Devi Satarkar

Research Interests

My pronouns are she/her

I am greatly fascinated by the way animals perceive the world around them. In a rapidly changing world, with anthropogenic influences swiftly creeping up on us, it is imperative to study how animals would respond and potentially adapt to these unprecedented and inevitable challenges. I am intrigued by social animals and their ability to interact with each other and their environment. I am interested in how they socially learn innovative solutions to new and unexpected environmental obstacles. In particular, I wish to study how extreme climatic events, which are predicted to increase in both frequency and intensity in the future, impact social behaviours and learning ability in wild animals. For my DPhil, I plan to use the established study system of wild birds in Wytham Woods to simulate catastrophic events in a natural population and understand its impact on cognitive processes and social behaviour. I aim to study the effect of these extreme climatic conditions on social group structures and networks as well. I will also be using the tractable Drosophila melanogaster model to gain a deeper mechanistic understanding of the potential impact of extreme climatic stress on social and cognitive behaviours.

Funder: Oxford-Oxitec Graduate Scholarship