Artwork by Saurabh Shandilya

From conversation on:
Mar 20, 2021

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In the great enveloping cosmic dark, our planet is but a pale blue dot. A pale blue dot teeming with a myriad of lifeforms carving out their own unique path not just to survive but to thrive. Have you ever thought about these countless beings of all shapes, sizes, colors that coexist in this intricately complex ecosystem that we call our home? Dr. Renee Maria Borges is a pioneering expert from the very field of evolutionary and ecological sciences, who has gone on adventures through forests and jungles all over the world, witnessing and explaining the miracles of the wild, trying to uncover the underlying complex relations that connect different species. In our conversation with her, we explore her research which deals with a vast range of topics ranging from fungus farming termites to fig pollinating wasps as Dr. Borges, a Professor at the Centre for Ecological Science, IISc, explains the intricacies of life with the help of scintillating stories from her own treasure trove of experiences.

You can't stare at a computer screen or just read blogs to get inspiration. Inspiration comes to you by sitting on a bank of a river or in an open grass field.



Dr. Renee M. Borges Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Dr. Renee Maria Borges is an evolutionary biologist and professor, pursuing research in the extremely lush and immersive field of Ecology, working majorly along the lines of evolutionary ecology of species interactions. She pursued her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Zoology from University of Bombay, and further went on to pursue her Doctoral degree from the University of Miami, USA, working in Ecology, Evolution and Behavioural Science. Further from there, Dr. Borges held a visiting faculty position at the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun, and later also served as the deputy director of research at the Bombay National History Society. Subsequently, she went on to join the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and is currently a professor there. Her research interests lie in the evolutionary ecology of species interactions, investigating the chemical and visual ecology of such interactions while also partaking in fundamental research towards practical applications. Her research has taken her to study the forests, jungles and myriad of ecologically rich systems across the world, including the forests of Panama, Costa Rica and the Western Ghats, exploring the intricate relationships that different species share in order to survive in the wild.