Skip to content

My research is about how moths and butterflies sense the world. I want to understand how their eyes and brains have evolved to complicated visual tasks in light-limited environments.
I use an integrative approach looking at their genes, behavior and in the light of evolution to understand how butterflies and moths visual systems function.

I received my BS-MS in India working at IISER-Trivandrum collaborating with NCBS-Bengaluru on moth biodiversity in Kerala and butterfly foraging. I received my PhD from Florida International University studying how moths and butterflies see the world, and specifically how moth eyes and brains adapted to function so well under dim light. I use multiple techniques (genetics, animal behavior, neuroscience) to examine how different day and night flying insects’ senses (sight, hearing, smell) have evolved. I am a postdoc at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity with a courtesy appointment at Florida International University.

As human civilization develops, artificial light is slowly eroding dark skies with disastrous consequences for animals, plants, and humans. As awareness increases that light pollution is harmful, understanding how different mitigation strategies work is crucial to implement change. I study how light can disorient and alter the circadian activity of insects, and testing strategies to mitigate light pollution. I also work with citizen science and insect biodiversity monitoring in India. Outside of science, I enjoy game nights, photography and reading fantasy novels.