Kadambari Deshpande

PhD student, ATREE, Bangalore
Email: kadambari.deshpande@atree.org

Research interests

I am interested in understanding the relationships between non-charismatic species like bats and people in agroforestry systems. Support for conservation of bats is generally limited in India – mainly due to misconceptions, cultural beliefs and limited scientific knowledge, despite their important ecological functions. Bats are good examples of the complexities inherent to biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes, as they can be both beneficial and harmful to people in different contexts. Hence, assessing the implications of ecosystem functions of bats and local ecological knowledge are crucial for bat conservation.

For my PhD research at ATREE, I aim to study ecosystem services generated by frugivorous and insectivorous bats in agroforestry systems of the Western Ghats, India.

In addition, I am keenly interested in the sensory ecology of animals. My work on insectivorous bat ecology primarily includes non-invasive acoustic methods to record bat ultrasound in the field, to understand their foraging habitat use. I am also involved in studies on echolocation of river dolphins and underwater acoustics. Other academic interests include community ecology, animal movement and landscape ecology, evolutionary biology, biogeography, chronobiology, and conservation education.


M.Sc. in Genomics (2009), Centre for Excellence in Genomic Sciences, Madurai Kamraj University, Madurai

B.Sc. in Biochemistry, Zoology, Microbiology (2007), Bangalore University, Bangalore

Peer reviewed journal publications

1. Deshpande K.*, Gangal, M. & Kelkar, N. (2016) First record of a bat from the Lakshadweep archipelago, southwestern India. Mammalia. 80(2): 223–225

2. Deshpande K.* & Kelkar, N. (2015) Echolocation calls of Otomops wroughtoni (Chiroptera: Molossidae) and comparisons with other free-tailed bats from India. Acta Chiropterologica. 17(2): 419–428

3. Deshpande K.* & Kelkar, N. (2015) How do fruit bat seed shadows benefit agroforestry? Insights from people’s perceptions. Biotropica. 47(6): 654–659

4. Soisook, P., Struebig, M., Noerfahmy, S., Bernard, H. Maryanto, I., Chen, S-F., Kuo, H-C., Deshpande K., Bates, P. J. J., Sykes, D. & Miguez, R. P. (2015) Description of a new species of the Rhinolophus trifoliatus-group (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) from Southeast Asia. Acta Chiropterologica. 17(1): 21–36

Popular articles

Deshpande K.* (2017). A rare bat speaks out (Link: http://www.atree.org/content/rare-bat-speaks-out)

Deshpande K.* & Kelkar N (2016). Seeds from the sky: bats gift seeds and reduce labour costs for plantation farmers in Kerala, India. (Link: https://fsd2020.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/seeds-from-the-sky-bats-gift-se...)

Grants received

Ravi Sankaran Inlaks Small Grants (2017-18), India.
Project title: Evaluating bat-generated ecosystem services to agroforestry systems of India's Western Ghats

SNAK PhD summer course in Acoustic Communication (2017), University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.

WWF-India Small Grants (2014-15).
Project title: Assessing ecological impacts of commercial agro-forestry plantations on forest-dependent insectivorous bat species in the southern Western Ghats, India.

Idea Wild Equipment Grants (2013-14), USA.
Project title: Assessing ecological impacts of commercial agro-forestry plantations on forest-dependent insectivorous bat species in the southern Western Ghats, India.

Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation (2011-12), UK.
Project title: Assessing diversity and distribution of bats in relation to land-use and anthropogenic threats in the southern Western Ghats, India.

Summer Research Fellowship (SRFP - 2008), IAS, Bangalore; INSA, New Delhi; NASI, Allahabad, India.
Project titles: Foraging behaviour in tadpoles of the Indian burrowing frog Sphaerotheca breviceps, preliminary studies as an evidence for ideal free distribution (IFD) and Study of developmental stages in Anurans.