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?
- B.Sc. (Botany Hons.), Gargi College, Delhi University, 1992
- M.Sc, Department of Environmental Biology, Delhi University 1994
- Ph.D (Ecological Sciences), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 2002
- Research Fellow, Botanical Institute, University of Bonn, Germany. (2003)
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK. (2004-2005)
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA (2006-2008)
- Teaching Fellow, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom (2009-2010)
- Royal Society (India) International Fellowship for postdoctoral research (2004-2005).
- Small Research Grant from the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (2005-2006).
- 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)
- Martins, E. P & Bhat, A. Evolution of sex differences in zebrafish behavior and morphology. (in review)
- 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)