kmanasa [at] iisc [dot] ac [dot] in

Manasa Kulkarni

PhD Work

Resource allocation patterns and strategies in the mutualism between figs and fig wasps

I completed my MSc in Applied Zoology from Kuvempu University, Shivamogga, Karnataka. During my MSc, I was mostly drawn towards ecology and evolution. As I explored further, I was fascinated by how different organisms cooperate with each other, despite the costs and risks it entails.

This fascination led me to join the lab of Prof. Renee M. Borges, where I am currently pursuing my PhD. A long-standing question on mutualism has been that, how is it evolutionarily sustained in the backdrop of possible cheating? Differential allocation of resources is considered to be a mechanism involved in maintaining mutualism. For my PhD, I am trying to look deeper into this aspect by studying patterns and strategies of resource allocation in the mutualism between fig trees and their pollinator wasps.