Conservation of shore birds using smell as a misinformation tactic

by Hinal Kharva: The effect of misinformation can bring a lot of trouble for human society. All animals try to make better choices using accurate information. However, this new study from New Zealand in Science Advances provides a new perspective on using misinformation as a tactic in saving endangered bird species. In New Zealand, the predation by invasive species like…

Scent of a Species – in the news!

The NICE Lab is proud to congratulate Cheyenne Tait and Hinal Kharva on their publication this past week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. As noted in the press release: “One of the most fundamental questions in biology is how new species evolve, creating the vast biodiversity on our planet. Here, we present a story 160 years in the…

Marine Brainiacs

by Gauri Gharpure : If you do a quick Google search typing “octopus camouflage”, you get a number of videos about their amazing ability to blend in with their surroundings, both in terms of colour and texture. They use a few types of cells in their skin to generate a vast array of hues, patterns and texture [1]. What is…

Can wolves solve our junk food problem?

by Aditi Mishra – With grocery shops bursting with sugar, fats and savoury snacks, finding food might not seem that hard. In fact, those prescribed a diet might even wish that it were harder. But things are a little different in the wild. Food is very hard to find and finding food is one of the most defining motivations of…

Circular Economy for Plastics: Learning from mother nature

by Anshika Singh – Plastic is a magic material that has become the biggest tragedy of mankind.  The word “Plastic” stands for “something which is easily pliable and easily shaped.” It is a synthetic polymer first invented in the year 1869 by John Wesley Hyatt. Sir John created this magic material to take part in a contest initiated by a…

Wake up and smell the coffee in a new NICE publication!

We are proud to congratulate Santosh Rajus as well as his co-authors Sriraksha Bhagavan, Hinal Kharva, and Srinivas Rao on their newest work studying pest management in the shade-grown coffee plantations of South India. In this project, Santosh and his coauthors examined the ecology and behavior of the Coffee White Stem Borer – one of the most significant pests in…

Impostor among us: Beetles that lie to Bees

by Jagath V – Insects navigate their environment using a variety of cues – an important one of which is their sense of smell, olfaction. Insects not only sniff their surroundings in search of food and to avoid danger but also to find potential mates. A subset of these odours, called sex pheromones, convey infomation about an insect’s species and…

Counting Our Blessings

This year, perhaps more than any year in our memories, we must strive to see the light in the darkness. In fact, despite being physically separated much of the year, the NICE lab has a number of blessings to count. Here is a small list of our blessings this year that we will hold on to as we enter 2021.…

A tale of a shrinking brain

by Hinal Kharva: Somewhere in Europe, winter is coming and a chipmunk is busy collecting nuts and berries to survive the harsh weather. Chipmunk (to Shrew friend): Hey buddy, all set for winter? Shrew: Yes, am I not looking slimmer to you? Chipmunk: Oh my god, yes you do. But why? Instead of putting on some extra fat for winter,…

The neighbourhood of green

by Aditi Mishra “We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbour.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton “You can be a good neighbour only if you have good neighbours.” – Howard E. Koch Neighbours don’t share homes, but they do share the entire environment nearby. And with that they share its public goods and nuisances. It is…