I am currently studying Ant Community Structures and Patterns in Goa- India which is a unique region within the Western Ghats and the role of these communities in ecosystem functioning for my Ph.D.
I have been trained in insect taxonomy and in particular ant taxonomy at the University of Agricultural Sciences- Bangalore under Dr. K. Chandrashekara. In the past, I have worked in association with the Goa Forest Department in understanding species diversity of ants in Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary- Goa (2013-15). Trying to make ants as an appealing group to study is my ongoing task towards which I spend considerable time.
I am currently working with the India Biodiversity Portal (IBP) team to interact with users of Ants of India Page on IBP (http://indiabiodiversity.org/group/ants_of_india/show) to help them in ant identification and develop species pages on this platform. The aim of this project is to collate information on ants through citizen science network.
Even though I study ants academically, birds are my first love and this group set me towards the path of ecology in the first place. I have been fortunate enough to have done birding in many diverse habitats of India right from off-shore waters of Arabian Sea till the Himalayas. I have been bird watching from childhood and this hobby overtime has developed into a part time academic exercise for me. I am currently Goa State reviewer and editor for eBird (http://ebird.org/) a citizen science initiative of Cornell University-USA, Goa-State Coordinator for Asian Waterbird Census- Wetlands International (http://south-asia.wetlands.org/WHATWEDO/AsianWaterbirdCensus/NationalCoo...) and Vice President of Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN).
I am currently involved in developing a five year bird monitoring program within all the protected areas and training of Forest Guards for the Goa Forest Department as a part of GBCN's initiative.
In case you are someone who wants to study ants and needs help with learning how to study or identify them do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to help.
Personal Blog: http://myjourneywithants.blogspot.in/
Peer Reviewed Articles:
Baidya, P., Gawas, H., Mukherjee, S., & Gawas, S., 2016. Decadal changes and additions to birds of Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India. Indian BIRDS 11(2):29–34.
Baidya, P., Chindarkar, V., Gauns, H., Gawas, H., Gawas, S., Dicholkar, V., Pinto, C., Luis, E., & Gawas, R., 2014. Status of Red Avadavat Amandava amandava in Goa, India. Indian BIRDS 9(5&6):158–159.
Books/ Chapters in Books:
Baidya, P., Dutta, R., Bhagat, M., & Bandekar, A., 2015. Common Birds of Goa- an eBook. Goa Bird Conservation Network, Bambolim, Goa.
Baidya, P., 2014. Other Interesting Insects (152) in Porob. P., Kulkarni. R., & Giri. V., 2014. Biodiversity of Goa- Concise Field Guide. Goa Forest Department, Panjim, Goa.
Five Chapters in Rahmani A., 2016., Important Bird Areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Mumbai: Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International (UK). (in press)
Weekly Column in "The Goan Daily" on Birds of Goa published every Sunday.