PhD, Ecology and Evolution (Advisor: Dr. Catherine Graham) 2012 - Present
Preliminary title: "Field-based physiological ecology: A key component in understanding species
distributions". Stony Brook University, New York.
M.Sc. Ecology and Environmental Sciences (Advisor: Dr. Priya Davidar) 2009 - 11
"Malabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) nest site parameters in the highly fragmented
Northern Western Ghats, India". Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India. First class.
B.Sc. Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology 2006 - 09
Stella Maris College, Madras University, Chennai, India. First class with distinction.
Awards / Grants
Lewis and Clark Field Scholarship, American Philosophical Society. May 2016 $5000
Mildred and Herbert Weisinger Dissertation Fellowship for research on hummingbird physiology & ecology, $10,000
Stony Brook University, March 2016.
Cedar Brook Award for best talk, Stony Brook E&E departmental retreat, February 2016.
Departmental Unrestricted Research Award, Stony Brook University, March 2015. $750
NSF Young Scientist Mentoring Program (Travel, registration and mentorship award for GRC 2014:
”Unifying Ecology across Scales”), July 2014.
Tinker Field Research Grant, Tinker Foundation, May 2014. $2300
National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant, March 2014. $4997
Departmental Research Excellence Award, Stony Brook University, March 2014. $1000
Graduate Student Organization, Stony Brook University RAP for conference attendance $350
Lawrence B. Slobodkin Award for Research in Ecology, March 2013. $900
Research Assistant, NASA hummingbird diversity grant, Stony Brook University, NY. 2013
Compiled data and performed data analysis, generated maps for publication, improved methods
of data collection and storage.
Field Assistant, NASA hummingbird diversity grant, Patagonia, AZ 2013
Performed physiological and morphological measurements on hummingbirds.
Field Technician, Shola evolution project, NCBS Bangalore. 2012
Mist-netted, collected blood samples, took morphological measurements, extracted DNA and carried
out PCR for high elevation bird species.
Summer Research Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore. 2010
Carried out observational studies on the vertebrate visitors to Ficus benghalensis (Banyan) and
Lepidopteran visitors of the invasive Lantana camara.
Volunteer, King cobra telemetry project, Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Karnataka. 2010
Streamlined data entry, tracked King cobras, set up pitfall traps, did some organic farming.
Volunteer, Hoolock gibbon rehabilitation, Wildlife Trust of India at Kaziranga, Assam. 2008
Tracked and studied the behavior of a Hillock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock) being rehabilitated into the wild.
Graham CH, Beck PA, Powers DR, Supp SR, Lim MCW, Shankar A, Goetz S, and Wethington S. Extreme limits impacting hummingbird migration patterns and body condition. Ecosphere. 7(10): e01470. 10.1002/ecs2.1470.
Shankar A, Schroeder R, Graham CH, Powers DR. Hummingbird torpor across continents. In prep
Shankar A. Man-animal Conflict. Proceedings of the National Conference on Human-Animal Conflict, Ed. Chitralekha Ramachandran, Stella Maris College, 2009.
Coding in R; ArcGIS, qGIS, Git Bash, GitHub /nushiamme, GPS use, Mist-netting, bird morphology measurements, DNA extraction, PCR, doubly-labeled water (DLW) method, open-flow respirometry, stable isotope micro-distillation, Radio-telemetry of snakes, photography; handling people, birds, arachnids and reptiles. Also, fruit juice.
Languages: English and Tamil, some Malayalam, Spanish, and Hindi; And the skill and interest to learn new skills and languages quickly.
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To me exploration isn't about conquering natural obstacles, planting flags... It's not about going where no one's gone before in order to leave your mark, but about the opposite of that - about making yourself vulnerable, opening yourself up to whatever's there and letting the place leave its mark on you - Benedict Allen