Indian Institute of Science

Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation

1. Professor Tom Tregenza/Dr Rohini Balakrishnan

Professor Tregenza and Dr Balakrishnan are conducting joint research into how evolution shapes the biodiversity and behaviour of animals and the structure, function and evolution of acoustic communication signals.  Professor Tregenza and Dr Balakrishnan are jointly supervising a 'split-site' Exeter PhD student (Mr Rochishnu Dutta) whose research topic Divergence and Reproductive Isolation in the Bush Cricket brings together their common areas of expertise.  Mr Dutta spends 5 months a year at Exeter and 7 months a year at IISc.

2. Dr Andy Young/Dr Kavita Isvaran

Drs Young and Isvaran are investigating evolution and mechanistic underpinnings of vertebrate social behaviour using wild model systems.  They are researching the ecology and evolution of behaviour and life histories, focusing on reproductive decisions, social and mating systems and sexual selection, and apply concepts from behavioural ecology and evolution towards the conservation of species.  This collaboration brings Dr Young's experience in field endocrinology to Dr Isvaran's long term study of blackbuck, and endangered Indian antelope, to facilitate research into the role of testosterone in regulating blackbuck mating tactics.

3. Dr Sash Dall/Dr Kavita Isvaran

Drs Dall and Isvaran are researching how animals collect and provide information to reduce uncertainty about significant events, or how they insure against it and the evolutionary and ecological consequences of such risk management.  Their joint research concentrates on the ecology and evolution of behaviour and life histories, focusing on reproductive decisions, social and mating systems and sexual selection.  Dr Dall and Dr Isvaran are collaborating on research on lizards from the Agamidae family.

4. Dr Brendan Godley/Dr Kartik Shanker

Drs Godley and Shanker's research concerns biodiversity conservation, with shared interests in marine vertebrate conservation, conservation policy and promoting the public appreciation of science.  They have served together as Officers of the International Sea Turtle Society and collaborated on the successful launch of Current Conservation, an open access publication that seeks to communicate conservation related issues and science in an accessible manner to a wide audience.  They are now embarking on collaborative projects on the ecology and conservation of marine turtles in the Lakshwadeep Islands, including research on foraging ecology and movements, roles in ecosystems, and conflict with local fishing communities.

Water Engineering

5. Dr Guangtao Fu/Professor Pradeep P Mujumdar

Dr Fu and Professor Mujumdar are investigating the interface between water systems and decision-making, combining simulation, optimisation, and information technologies to tackle water and environmental issues under future uncertainty.  They are researching the impact of climate change on hydrology/water resources, urban flooding, planning and the operation of large scale water resources systems, including uncertainty modelling for river water quality control.  Professor Mujumdar has been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, tenable at the University of Exeter in 2012.

6. Professor Dragan Savic/Professor MS Mohan Kumar

Professors Savic and Kumar are investigating the application of modelling and optimisation techniques to water engineering systems, with particular concentration on the operation and design of urban water distribution and wastewater systems.  They are investigating water distribution and sewer asset deterioration modelling and management, and measures to improve surface and ground water quality.  Professor Savic is also co-supervising Prof Kumar's MEng student (Mr Mani Kant Verma), who undertook a summer research internship at Exeter in 2011.

Functional Materials

7. Professor Chris Smith/Professor S Gopalakrishnan

Professors Smith and Gopalakrishnan work on dynamic problems in solids and structures, and are working together to develop new ways of designing materials with multiple functionalities.  Professor Smith is an expert on lightweight materials and structures which react to their environment, either passively like the honeycomb cores which automatically adopt 'double curvatures' (shapes often found in aeroplanes and boats) when they're loaded, or actively like the super-high-performance sandwich panels with embedded piezos elements which sense loading and can morph their shape in response.  Professor Gopalakrishnan has pioneered development of the Spectral Finite Element method into a tool which can now be used by engineers, such as Professor Smith, to simulate wave propagation in solids and fluids.  Together they want to extend the Spectral Element method so it can simulate both elastic waves and electromagnetic waves, can 'couple' them and so allow engineers to design solids which, for example, use mechanical load to change their electromagnetic response.

Possible application of this simulation technique might be design of a smart sandwich panel which would allow transmission of microwaves (like mobile phone communications or radar) normally but when distorted, for instance during a bomb blast, would automatically stop transmission of microwaves, or a nanocomposite material to absorb vibrations such as in helicopters and aeroplanes.  Professor Gopalakrishnan and Smith are developing further funding proposals in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Bristol and Georgia Tech on novel multifunctional materials.

Contamination Monitoring Using Mobile Sensor Networks

8. Dr Prathyush P Menon/Professor Debasish Ghose

Professors Menon and Ghose are monitoring the spread of contaminating gases and fluids in the environment, especially those detrimental to public health and safety, which is of major concern to government agencies, legislative and regulating authorities and scientists.  In the last decade there has been tremendous progress related to control research using multi-agents systems, advanced communication systems and sensors.  This project investigates a novel solution to the problem of monitoring and tracking contaminant boundaries by using mobile sensor networks, making use of multiple moving platforms equipped with appropriate sensors, which collectively move and sense in a coordinated manner over the region and estimate both the level and extent of spread of contamination.

Civil Engineering (Sensing and Structural)

9. Dr Prakash Kripakaran/Professor CS Manohar

Dr Kripakaran and Professor Manohar share interests in the structural assessment of civil infrastructure such as bridges, and plan future collaboration in this area.  Recent bridge failures such as the collapse of the 1-35 bridge in Minnesota have highlighted the need for improved methods for structural assessment and early damage detection.  The engineering community is increasingly studying the use of sensing systems to support maintenance and repair.  Many new bridges have been equipped with sensors that continuously monitor structural behaviour and environment conditions.  Dr Kripakaran and Professor Manohar are currently identifying projects that could bring together their expertise in structural health monitoring to address the challenge of measurement interpretation for structural management.