Group leader

Photo of Saskya van Nouhuys

Saskya van Nouhuys

Associate Professor of Ecology
Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Google scholar
CV, Further contact info

Current postdocs

Dr. Suvarna Khadakkar, Postdoc

Indian Institute of Science (2023-)
I am interested in scarab beetle taxonomy and forest insect interactions, specifically, how forest structure shapes insect communities. For my PhD, I worked on scarab beetles around Bor Wildlife Sanctuary in Central India. I studied scarab beetle diversity, adult and larval taxonomy, seasonal distribution, variation in structure of male genitalia, developmental stages and biology of selected scarabs. I am also interested in understanding the impact of forest land diversion for non-forestry purposes on forest cover. Under NPDF I am working on Sacred Groves with dung beetles as an indicator group. Apart from this, I pursue music, Hindustani classical vocal and I am a big fan of films from all over the globe.

Dr. Prabitha Mohan, Postdoc

Indian Institute of Science (2023-)
I have always been fascinated by insects and their interesting behaviours. I completed my PhD from the Central University of Kerala on the topic ‘host manipulation behaviour of parasitic wasps (parasitoids).’ After completing my PhD, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Long Term Ecological Observatories (LTEO) project on Arthropods at the Zoological Survey of India. There we studied the effect of climate change on Arthropods in the eco-sensitive Zones of India.
Currently, as a National Postdoctoral Fellow at CES, IISc, I am working on the effect of competition on dietary specialisation in parasitoids. Besides research, I love comics, food and spending time with family and friends.

Current PhD students and project associates

Camila Beraldo, PhD student

University of Helsinki (2020-) – Insect Symbiosis Ecology and Evolution
Co-supervised with Anne Duplouy

Pranoy MS, PhD student

Indian Institute of Science (2022-)
I am a biotechnology and biochemical engineering graduate with a passion for understanding biological systems and evolution. I will be working on poppy plants as a model system to understand the impacts of domestication on plant morphology and defensive chemistry during my doctoral studies under the guidance of Prof Saskya. I am also an aspiring and active entrepreneur dreaming of new and innovative solutions to solve challenging problems faced by humanity. you can write to me at :

Sonali, PhD student

Indian Institute of Science (2022-)
A warm greeting to all of those who are reading this page. This is Sonali, enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the Centre of Ecological Sciences, this August. From a small town, Deoria to this premier institute, the journey is full of excitement but has also witnessed many restless nights. After completing my graduation from BRD PG College Deoria and obtaining my Master’s degree from BHU in plant science, I developed my interest in ecology, namely their adaptation and responses to current global climate conditions. It was fun to get messed up with such an entity that is supporting our life system. So primarily, my research would revolve around global changes and their impacts on plants. Meanwhile, I would also try to find a solution to the emerging challenges as to how plants will cope with these situations. As my supervisor Prof. Saskya is been working on the butterfly-parasitoid wasp community, it is exciting to be here in her lab.

Shreya Gangwal, PhD student

Indian Institute of Science (2023-)
I am interested in studying species interactions and how these interactions are shaped over time and space. I will be working on host-parasitoid interactions in butterflies and their population dynamics for my PhD. During my MS thesis, I studied how adaptation to larval crowding affected locomotory behaviour in D. melanogaster adults. I am excited about working with Prof. Saskya and learning new things in the Population and Community Ecology Lab. Besides research, I am interested in reading, dancing and bird watching. 

ANASWAR P, PHd student

Indian Institute of Science (2023-)
For me there is nothing more captivating than insects. I have always been curious about their lives and behavior. My interests in insects have grown from being a little insect collector to an aspiring entomologist. I chose Zoology to learn more about animal behaviour. I have joined Prof. Saskya’s lab to delve into the world of Parasitoids and their interactions with other insects. I am interested in studying how insect parasitism works. Other than being an entomologist I am an artist and a movie enthusiast.

Tapasya Thapa, Project associate

Indian Institute of Science (2022-)
Born and brought up in a small city, Dehradun. Did my master’s in Biotechnology in 2018. It was my post-graduation dissertation that sparked my interest in the field of phylogenetics. Just after my masters, I joined Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and gained experience in conservation genetics tools and techniques. And since March 2022, I have been working as a Project Associate in Population and Community Ecology lab, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISC, Bangalore. Here, I help with the molecular lab work and routine chemistry work. I am keen to understand the effect of the environment on the evolution of characters and the survival of these characters from the molecular point of view. Apart from extracting and amplifying DNA, I love to dance and read some good fiction. Also, a music fanatic and yes, a major Potterhead. 

Current interns, masters students and undergrads

Vanshika Pal, Research intern

Indian Institute of Science (May 2023-)
Hey, everyone I am Vanshika Pal. I am from Lucknow, and I completed my education till post grad from University of Lucknow. Insects came into my life by one of my teacher and then there was no going back, from observing their behaviors to dissecting them, I enjoyed every piece of it. I have worked with different insect models like Tribolium castaneum, and Sitophilus oryzae. I have also worked on butterfly identification and their morphometric data extraction at NCBS. Currently, I am looking at butterfly behaviours and their diversity. Along with that I also work with parasitoid wasps i.e. Trichogramma sp.

Narashiman N., Masters student

Indian Institute of Sciences (Aug. 2023-)
I did my B.Sc. in Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology from Presidency College, Chennai. I am interested in wide variety of fields such as pollination and floral ecology, plant-plant interactions and Taxonomy of all divisions of plant and fungi . Apart from the subject I am interested in pencil sketching and carnatic music.

Aniket Ray

Indian Institute of Science, Undergrad (May 2023-)

Past postdocs & research visitors

Dr. Abhilash Nair

Postdoc (2013- 2017)
Spatial population genetics of parasitoid wasps, University of Helsinki
Google Scholar page

Dr. Joanneke Reudler Talsma

Postdoc (2014- 2017)
Multitrophic interactions through volatile organic chemicals.   University of Helsinki
Co-hosted with J. K. Holopainen
Google scholar page .

photo of Tina Karlsson-Green

Dr. Kristina Karlsson-Green

Postdoc (2012- 14)
Multitrophic interactions between a plant, a phytopathogen, an herbivore and a parasitoid Co-supervised with A-L Laine and Marjo Saastamoinen), University of Helsinki.
Google Scholar page

Photo of  Delia Pinto-Zevallos

Dr. Delia Pinto Zevallos

Postdoc (2012)
Emissions of herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds in Plantago lanceolata and Veronica spicata. University of Helsinki. Co-supervised with J. K. Holopainen.

Photo of Norio Hirai

Dr. Norio Hirai

Research visitor (2010) from Osaka University, Japan- Ecology and Intraspecific competition in pupal parasitoids. University of Helsinki

Photo of Carolina Reigada

Dr. Carolina Reigada

Postdoctoral visitor to Metapopulation Research Group (2008)
Density dependent foraging behavior of a hyperparasitoid wasp. University of Helsinki
Google scholar

Dr. Marcela Castelo

Postdoc (2004)
Olfactory attraction of parasitoids to their host and host-food plant complex, University of Helsinki. Now head of the Laboratorio de Entomología Experimental – Grupo de Investigación en Ecofisiología de Parasitoides y otros Insectos (GIEP), Argentina

Past PhD students

Photo of Wolfgang Wreschka

Wolfgang Reschka

PhD student, University of Helsinki (2012-2015)  Spatial foraging behavior of the parasitoid Hyposotor horticola. University of Helsinki.

Photo of Christelle Couchoux

Dr. Christelle Couchoux

PhD, University of Helsinki (2009-13)
Intraspecific competition in the foraging behaviour of the parasitoid Hyposoter horticola  PhD thesis, University of Helsinki

Photo of Katie Montovan

Dr. Katie Montovan

PhD, Cornell University, Center for applied Math (2008-13)
Dissertation is titled Cooperative behavior in bees, wasps, and burglars.
Now a faculty member in Math at Bennington College, USA

Photo of Joanneke Reudler Talsma

Dr. Joanneke Reudler Talsma

PhD Nertherlands Institute of Ecology (2003-2007) (student of A. Biere & J. Harvey). Costs and benefits of iridoids glycosides in multitrophic systems 
Google Scholar page

Photo of Maaria Kankare

Dr. Maaria Kankare

PhD, University of Helsinki  (1999-2004) (primary advisor I. Hanski)
Phylogeny and host associations of Cotesia parasitoids attacking checkerspot butterflies.University of Helsinki
Currently a Researcher at Jyväskylä University
Google Scholar page

Past MSc students & undergraduate researchers

Chethana Nair, summer intern

Indian Institute of Sciences (2023)
I’m a second year-completed undergrad from IISc trying to find her place in the whole wide academic landscape. My interests align with the lab in population ecology as well as community-wide interactions, as I explore ecology better.

Nithinsakthi T

Indian Institute of Science, Undergrad senior thesis project (Jan -May 2023) Literature survey of modeling foraging behavior of parasitoids under competition and where resources are ephemeral.

Aditya Nayak

Indian Institute of Science, undergraduate intern (Summer 2022) BS-MS student from IISER Mohali.
Aditya worked on finding parasitoids of Lepidoptera on Citrus, and did a literature review of change in genome size assoiated with plant domestication.

Photo of Emma Hakanen

Emma Hakanen

University of Helsinki, MSc (2014-2017)
Mating structure of the parasitoid Cotesia melitaearum. 
Currently a PhD student at the University of Helsinki

Photo of Yann Bailly

Yann Bailly

MSc intern from Lyon, France (2017)
Helsinki, Sex determination in the  parasitoid Cotesia glomerata, and the costs of parasitism for developing caterpillars

Photo of Pil Rasmussen

Pil Rasmussen

University of Helsinki, MSc (2013-14)
Multitrophic interactions between a plant, herbivore and parasitoid. Currently works at the National Gallery of Denmark.
Publication from thesis: Rasmussen et al 2017, Ecological Entomology

Photo of Marina Granger-Brown

Marina Granger-Brown

Harper Adams University, UK, MSc (2014)  
Helsinki, Intraspecific competition by the parasitoid wasp Hyposoter horticola.

Photo of Aapo Ahola

Aapo Ahola

University of Helsinki, MSc (2011- 13)
Heritability of traits associated with landscape structure in Plantago lanceolata (co-advised with Anna-Liisa Laine)

Photo of Terhi Lahtinen

Terhi Lahtinen

University of Helsinki, MSc student (2010-2012)
Variation in the response to drought in Plantago lanceolata. University of Helsinki

Photo of Peter Kullberg

Peter Kullberg

University of Helsinki, MSc (2010-12)
Habitat fragmentation and the performance of P. lanceolata and V. spicata. Co-advised with Anna-Liisa Laine), University of Helsinki

Photo of David Muru

David Muru

MSc intern from France (2012)
Helsinki, The role of group behavior on the relationship of the butterfly M. cinxia with the parasitoid H. horticola.

Photo of Riikka Hartikainen

Riikka Alanen (Hartikainen)

University of Helsinki, MSc (2010-2012)
Habitat fragmentation and the germination of P. lanceolata and V. spicata
(co-advised with Anna-Liisa laine)

Photo of Suvi Niemi-kapee

Suvi Niemikapee (Pakarinen)

University of Helsinki, MSc  (2010-2011)
Host-parasitoid relationship in different Cotesia melitaearum and Melitaea cinxia populations around the Baltic Sea
Publication from her thesis: van Nouhuys, S., Niemikapee S., Hanski, I. 2012. Insects, 3: 1236-1256

Photo of Tom Kraft

Tom S. Kraft

Undergraduate Honours thesis, Cornell University (08-10). Helsinki, Indirect interaction between butterflies mediated by pupal parasitoids
Publications from his thesis:
Kraft & van Nouhuys 2013, Ecological Entomology
van Nouhuys & Kraft, 2012, Population Ecology
Currently a postdoc at UCSB

Photo of Markku Ojanen

Markku Ojanen

University of Helsinki, MSc (05-08)
Plant, phytopathogen, parasitoid interaction. (co-advised with Anna-Liisa laine)

Photo of Anne Reichgelt

Anne Reichgelt

University of Helsinki, MSc (07)
Density dependent parasitism by the hyperparasitoid Mesochorus stigmaticus

Photo of Kaisa Torri

Kaisa Torri

University of Helsinki, MSc (2005-07) – Natural history of the butterfly Melitaea athalia and its parasitoids in Åland, Finland.
Publication from her thesis: Reudler Talsma, J., Torri, K. van Nouhuys, S. 2008. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 2: 63-75

Photo of Riikka Kaartinen

Riikka Kaartinen

University of Helsinki, MSc (03-06)
Spatial foraging behavior of the parasitoid Hyposoter horticola. Currently a journalist for Suomen Lounto (Finnish Nature)
Publication from her thesis: van Nouhuys, S. Kaartinen, R. 2008. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275: 377-385

Photo of Lucie Salvaudon

Lucie Salvaudon

MSc intern Paris, France (2002)
Helsinki, Experimental test of host avoidance of parasitism byHyposoter horticola
Currently works at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris

Photo of Johanna Ehrnsten

Johanna Ehrnsten

University of Helsinki, MSc (01-03)
Movement and oviposition behavior of an extremely mobile parasitoid wasp, Hyposoter horticola.
Publication from her thesis: van Nouhuys, S, Ehrnsten, J. 2004. Behavioral Ecology, 15: 661-665

Photo of a plant instead of CHRISTIAN ANTON

Christian Anton

MSc Jena, Germany (00-01)
Helsinki, Behavioral and developmental responses of a specialist parasitoid wasp to host larvae feeding on two host food plant species.
Currently works for National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Germany


Eeva Punju

University of Helsinki, MSc (00-02)
Interspecific competition between immature parasitoid wasps within host larvae.
Publication from her thesisvan Nouhuys, S. and Punju, E. 2010. Oikos, 119: 61-70