PEOPLE: DR. KRUSHNAMEGH KUNTE

Krushnamegh ButterflyPortraitSq

KRUSHNAMEGH KUNTE, PhD

Principal Investigator, Biodiversity lab
Reader (Assistant Professor), National Centre for Biological Sciences
Ramanujan Fellow, Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India


EDUCATION:

2002 – 2008: PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Texas at Austin, USA. PhD thesis title: “Evolution of sex-limited mimicry in swallowtail butterflies”. Advisors: Profs. Lawrence Gilbert and Thomas Juenger.

1997 – 1999: M.Sc. in Wildlife Sciences, Wildlife Institute of India.

1991 – 1997: B.Sc. in Botany, University of Pune, India.

 
PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS:

2012-present: Reader (Assistant Professor), National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), India.

2009–2011: Post-doctoral Research Fellow, FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, USA. Advisor: Dr. Marcus Kronforst.

2008 Fall: Research Assistant, University of Texas at Austin, USA.

2002–2006: Teaching Assistant/Assistant Instructor, University of Texas at Austin, USA.

2002–2003: Consultant, World Heritage Biodiversity Programme (see “Outreach Activities”).

2000–2002: Junior Research Fellow, Abasaheb Garware College and Life Research Foundation, Pune, India.

1999–2000: Junior Research Fellow, jointly in the Indian Academy of Sciences and Centre for Ecological Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru. Commissioned to write a book on peninsular Indian butterflies (see Kunte 2000 under Books).

1994 – 1996: Academic Visitor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, Bengaluru.


PUBLICATIONS: see my publications under Publications. Here is a brief summary of my scientific publishing record based on the Citation Report retrieved on 31 August 2015 from Thomson Reuters's ISI Web of Science for Author=(Kunte K*) (ResearcherID: B-9507-2008):

Results found (number of papers in indexed journals): 19
Sum of the Times Cited: 241
Sum of Times Cited without self-citations: 231
Citing Articles: 217
Average Citations per Item: 12.68
h-index: 11
Cumulative journal impact factor (from 1997-2014): 115

You may also want to see my profile on Google Scholar, which lists my mumber of citations at 777, h-index of 12, and i10-index of 17.


FELLOWSHIPS, SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS:

 2012 – 2017: Ramanujan Fellowship, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

 2007 – 2008: University of Texas Continuing Fellowship.

 2007: Hartman Merit Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin.

 2006 – 2007: University of Texas Continuing Fellowship.

 2006: Roger Worthington Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin.

 2006: Hartman Merit Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin.

 2002: K. C. Mahindra Education Trust’s Scholarship for higher studies abroad.

 2000: Shree Jayantrao Tilak Award in recognition of my work on Indian butterflies.

 1997 1997-99: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (Government of India) Scholarship for Master’s degree program at the Wildlife Institute of India.

 
RESEARCH GRANTS:

2013 – 2015: National Academy of Sciences (“NAS”, USA) and USAID's Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science Grant (#PGA-2000003433): “Evolution, Diversification and Biogeography of Cicadas (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadidae) on the Indian Subcontinent”. PI: Krushnamegh Kunte.

2013: French Institute of Pondicherry: "Building a Database of Indian Butterflies for Ecology and Conservation". PI: Krushnamegh Kunte.

2010 – 2013: National Science Foundation (USA), NSF Award (#1020136): “Collaborative Research: The Comparative Genetics of Wing Pattern Diversity in Mimetic Butterflies”. Co-written with the PI Dr. Sean P. Mullen and the Co-PI Dr. Marcus R. Kronforst.

2010 – 2012: ATREE Small Grants for Research in Northeast India, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bengaluru, India.

2010 – 2011: The Councils of the Linnean Society (London) and the Systematics Association's Systematics Research Fund.

2007 – 2008: University of Texas Environmental Science Institute’s Grant for Research on Private Lands.

2007: American Philosophical Society's Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research.

2006: Lepidoptera Research Foundation's Hovanitz Memorial Award.

2006: Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research (GIAR; non-member).

2004: Research grant from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, India.

  Competitive research fellowships and awards from Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin:

  2007: Dorothea Bennett Memorial Graduate Fellowship; Frank and Fern Blair Fellowship.

2006: Travel Award; Dorothea Bennett Memorial Graduate Fellowship.

2005: Dorothea Bennett Memorial Graduate Fellowship; Dorothea Bennett Memorial Graduate Fellowship.

2004: Carl Gottfried Hartman Graduate Fellowship.

2003: Dorothea Bennett Memorial Graduate Fellowship.
 

 TEACHING:

 Instructor, NCBS, Spring 2012 – present:

            Evolutionary Biology (Fall 2013)
Invertebrate Biology (Fall 2012)

Assistant Instructor, University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2005 – Spring 2006.

BIO 301E: Problems in Modern Biology, for Plan II Honors students. One semester, for Prof. Franklin Bronson. Awarded Roger Worthington Fellowship for teaching this class.

 Teaching assistant, University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2002 – Spring 2005.

BIO 301M: Ecology, Evolution and Society. Three semesters, for Prof. Michael Singer. Nominated in 2004 for the Best Teaching Assistant Award.

    BIO 325: Genetics. One semester, for Dr. Beverley Finclea.

    BIO 213: Ecology and Diversity. Two semesters, for Dr. Laura Gonzalez and Dr. L. Ramakrishnan.

 
OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE:

I have reviewed manuscripts for the following research journals: Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Journal of Theoretical Biology, PLoS Genetics, PLoS One, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Evolutionary Ecology, Ecology and Evolution, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Journal of Insect Physiology, Current Science, Systematics and Biodiversity, Insect Conservation and Diversity, Insect Science, Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, Tropical Lepidoptera Research, Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, Journal of Threatened Taxa, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Amphibia-Reptilia, and Himalayan Journal of Sciences. I am on the editorial boards of the Current Science, Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, and Journal of Threatened Taxa.

I have reviewed research funding proposals for the following funding agencies: European Commission, British Ecological Society, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Rufford Small Grants Foundation, the Lepidoptera Research Foundation, the Department of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (Government of India), and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).

My photographs have been published in books, journals, popular media articles and websites:
Kunte, K., S. Kalesh and U. Kodandaramaiah. 2014. Butterflies of India. v.2.0. Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL: http://ifoundbutterflies.org.
Garwood, K. and R. Lehman. 2011. Butterflies of Central America, Volume 1, Papilionidae, Pieridae, and Nymphalidae. McAllen, Texas, USA.
Manthey, U. 2010. Agamid Lizards of Southern Asia – Draconinae 2, Leiolepidinae. Chimaira, Frankfurt, Germany.
Patterson, J. 2010. The Butterflies of Minnesota: A 'flier's manual. Trafford Publishing, USA.
Warren, A. D., K. J. Davis, N. V. Grishin, J. P. Pelham and E. M. Stangeland. 2010. Interactive Listing of American Butterflies. Butterflies of America Foundation, URL: http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com.
Ganesh, T., R. Ganesan, M. S. Devy and J. G. Pai. 2009. Treasures on Tiger Tracks: A Bi-lingual Nature Guide to Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, India.
Anonymous. 2007. Journal of Herpetology, 41(4), Dec. 2007 (photograph of Nyctibatrachus petraeus on the cover in a collage of pictures of new species descriptions published in the journal).
Anonymous. 2006. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society, 60(2), July 2006 (Cover photograph of Pachliopta pandiyana).

 

PRESENTATIONS AND INVITED TALKS:

2011: "Natural Selection, Evolution and Genetics: Lessons from Butterfly Mimicry": seminar at the Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA.

2011: "Sex chromosome mosaicism and hybrid speciation in tiger swallowtail butterflies": talk at the annual Lepidopterists' Society meeting at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

2011: "Sex chromosome mosaicism and hybrid speciation in tiger swallowtail butterflies": talk at the annual Evolution meeting, University of Oklahoma, Norman, USA.

2010: “Evolution and genetics of mimicry in Papilio swallowtail butterflies”: Radcliffe Seminar on The Genetics and Evolution of Animal Coloration, Harvard University, USA.

2010: “Natural selection and genetics: The case of butterfly mimicry”: Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, USA.

2009: “The Diversity and Evolution of Butterfly Wing Patterns”: Center for Ecological Sciences (IISc), and National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India.

2008: “The Ecology and Evolution of Female-limited Mimicry”: McGuire Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.

2008: “Natural Selection, Sexual Selection and the Models of Sexual Dimorphism”: talk at the annual Evolution meeting, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.

2007: “Mimetic butterflies support Wallace’s model of sexual dimorphism”: Poster at the 5th International Conference on the Biology of Butterflies, Rome, Italy.

2005: “Evolution of proboscis length in butterflies: Allometric growth, flower handling time, and constraints on proboscis length”: Lepidopterists’ Society Annual Meeting, Arizona, USA.

2005: “Evolution of territoriality and lack of amplexus in an Oriental frog, Nyctibatrachus petraeus (Amphibia: Anura)”: Poster at the Animal Behavior Society Annual Meeting, Utah, USA.


OUTREACH ACTIVITIES:

Consultant (2002-2003), World Heritage Biodiversity Programme (WHBP) of Ministry of Environment and Forests (Govt. of India), administered by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The goal of WHBP was to identify potential natural sites in India to be considered for designation as U.N. World Heritage Sites.

Popular science and natural history books, articles and other educational material:

Kunte, K. 2002. Eka Ranvedyachi Shodhayatra (“Quest of a Naturalist”, in Marathi). Rajhans Prakashan, Pune, India. The book describes my experiences as a young naturalist in Mudumalai National Park, southern India. It was on a best-selling list, has won two literary awards, and is currently in its fifth printing. A chapter from this book is now part of the Marathi literature curriculum in high schools in Maharashtra.

Kunte, K. 2001. Phulapakharanchya Sangatit (“In the Company of Butterflies”): a free book in Marathi for children in underprivileged schools. Produced by World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-India) Pune Division, under the India-Canada Environmental Facility.

I have written over two dozen articles on Indian wildlife in Indian newspapers and wildlife magazines.

In 2002 I helped Life Research Foundation, Pune, produce two posters on butterflies as free educational material for children’s schools. The project was funded by Centre for Environment Education (CEE–Pune Division).

Nature Educator: I was invited by World-wide Fund for Nature (WWF-India) Pune Division to serve as nature educator in more than a dozen summer and winter nature education camps between 1992 and 1998. Many participants from these camps have since become professional ecologists, conservationists, nature educators, and activists working with forest tribal groups and their social and environmental issues. Between 1992 and 2002 I also presented over 50 nature- and wildlife-related slideshows to educational institutions ranging from kindergarten schools to colleges. I continue to accept invitations for slide-shows and talks at schools, colleges and other institutions of public education.