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Anuradha Bhat

IISc (2002)
Area of Interest:
Community Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation, zebrafish behavioural ecology
Email ID:
Research Interest:

My research focuses on ecological and behavioural studies to answer a range of questions using tropical freshwater fishes as a model system.I am interested in a wide variety of topics in the area of community ecology, fish behaviour, biodiversity and conservation.

What are the biotic and abiotic factors affecting species distributions? How does disturbance (in the form of man-made habitat alterations, pollution) affect assemblage structure? I use fish species in freshwaters to address some of these issues. Answering these questions would be important in addressing issues of conservation and sustainable use of our freshwater resources. In this regard, my long term goal is to develop a model towards a conservation prioritization for these systems.

I am also interested in studying the links between ecology and behaviour in fish. I use ecological information from natural zebrafish (Danio rerio) populations from a range of geographical and ecological zones, combined with laboratory/mesocosm studies on behavioral traits (such as shoaling, boldness, aggression). Some of the questions I ask are:

  • Are there significant variations in behavior among natural zebrafish populations from different ecological conditions (such as flow regimes, vegetation)?
  • What is the extent of plasticity in the expression of behavioral traits- are they context dependent?
  • What are the physiological and genetic mechanisms behind these behavioral expressions?
Academic Qualification:
  1. B.Sc. (Botany Hons.), Gargi College, Delhi University, 1992
  2. M.Sc, Department of Environmental Biology, Delhi University 1994
  3. Ph.D (Ecological Sciences), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 2002
  1. Research Fellow, Botanical Institute, University of Bonn, Germany. (2003)
  2. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK. (2004-2005)
  3. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA (2006-2008)
  4. Teaching Fellow, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom (2009-2010)
Awards and Honors:
  1. Royal Society (India) International Fellowship for postdoctoral research (2004-2005).
  2. Small Research Grant from the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (2005-2006).
List of Publications:
  1. Suriyampola, P. S., Shelton, D. S., Shukla, R., Roy, T., Bhat, A., Martins, E. P. 2015. Zebrafish social behavior in the wild. Zebrafish, in press.
  2. Roy, T. Bhat, A. 2015. Learning and memory in juvenile zebrafish: What makes the difference- population or rearing environment? Ethology, accepted.
  3. Roy T, Bhat A. 2015 Can outcomes of dyadic interactions be consistent across contexts among wild zebrafish? R. Soc. Open Sci. 2: 150282.http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.150282
  4. Bhat, A., Greulich, M. & Martins, E. P. 2015. Behavioural plasticity in response to environmental manipulation among zebrafish (Danio rerio) populations. PlosOne, 10(4):e0125097. doi:10.3171/journal.pone.0125097.
  5. Bhat, A. 2015. Towards building conservation prioritization strategies for tropical freshwater systems: a case study based on fish assemblages from the Western Ghats, India. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management, in press.
  6. Martins, E.P & Bhat, A. 2014. Population-level personalities in zebrafish: aggression-boldness across but not within populations. Behavioral Ecology,25:368-373. (doi:10.1093/beheco/aru007)
  7. Whiteley, A. R., Bhat, A., Martins, E. P., and 8 co-authors (2011). Population genomics of wild and laboratory zebrafish (Danio rerio). Molecular Ecology, 20 (20), 4259-4276. (DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05272.x)
  8. Bhat, A. & A. E. Magurran (2007). Does disturbance affect the structure of tropical fish assemblages? A test using null models. Journal of Fish Biology, 70(2), 623-629. (doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01252.x)
  9. Bhat, A. & A. E. Magurran (2006). Taxonomic distinctness in a linear system: a test using tropical freshwater fish assemblages. Ecography, 29 (1),104-110. (doi: 10.1111/j.2006.0906-7590.04418.x)
  10. Bhat, A. & A. E. Magurran (2006). Benefits of familiarity persist after prolonged isolation in guppies. Journal of Fish Biology, 68, 759-766. (doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.00963.x)
  11. Bhat, A. (2005). Ecomorphological correlates of tropical stream fishes of Southern India. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 73(2):211-225.
  12. Bhat, A. (2004). Patterns in the distribution of freshwater fishes in rivers of Central Western Ghats, India and their associations with environmental gradients. Hydrobiologia, 529: 83-97.
  13. Dahanukar, N. R. Raut & A. Bhat (2004). Distribution, endemism and threat status of freshwater fishes in the Western Ghats of India. Journal of Biogeography, 31: 123-136.
  14. Bhat, A. & K.C. Jayaram (2004). A new species of the genus Batasio Blyth (Siluriformes: Bagridae) from Sharavati River, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka State. Zoos' Print Journal, 19 (2): 1339 - 1342.
  15. Bhat, A. (2003). Diversity and composition of freshwater fishes in streams of Central Western Ghats, India. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 68: 25-38.
  16. Bhat, A. (2001). New report of the species, Horabagrus brachysoma in the Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Vol. 98 (2): 294-296.