research questions or join one of the many ongoing projects that the group is currently interested in. As a policy, we do not encourage prospective postdoctoral candidates who have a history of publishing in predatory open-access journals!

Undergraduate and graduate students of life/environmental sciences can apply for summer training and internship for 1-2 months (longer periods also possible). There are also potential volunteering opportunities with existing PhD student projects, especially in the areas of marine and freshwater conservation for which enquiries may be addressed directly to the candidate whose work is of interest.