HYDERABAD: “As a scientist, I see my role as a storyteller through which I unfold the various elements of nature”, said Meghna Krishnadas, project scientist and ecologist from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, at an interactive session at Goethe-Zentrum. The event was organised by Deccan Birders, an NGO that spreads the message of bird conservation.
This PhD scholar from Yale University had recently conducted a field experiment at Western Ghats to know about forest edges and the role of natural pests in regulating plant diversity.“My job is to understand why nature is the way it is. Currently, I am focusing on tree communities”, added Meghna.
The doctor-turned-research associate went on to explain her experiment on diversity of seeds. “I began with data collection. It was an year-long trial in which I had to keep visiting the site repeatedly. As a result, I noticed seedling diversity differed from the forest edge. Apart from this, I also found out that we have to be very careful in the choice of pesticides,” she said.
With the help of Janzen–Connell hypothesis, the ecologist also explained the about fungi, insects and microbes. When she teamed up with a mathematician to know what happens to a forest and its species in the long run, she came across some traits of trees like seed size, leaf and wood density. She also talked about biodiversity in Anthropocene, breaking up of habitats and threats to biodiversity.
When not thinking of conservation, Meghna likes to run, practice yoga and try out new fitness programmes. Good books, great conversation, and gastronomy rank high in her life and someday, she would like to have her own plantation as well.