Research Areas

Research in our group is focused 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. Over the last 15 years, much of our projects has focused on the conservation issues surrounding the freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats region (part of the Western Ghats – Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot), but recent work has expanded to the complete aquatic spectrum from hill streams to estuaries and coastal waters to coral reef ecosystems.                                                          

Current research is focused on the following themes:

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

Research Opportunities 

Enthusiastic young scholars looking for opportunities to further their research career in aquatic biodiversity conservation may contact Dr. Rajeev for further details. Currently, there is no vacant PhD position and new openings are expected only in 2020/2021. Potential postdoctoral applicants are welcome 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. 

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.