Dr. Priya Davidar

DegreeSpecializationUniversity / InstitutionYear of Completion
1S.M. Tropical Public HealthHarvard University1985
2Ph.D.Zoology (Field Ornithology)Bombay University1979
3M.Sc.BotanyMadras University1975
4B.Sc.Major: Botany Anci: Zoology ChemistryMadras University1973
Total Experience: 
22 Years
Area of Specialization/Interest: 

Pollination biology and ecosystem services

The role of animal vectors in pollinating plants is important for the reproduction of wild and crop plants. My doctoral thesis was on the pollination of the hemi-parasitic mistletoes by nectar feeding birds. I further studied pollination systems in different ecosystems. My current interest lies in the area of the ecosystem services rendered by pollinators to crop plants and wild plants.

Factors influencing the large scale patterns of species distributions

Large scale patterns of species distributions provide insights into ecological processes. Our research on different faunal groups in the Andaman archipelago show that island size and habitat characteristics are important determinants of species diversity and distribution. In the wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, rainfall seasonality is the most important factor regulating tree distribution, diversity and rarity. 

Human impact on forests

Understanding the socio-economic aspects of human dependence on forest products and the consequent impact on forests is important for developing management plans to arrest deforestation. My students and I have been looking at various aspects of resource use  and forest degradation in different regions of the Indian peninsula. 

2009: President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation

Publications (in last 3 years): 
Year Publications
2016 Puyravaud, J. P., Davidar, P. 2016. Culling of Asian elephants and overextension of population modelling. Biological Conservation (in press).
2016 Puyravaud, J. Ph., Davidar, P., Srivastava, R., Wright B. Modelling harvest of Asian elephants based upon faulty assumptions promotes dangerous management solutions. Oryx DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003060531600003X.
2015 Slik, F., … Davidar, P.    et al. An estimate of the number of tropical tree species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States 112.24: 7472-7477. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1423147112
2015 Carr, S., Davidar, P.  Pollinator dependency, pollen limitation and pollinator visitation rates to six vegetable crops in southern India. Journal of Pollination Ecology 16: 51-57.
2015 Roy, P. S., et al. "New vegetation type map of India prepared using satellite remote sensing: Comparison with global vegetation maps and utilities." International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 39: 142-159.
2015 Davidar, P., Snow, A. A., Rajkumar, M., Pasquet, R., Daunay, M. C., Mutegi, E. The potential for crop to wild hybridization in eggplant (Solanum melongena; Solanaceae) in southern India. American Journal of Botany, 102 : 129-139.
2015 Mutegi, E., Snow, A. A., Rajkumar, M., Pasquet, R., Ponniah, H., Daunay, M. C., Davidar, P. Genetic diversity and population structure of wild/weedy eggplant (Solanum insanum, Solanaceae) in southern India: Implications for conservation. American Journal of Botany, 102:  140-148.
2014 Mohandass, D.,  A. C. Hughes, M. Campbell , P. Davidar. Effects of patch size on  liana diversity and distributions in the tropical montane evergreen forests of the Nilgiri mountains, southern India. Journal of Tropical Ecology 30 : 579-590.
2013 Sahoo, S., J. Ph. Puyravaud, P. Davidar. Local knowledge suggests significant wildlife decline and forest loss in insurgent affected Similipal Tiger Reserve. Tropical Conservation Science 6: 230-240.
2013 Mondreti, R., P. Davidar, C. Peron, D. Gremillet. Seabirds in the Bay of Bengal large marine ecosystem: current knowledge and research objectives. Open Journal of Ecology 3: 172-184. doi:10.4236/oje.2013.32021 
2012 Davidar, E. R. C., Peter Davidar,  Priya Davidar, J. P. Puyravaud.  Elephant, Elephas maximus Linnaeus (Proboscidea: Elephantidae) migration paths in the Nilgiris Hills, India in the late 1970s. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4: 3284-3293.
2011 Roy, P., R. Leo, S. G. Thomas, A. Varghese, K. Sharma, S. Prasad, N. Bradbear, S. Roberts, S. Potts, P. Davidar. Nesting requirements of the rock bee Apis dorsata in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India. Tropical Ecology 52: 285-291.
2010 Davidar P. et al. Assessing the extent and causes of forest degradation in India: where do we stand? Biological Conservation 143 : 2937-2944.
2010 Puyravaud, J. P., P. Davidar, W. F. Laurance. Cryptic destruction of India’s native forests. Conservation Letters 3: 390-394.
2010 Nayak, K. G., P. Davidar. Pollination and breeding systems of woody plant species in tropical dry evergreen forests, southern IndiaFlora-Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants  205: 745-753.
2010 Mohandass, D., P. Davidar. The relationship between area, and vegetation structure and diversity in montane forest (shola) patches in southern India. Plant Ecology and Diversity 3 : 67-76.
2010 Puyravaud, J. P., P. Davidar , W. F. Laurance. Cryptic loss of India’s native forests. Science 329, 32.
2010 Sodhi, N., P. Davidar,  M. Rao, Empowering women facilitates conservation. Biological Conservation 143 : 1035-1036
2010 Nayak, K. G., P. Davidar. Pollinator limitation and the effect of breeding systems on plant reproductive success in tropical forest fragments. Acta Oecologica 36 : 191-196. 
Seminars/Conferences/Workshops Conducted(Last 3 Years): 
Year Programme Sponsor Position held*
2009 Orientation course on CBCS system for newly recruited faculty Pondicherry University Convenor


Honours / Awards (if any): 
Details of award / Prize
Contribution for which awarded
Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Contact Details
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