Research Interest
Our world is changing! Natural habitats are being degraded at an unprecedented rate and replaced by large-scale plantations, industries and urban landscapes. These altered ecosystems typically experience greater local extinctions, invasion by non-native species and have altered or non-analogous communities. These changes can potentially alter natural infection cycles of zoonotic as well as vector-borne diseases. The increased human-wildlife-livestock interface in these mixed-use landscapes provides an excellent opportunity for pathogens to cross species barriers. Consequently, we have been witnessing devastating outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases in different parts of the globe. I am interested in understanding host-pathogen communities and their dynamics in the context of habitat modification. Currently, I am studying small mammal associated zoonotic pathogens in a mixed-use landscape of the central Western Ghats. Why small mammals? The answer is simple. Many small mammals exist as peri-domestic wildlife around humans and livestock. They have also been implicated in the transmission of many zoonotic infections, such as plague and leptospirosis. This makes them an important group of taxa that needs to be studied in the context of emerging zoonotic infections. In my research, I am trying to understand how mixed-use landscapes affect small mammal communities and how the change in community structure alters pathogen prevalence and transmission.

Ansil BR
ansilbr at ncbs dot res dot in