Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Behavioural Ecology of Predator-Prey Interactions
- Camouflage in Insects and Spiders
- Collective Behaviour of Social Spiders
- Popularising Science through Outreach
Before joining Azim Premji University, I was a post-doctoral fellow at IISER Trivandrum examining hunting and web-building behavior of social spiders, and personalities in these spiders.
Prior to this, I did another post-doctoral stint at University of Maryland, Collage Park, USA, looking at the response of crayfish towards predatory cues, and also exploring non-invasive methods of imaging neuroanatomical structures of crayfish.
I obtained my doctoral degree from Georgetown University, USA where I looked into predator-prey interactions between wasps and spiders.
In Azim Premji University, my recent works include investigating mimicry in ant-mimicking spiders; ecology of floral colour changing plants and their pollinators; spatio-temporal dynamics of web architecture in social spiders.
I survive Bengaluru by taking quick getaways to quieter forested areas!
Observe, explore and characterise biodiversity
A guided self-study around conceptual and analytical abilities as well as writing and reading that is necessary for the field of biology.
Understanding behaviour of animals from an evolutionary and ecological perspective.
How does life work? Answers from molecular, cellular and evolutionary perspectives.
- Beleyur, T., Murthy, T.G., Singh, S., Somanathan, H., & Uma, D. (2021). The web architecture, dynamics, and silk investment in the social spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum. Animal Behaviour, 179, 139 — 146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2021.06.029
- Ellendula, S., Tresa, C., & Uma, D. (2021). Influence of prey availability on web-building in the social spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum (Araneae: Eresidae). The Journal of Arachnology, 49(1), 141 — 145. https://doi.org/10.1636/JoA-S-19 – 080
- Vijayan, S., Balasubramanian, P., Casiker, C., & Uma, D. (2021). Non-mimetic jumping spider responses towards three species of ants and their mimics. Journal of Ethology, 39(1), 65 — 72. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164 – 020 – 00674‑y
- Dubey, S., Joshi, C. H., Veer, S., Uma, D., Somanathan, H., Majumdar, S., & Pullarkat, P. A. (2020). Strain softening and stiffening responses of spider silk fibers probed using a Micro-Extension Rheometer. Soft Matter, 2. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9SM01572H
- Ramesh, A., Vijayan, S., Sreedharan, S., Somanathan, H., Uma, D. (2016). Similar yet different: Differential response of a praying mantis to ant-mimicking spiders. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society, 119(1), 158 — 165. https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12793
- Beleyur, T., Uma, D., Somanathan, H. (2015). Long-term behavioural consistency in prey capture but not in web maintenance in a social spider. Behavioral Ecology Sociobiology, 69, 1019 — 1028. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-015‑1915‑z
- Uma, D., Durkee, C., Herzner, G. & Weiss, M.R. (2013). Double deception: Ant mimicking spiders elude both visually- and chemically-oriented predators. PLoS One, 8(11), e79660. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079660
- Uma, D. & Weiss, M.R. (2012). Flee or fight: Ontogenetic changes in the behavior of cobweb spiders in encounters with spider-hunting wasps. Environmental Entomology, 41(6), 1474 — 1480. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23321095
- Durkee, C., Uma, D. & Weiss, M.R. (2011). Ant mimicry lessens predation on a North American jumping spider by larger salticid spiders. Environmental Entomology, 40(5), 1223 –1231. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22251733
- Herberholz, J., Mishra, S.H., Uma, D., Germann, M.W., Edwards, D.H., & Potter, K. (2011). Non-invasive imaging of neuroanatomical structures and neural activation with high-resolution MRI. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 5(16). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00016
- Uma, D., & Weiss, M.R. (2010). Chemical mediation of prey preferences in spider-hunting wasps. Ethology, 116(1), 85 — 95. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439 – 0310.2009.01715.x/abstract
- Krishnan, A., & Uma, D.(2020, May). Colour changing flowers and choosey pollinators. iwonder, 4, 40 — 44. https://cdn.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/apuc3/media/publications/downloads/magazine/I‑Wonder-Issue-4-May-2020.f1623931005.pdf
- Kapoor, V., & Uma, D. (2018, January). Spiders: The weavers and stalkers amongst us. iwonder, 4, 72 — 82. http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/1399/1/11_SPIDERS_THE%20WEAVERS%20AND%20STALKERS%20AMONGST%20US.pdf