Location: Faculty Hall
Title : Life in and around microcosms
Microcosms are small worlds; they are often artificially created in petri dishes, test tubes and flasks or in tanks or enclosures at slightly larger scales; they serve as model representations of real world ecosystems and have been successful in helping to elucidate ecological principles and evolutionary forces. Natural microcosms are natural small worlds; they therefore do not suffer from arbitrary assemblage and environmental conditions imposed by the researcher and are powerful models of natural processes driving community ecology and ecosystem functioning. I will present selected research on three natural microcosms that my lab has been working on for several years and illustrate how processes within a microcosm are affected by factors internal and external to the system. These examples are drawn from microcosms centred around mutualisms in ant-plants, figs, and fungus-farming termites. These natural model systems have afforded excellent insights into how mutualistic networks originate, how they are maintained and how they are resistant to perturbation by parasitic, potentially destabilising community members.
About the Speaker :
Renee M. Borges is fascinated by the natural world and works on interaction networks between species, especially those crossing boundaries between the kingdoms of life. She is a JC Bose National Fellow, serves on the Council of the Indian Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of INSA. She serves on several research and selection committees, and on editorial boards of journals.
Prof. Anurag Kumar
Director, IISc will preside