NIAS Wednesday Discussion: "Lights, Camera, Action! Behind the Scenes of a Study of Asian Elephants in a Human-Dominated Landscape" by Nishant Srinivasaiah, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 0930 hrs

NIAS Wednesday Discussion


“Lights, Camera, Action! Behind the Scenes of a Study of

Asian Elephants in a Human-Dominated Landscape”



Nishant Srinivasaiah

Ph.D. Scholar, School of Natural Sciences & Engineering, NIAS


Chairperson:  Anindya Sinha, Professor, School of Natural Sciences & Engineering, NIAS,             


06th September, 2017,  Lecture Hall, NIAS, 9.30AM


Abstract: Ethological studies constitute possibly one of the most exciting ways to obtain insights into the lives of other species with which we share our planet. It is also one of the more challenging fields of nonhuman studies, as it involves observing wild animals in highly dynamic, natural but increasingly anthropogenic environments, with which both protagonists may not always be familiar. This sets the perfect stage for a complex narrative about an observer and the observed. My study on Asian elephants, a highly intelligent and charismatic species that we have all come to love and respect, and which makes the headlines very often due to all the wrong reasons, has the right ingredients of a soap opera, more so since cameras are involved! There were struggles and triumphs, twists and turns, losses and gains, as we lived our daily lives together, interacting with one another and with the world around us. This talk is about my experiences of being with the highly social elephants in the Anthropocene epoch and how it has in turn influenced my own sociality. It is a reflection on what happens behind the scenes as one sets out to understand the life of a species struggling to survive in bewildering human-dominated landscapes – thoughts that arise in me and which I am unlikely to pen down in my doctoral thesis. 

About the Speaker: Nishant Srinivasaiah is interested in understanding behavioural decision-making in nonhuman species. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies on the behavioural ecology of Asian elephants at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore.  


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For further info, please contact Sangeetha Menon [ or] and D. Suba Chandran [], Coordinators of NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meetings, and NIAS Discussion Reports.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017