Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Biological Invasions
- Ecological Economics and Sustainability
- Biodiversity Conservation
- Forest Conservation and Management
- Community Conservation Practices
- Allee Effects
- Social Insect Behaviour and Evolution of Sociality
- Scientific Research and Leadership in the Global South
Alok Bang is an ecologist and an evolutionary biologist.
He has worked on fundamental research questions related to animal behaviour, population biology and evolutionary biology. Concurrently, he has worked on applied research questions related to biodiversity conservation and biological invasions. This approach has yielded an interdisciplinary research programme at the crossroads of science and society, encompassing questions ranging from single-species studies to macroecological studies on a global scale.
He has worked in research organisations and has alongside worked with grassroots NGOs. He considers this balance in working environments as a huge asset of his academic life as it has rooted his academic research within larger social realities and needs.
His work interests and experience include:
- Cooperation and conflict in insect societies: For his PhD at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, he investigated the evolution of sociality. Specifically, he investigated dominance and reproductive hierarchies, reproductive succession, and the role of social experiences in shaping animal personalities in paper wasp societies.
- Allee effects: For his postdoctoral research at the Université Paris-Sud (now, Université Paris-Saclay), Orsay, he investigated if interspecific competition from native species can generate Allee effects in the globally invasive Argentine ants.
- Community-rooted conservation: His postdoctoral work at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, included being the research coordinator of Maharashtra Gene Bank Programme, which involved documentation, validation and propagation of community-led conservation practices in Maharashtra.
- Biological invasions: His latest research involves studying ecological and socio-economic impacts of invasive alien species globally. While economic development and environmental conservation are often seen as two opposing sides of the spectrum, he believes that integrating a socioeconomic lens in environmental conservation would raise awareness about the connectedness between nature and society.
Alok will be teaching Evolutionary Biology at Azim Premji University.
If not a researcher, he would have tried his hand at music or badminton as a career, which he now pursues as hobbies.
Theodosius Dobzansky, a prominent biologist, says "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". Here, we explore why.
- Sen, R., & Bang, A. (Eds.). (2013). But to Reason Why: Celebrating a Life in Science. Indian Institute of Science. Printed by the author.
Chapter in Edited Book
- Bang, A. (2013). Learning to Think and Other Lessons. In Sen, R., & Bang, A. (Eds.), But to Reason Why: Celebrating a Life in Science.
- Bang, A., Cuthbert, R. N., Haubrock, P. J., Fernandez, R. D., Moodley, D., Diagne, C., Turbelin, A.J., Renault, D., Dalu, T. & Courchamp, F. (2022). Massive economic costs of biological invasions despite widespread knowledge gaps: a dual setback for India. Biological Invasions, 24, 2017 – 2039. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-022 – 02780‑z
- Renault, D., Angulo, E., Cuthbert, R. N., Haubrock, P. J., Capinha, C., Bang, A., Kramer, A.M., & Courchamp, F. (2022). The magnitude, diversity, and distribution of the economic costs of invasive terrestrial invertebrates worldwide. Science of the Total Environment, 835, 155391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155391
- Angulo, E., Hoffmann, B. D., Ballesteros-Mejia, L., Taheri, A., Balzani, P., Bang, A., Renault, D., Cordonnier, M., Bellard, C., Diagne, C., Ahmed, D.A., Watari, Y., & Courchamp, F. (2022). Economic costs of invasive alien ants worldwide. Biological Invasions, 24, 2041 – 2060. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-022 – 02791‑w
- Bang, A., & Courchamp, F. (2021). Industrial rearing of edible insects could be a major source of new biological invasions. Ecology Letters, 24(3), 393 – 397. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13646
- Bang, A., & Khadakkar, S. (2020). Biodiversity conservation during a global crisis: Consequences and the way forward. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), 117(48), 29995 – 29999. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2021460117
- Bang, A. (2019). Antecedents of behavioural and reproductive dominance in pairs of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata. Behavioural processes, 158, 1 – 3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2018.10.025
- Bang, A., & Gadagkar, R. (2016). Winner – loser effects in a eusocial wasp. Insectes Sociaux, 63(2), 349 – 352. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00040-015‑0455‑x
- Bang, A., & Gadagkar, R. (2012). Reproductive queue without overt conflict in the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 109(36), 14494 – 14499. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212698109
- Bang, A., Deshpande, S., Sumana, A., & Gadagkar, R. (2010). Choosing an appropriate index to construct dominance hierarchies in animal societies: A comparison of three indices. Animal Behaviour, 79(3), 631 – 636. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.12.009
- Ojas, S.V., Bang, A., & Watve, M. (2017, October 31). India’s milk boom would have been same even without exotic breeds. Down to Earth, 26(11), 56 – 57. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/milk-a-tale-of-two-species-58919
Popular Science Articles
- Leroy, B., Diagne, C., Angulo, E. Ballesteros-Mejia, et al. (2021). Global costs of biological invasions: Living figure. Geography of Biodiversity and Global Changes. https://borisleroy.com/invacost/invacost_livingfigure.html
- Bang, A. (2016, August 25). The winner takes it all, the loser standing small! Insectes Sociaux. https://insectessociaux.com/2016/08/25/the-winner-takes-it-all-the-loser-standing-small/
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