Monday, November 22, 2010

Visiting Fullbright Fellow: From Pikas in India to Team Marmot

Royle's pika
Royle's pika
American pika

My name is Sabuj Bhattacharyya, and I am a PhD student at Wildlife Institute of India and presently a Fulbright fellow at University of Colorado, Boulder, working on effects of climatic fluctuation on foraging efficiency of American pika.
My ongoing PhD work deals with various aspects of timberline ecology specially to study the habitat use and density patterns of a small lagomorph, Royle’s pika, distributed along sub-alpine – alpine ecotone.

Apart from my PhD research, I have also worked on habitat utilisation pattern of animals and birds along tree line in Western Himalaya, India. My broad research interests include high altitude small mammal ecology and behaviour with emphasis on foraging, distribution, habitat use and population dynamics.

Conservation and climate change issues are complex and require interdisciplinary approach to study. The students of ecology in the developing countries usually lack exposure to various study techniques and dimensions of conservation research.

Presently I am visiting Professor Dan Blumstein’s lab as a volunteer and learning to extract hormones from marmot fecal samples. I will apply this knowledge to extracting samples in my future studies in the Himalayas. Volunteering in the Blumstein Lab at UCLA is an intensely rewarding endeavor. I would like to return to India with a network of strong and lasting scientific relationships with Blumstein and his lab.

--Sabuj Bhattacharyya

1 comment:

  1. Hi! We are loving the marmot blog. Sabuj, we would like to know if you can capture pikas for study without them dying; we read that they are especially difficult to study because of their 'shyness', or the stress of capture.

    Thanks! Helen S. and Rita A.