Praveen Karanth

Associate Professor
Centre for Ecological Sciences
Research Areas: 
Phylogenetics, biogeography, population genetics
Research Highlights: 

Phylogenetics helps to understand how different species are related genetically to each other and find out their evolutionary history i.e. their phylogeny. For this, it uses tools like molecular sequencing data, analysis of DNA sequences and other such biomolecules to build evolutionary trees. Phylogenetics is helpful in studying biodiversity, speciation and understanding the evolutionary pattern of different species. All this helps to better understand the prevailing conditions of ancient earth. The Evolving Phylo-lab headed by Praveen Karanth has researched on the phylogeny of a range of species starting from primates like Hanuman Langurs to lizards and insects. They have also looked into other invertebrates like Tarantulas and centipedes. Recently, they have started studying plant systems as well. The group mostly works in Indian ecosystems such as Western Ghats and north-eastern Himalayas and collaborates with laboratories abroad for samples to conduct comparative studies. Recently, the 'phylo-lab' as it is referred to casually, has been successful in finding cryptic species in several groups. Cryptic species are morphologically identical but are genetically different. Often these species were considered to be a single group but turns out they are different.