January 2023: We are excited to welcome two new NPDF postdocs to the lab. Prabitha Mohan is investigating the role of competition in diet specialization by parasitoids. Suvarna Khadakkar is studying the effects of habitat degradation on dung beetles in sacred groves.
We are also excited to welcome two new PhD students, Shreya Gangway and Anaswar P.
See the People page for all of their bios.

December 2022: Our small grant proposal Climate change and Bengaluru: Applying a biodiversity lens for a sustainable city from the Bengaluru Sustainability Forum with Ravi Jambhekar and Jagdish Krishnaswamy from IHSS was funded! Get ready to see how climate change is changing the behavior of Urban birds and butterflies.

August 2022: New PhD student Sonali has joined the lab! See people page

July 2022: Aditya Nayak joined us as a summer undegraduate intern from IISER Mohali. He did a literature review of change in genome size associated with plant domestication. He also worked on finding local parasitoids of Lepidoptera on Citrus.

June 30th 2022: The Working group on theoretical approaches to biological control and conservation is over. Here is a news article about what we were doing.

May 3rd 2022: A photo of Saskya and Pranoy featured on the running head of the IISc webpage, linking to Saskya as a “woman scientist of IISc” answering some queries about career path and science.

February 2022: The five month working group on theoretical approaches to biological control and conservation at the Israeli Institute of Advanced studies has started. Saskya is spending three weeks there in February, and then going back again in the summer. In between she is participating via Zoom.

Working group fellows

February 2022: Our new paper, with Ann Hajek and others, on the association of a nematode and its woodwasp host is out. Look here to see our consideration of how this complex association persists in a natural ecological system.

January 2022: New PhD student Pranoy MS has joined the lab. See people page. Stay tuned for news on what he decides to work on!

October 2021: Saskya has taken a faculty position at the Indian Institute of Science, Centre for Ecological Sciences, in Bangalore, India!

August 2021: Our paper on the ability of a landscape to support higher trophic level species is out:
Wang S, Brose U, van Nouhuys S, Holt R, Loreau M. 2021. Metapopulation capacity determines food chain length in fragmented  landscapes. PNAS. This paper presents a model and an empirical test expanding the concept of metapopulation capacity to higher trophic levels.

July 2021: Our paper Long-term spatio-temporal genetic structure of an
accidental parasitoid introduction, and local changes in prevalence of its associated Wolbachia symbion
is in press in Molecular Ecology. This is a project that Anne Duplouy, Abhilash Nair and I have been working on a long time. It is about what happens if 30 years ago some researchers introduced a butterfly, and accidentally also introduced the parasitoid of the butterfly, and the Wolbachia in the parasitoid.
Press release with photos in English here, på svenska här
An article about this paper in The Guardian here, och på svenska här.

April 2021: The website of the The research group Mathematical modelling of biological control interaction to support agriculture and conservation, supported by The Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS) has launched.

Sept. 2020: Our paper using long term data to assessing potential landscape-level effects of plant-pathogen herbivore-parasitoid interactions is out:
Opedal, Øystein H., Ovaskainen, Otso, Saastamoinen, Marjo, Laine, Anna-Liisa, van Nouhuys, Saskya 2020 Host plant availability drives the spatio-temporal dynamics of interacting metapopulations across a fragmented landscape. Ecology in press

July 2019: Saskya has the pleasure of visiting the Indian Institute of Science, Centre for Ecological Research ( In addition to presenting a research seminar:( ) I got to see fig wasps in action on a clump of figs on one of the 49 fig trees on the campus.

May 2019: After an exceptionally bad year for the host butterfly, Melitaea cinxia, in Åland, Finland, we were afraid that the parasitoid Cotesia melitaearum might not show up in the spring survey this year, but it came through!

Four Cotesia melitaearum parasitoid cocoons from a single overwintering Melitaea cinxia caterpillar.

August 2018: Our paper on the decline of a hyperparasioid due to increased host butterfly population fluctuation is out: 
Nair, A., Nonaka , E., van Nouhuys, S.  2018
Increased fluctuation in a butterfly metapopulation leads to diploid males and decline of a hyperparasitoid
Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Download here

 April 2018: Kahilainen, A., van Nouhuys, S., Schulz, T. & Saastamoinen, M. 2018
Metapopulation dynamics in a changing climate: Increasing spatial synchrony in weather conditions drives metapopulation synchrony of a butterfly inhabiting a fragmented landscape.
Global Change Biology. Download here

March 2018: Reudler J. H., van Nouhuys, S.  2018 The roles of foraging environment, host species and host diet for a generalist pupal parasitoid. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 10.1111/eea.12657. Download here