Harsha Kumar

Harsha Kumar
PhD Student

  • HK image pp

My current interests broadly lie in ecology, evolution, adaptations, animal behavior and natural history. The Trans-Himalayas of Ladakh pose some of the most unique and harshest environments on earth to animals that live there. During the course of my PhD I will study the evolution, genomic basis and adaptive significance of behavioral and physiological traits of pikas to high elevation cold and hypoxia. To adequately address these questions, I will use a combination of field experiments, comparative phylogenetics and comparative genomics.

While I have had the opportunity to study behavior across avian, orthopteran and mammalian systems, I find insect systems particularly fascinating as they are easy to manipulate and house in a lab setting allowing for controlled behavioral and genomic experiments.

Publications

Research Papers:

  • Kumar H., Ponnu D., Rajamani N. 2022. Microhabitat selection by sympatric species of pikas at high elevations of Ladakh. (In preparation).
  • Kumar H., D’Souza S., Ponnu D., Rajamani N. 2022. Characterization of haying behaviour by the Ladakh pika (Ochotona ladacensis) and the Nubra pika (Ochotona nubrica) from the Changthang, Ladakh, India. (In communication with Journal of Mammology).
  • Kumar H., Joshi V., Rajan A. & Lele A. 2021. First reports of Alida Angle from Tirupati. Zoo's Print. 10(10): 22- 24.
  • Kumar H., Rajamani N. 2022. Evolution of mouth markings in Estrildid finches in light of brood parasitism and Sibling Competition (In preparation). Fig share: DOI : 10.6084/m9.figshare.5807541.

Talks and Posters

  • Harsha Kumar*, Suyash Sawant, Senan D’Souza, Viral Joshi, and Nandini Rajamani. 2022. Influence of citizen science drives in documenting moth diversity in India. Talk at the ‘Eastern Ghats Symposium 2022’, IISER Tirupati. May 2022.
  • Harsha Kumar and Nandini, R. 2018. Evolution of mouth patterns in Estrildid finches. Poster at the Young Ecologists Talk and Interact 2018 Meeting, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. February 2018.
  • Harsha Kumar and Nandini Rajamani. 2019. Evolution of burrowing and associated behavioral traits in Lagomorphs. Poster at Evolution 2019 Meeting, Providence, RI, USA. 21st-25th June 2019.
  • Harsha Kumar and Nandini, R. 2019. Evolution of mouth markings in Estrildid finches in the light of competition and brood parasitism. Talk at the National Symposium of Avian Biology, IISER Tirupati. 8th December 2019.
  • Harsha Kumar, Senan D'Souza, Dhanesh Ponnu, R. Nandini. 2020. Adaptations of small mammals to cold in the Trans-Himalayas. Poster at IISER Tirupati Bio Day. 7th March 2020.
  • Harsha Kumar, Senan D'Souza, Suyash Sawant, Viral Joshi and Nandini Rajamani.2020. Influence of citizen science drives in documenting moth diversity of India. Talk at CitSci India 30th September 2020.
  • Harsha Kumar. 2020 The fascinating world of butterfly behaviour. Talk at the Karnataka Butterfly Festival. 13th November 2020.
  • Harsha Kumar. 2021. General butterfly biology. Talk at the Summer camp for kids at Vizag Zoo. 1st July 2021.
  • Harsha Kumar, Senan D'Souza, Suyash Sawant, Viral Joshi and Nandini Rajamani.2020. Influence of citizen science drives in documenting moth diversity of Eastern Ghats. Talk at the Eastern Ghats Biodiversity Symposium. 1st May 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zdu5NQPfQqo (1:46:00-1:58:33)

Social media

Email | Instagram | CV