Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, a population geneticist at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), was recently elected to the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). This is a proud moment for NCBS, and we were eager to know what it means for Dr. Ramakrishnan.
“It is an honour to be elected a fellow of the INSA. I have always been fascinated by nature. My research has focused on molecular ecology and conservation genetics of birds and mammals across India. The election of a researcher like me who focuses on local questions that are of global interest (like tiger conservation) is heartening, it shows that the Indian scientific community believes in the science we do,” quips Dr. Ramakrishnan. “Population genetic studies based on endangered species and field-based sampling are logistically challenging, ambitious and take a long time. We aim to recommend management and conservation action based on our research. I hope the award brings more recognition to fieldwork-based research, and the attempt to understand and conserve biodiversity in India.”
Acknowledging NCBS’ role in her success she says, “It is a great environment to conduct such work in, thanks to the generous funding and academic freedom. I’ve been equally fortunate to work with very talented and passionate Masters students (MSc wildlife), Phd students and postdoctoral colleagues from across the country. This platform will hopefully allow us to engage with the wider scientific community and the public across India, and inform training opportunities at the national level,” she concludes.
She joins the ranks of Prof. R Sowdhamini, Prof. Gaiti Hasan, Prof. Jayant Udgaonkar, Prof. Satyajit Mayor, Prof. Upinder Singh Bhalla, among other NCBS researchers who serve as INSA members.
Uma Ramakrishnan’s work focuses on biodiversity in South Asia, and the conservation of threatened mammals of the Indian subcontinent. She uses genomic analyses to unravel a species’ history, and hopefully help secure their future survival. You can read more about her research interests here: https://www.ncbs.res.in/faculty/uma