PEOPLE: DR. VARAD GIRI

VARAD GIRI, PhDVarad Giri

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and Curator of Herpetofauna
National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)

I mainly work on the conservation of caecilians and lizards of India in general and the Western Ghats in particular. My work is mainly focused on conducting intensive surveys in less explored areas to understand the diversity, distribution and conservation issues of the species and their habitats. One of the difficulties in effective conservation initiatives is unstable taxonomy of amphibians and reptiles. Our efforts, in this regard, over the last decade lead to many new species descriptions, taxonomic revisions and designation of new and proper taxonomic keys, which can be used in the future by researchers and conservation organizations.

I worked with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) for twelve years on various positions. I was mainly associated with the Natural History Collections at BNHS and during my tenure developed their herpetology collections. I am collaborating with Drs. Mark Wilkinson and David Gower of Natural History Museum, Lodon for studies on caecilians. Most of my work on geckos was done in collaboration with Dr. Aaron Bauer of Villanova University, USA. In India I have long-term collaboration with Dr. Praveen Karanth, IISC, Bangalore.

My ongoing work is on the taxonomy of various lizard genera belonging to Hemidactylus, Geckoella, Cyrtodactylus, Cyrtopodion and Ophisops of India. Most of these groups are very poorly documented in India and has a rich and cryptic diversity. Most of this work is based on the collections made by Dr. Ishan Agarwal during his Ph.D. This will be the first comprehensive effort with integrative taxonomic approach. Apart from this we are also working on various projects on taxonomy and systematics of Indian amphibians and reptiles.

 

Publications

DEEPAK, V., R. VYAS, V.B. GIRI, K.P. KARANTH (2015): A taxonomic mystery for more than 180 years: the identity and systematic position of Brachysaura minor (Hardwicke & Gray, 1827). Vertebrate Zoology 65 (3): 371 – 381.

MURTHY, B.H.C.K., BAUER, A., LAJMI, A., AGARWAL, I & V.B. GIRI (2015): A new rock dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Chhattisgarh, India. Zootaxa 4021 (2): 334–350.

GIRI, V., D.J. GOWER, K. GAIKWAD & M. WILKINSON (2011): A second species of Gegeneophis Peters (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) lacking secondary annular grooves. Zootaxa 2815: 49–58.

GAITONDE, N AND V. GIRI (2014): Primitive breeding in and ancient Indian frog genus Indirana. Current Science 107 (1): 109-112.

AGARWAL, I., M. WILKINSON, P.P. MOHAPATRA, S.K. DUTTA, V.B. GIRI & D.J. GOWER (2013): The first teresomatan caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from the Eastern Ghats of India—a new species of Gegeneophis Peters, 1880. Zootaxa 3696 (4): 534–546.