V. v. Robin


This website highlights my research in the Indian ‘sky island’ Shola forest ecosystem from 2000. Many parts of the research featured here is collaborative and people in the current project are highlighted with a small description of them. The study started with investigating the biology of a small passerine bird, White-bellied Shortwing that lives in the Shola forests in high elevation parts of southern India. This study explored various aspects of how the habitat and the species are tied together and this early part of my research is summarised in the “Shortwing” section. Since then I have expanded the scope of my research to include all birds in this habitat (see page on “evolution”) and am interested in evolution and conservation of this unique ecosystem. I maintain my interests in studying bird songs, and am excited to include technology (automated recorders and song identification algorithms) to understand whats happening to species in this habitat (see page on “songs”). 

The story that has unfolded over the years involving this amazing habitat and the exciting species that inhabit it has revealed more than a fair share of surprises. The pages “Shola sky islands” and “sky island fauna” provide a background in which the research project was carried out. Most of this introductory section is borrowed heavily from published literature and many photographs in this website are from friends. There is reference to additional information where available.

The information presented here is kept brief and general such that it is interesting to a diverse audience. More recent research is featured on the page “Current Projects”.   

This project is the product of enormous support from a large number of collaborators, colleagues, friends, volunteers and field assistants. There has also been a lot of support from different organizations, funding agencies and forest departments. I have put all this together along with some information about myself in the “About Me” page.


Welcome to the shola - sky island research page

Divya Mudappa

Robin Vijayan

Clement Francis

S. Ramakrishnan