Sensory Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Cognition, Sociobiology, Biodiverstiy and Conservation.
Humans are amongst the most social and communicative species on this planet. Yet, neither of the two attributes is unique to humans. My research interests focuses on these two attributes, communication and sociality and the interplay of these two features in animals.
An astonishing variety of signals exist in the animal kingdom. The evolution of this diversity of signals is what interests me the most. Thus, the first aspect of my research focuses on animal communication in which I am primarily interested in understanding why signals are structured the way they are. The central question being, what drives signal evolution? In particular, I am interested in understanding the ecological, environmental and evolutionary forces shaping the evolution of signals and the perceptual capabilities of animals. This has been part of my previous research and shall remain a focus of my future research. So far I have addressed this question only in invertebrates and I plan to extend my work to vertebrate study systems including frogs, birds and mammals.
The second topic of research focuses on acoustic communication in social animals. This area of research is new to me and therefore more challenging. Over the course of evolution, non-human social animals have achieved remarkable complexity in the organization of their societies and sophistication in communication. Vocal complexity is possibly associated with social complexity. Understanding the complex communication system in social animals will provide us with a window to understand not just the sensory but also cognitive ability of animals. My long term research interest is to understand the evolution of sociality and communication in animals and how each influenced the evolution of the other.