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Kritika M Garg

Faculty Fellow, Ramalingaswami Fellow, Department of Biology

Ph.D. in Behavioral Ecology at the National Centre for Biological Science

Dr. Kritika Garg is an evolutionary biologist specializing in population genetics and behavioral ecology. She joined Ashoka University as a Ramalingaswami Fellow in 2021. Her lab uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand the evolution of species across time scales. The two major questions the lab is currently working on are

  • The role of sexual selection in shaping the social/mating system and speciation
  • Understand the genomic legacy of domestication in the Indian subcontinent

She obtained her Master’s degree in Genomics from the Madurai Kamaraj University, after which she persuaded her PhD in Behavioral Ecology at the National Centre for Biological Science under the guidance of Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan. During her PhD, she combined long-term field-based behavioral data with population genetic data and rigorous statistical modelling to define promiscuity and mating systems of natural populations. She provided one of the rare and earliest evidence of promiscuity in harem forming bats, while also revealing the importance of flexible mating strategies in wild populations. After this she moved to the National University of Singapore and worked on speciation and biogeography of various avian lineages. Her post-doctoral research focused on the effects of Pleistocene glaciations in shaping the avifauna diversity in South East Asia and Australasia using both fresh as historical museum samples. Prior to joining Ashoka University, Dr. Garg was a Faculty Fellow at the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology, Bangalore.

  1. Chattopadhyay, B., Forcina, G., Garg, K. M., Irestedt, M., Guerrini, M., Barbanera, F., & Rheindt, F. E. (2021). Novel genome reveals susceptibility of popular gamebird, the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa, Phasianidae), to climate change. Genomics, 113(5), 3430–3438. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2021.08.010
  2. Garg, K. M., & Chattopadhyay, B. (2021). Gene Flow in Volant Vertebrates: Species Biology, Ecology and Climate Change. Journal of the Indian Institute of Science, 101(2), 165–176. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41745-021-00239-z
  3. Chattopadhyay, B., Garg, K. M., Swami Doss, D. P., Vinothkumar, A. K., Kandula, S., Rheindt, F. E., & Ramakrishnan, U. (2021). Cryptic diversity of Rhinolophus lepidus in South Asia and differentiation across a biogeographic barrier. Frontiers of Biogeography, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.21425/F5FBG49625
  4. Garg KM, Chattopadhyay B, Koane B, Sam K, Rheindt FE. 2020. Last Glacial Maximum led to community-wide population expansion in a montane songbird radiation in highland Papua New Guinea. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 20:82.

  5. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ray R, Mendenhall IH, Rheindt FE. 2020. Novel de novo genome of Cynopterus brachyotis reveals evolutionarily abrupt shifts in gene family composition across fruit bats. Genome Biology and Evolution, 12:259–272. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evaa030.

  6. Gwee CY, Garg KM†, Chattopadhyay B†, Sadanandan KR, Prawiradilaga DM, Irestedt M, Lei F, Lee JGH, Irham M, Haryoko T, Rowe KMC, Ferasyi TR, Wu S, Wogan G, Bowie RCK, Rheindt FE. 2020. Indonesian archipelago is the major sink of diversity of an Old World ‘great speciator’. eLife, 9:e62765.

  7. Bavejaa P, Garg KM†, Chattopadhyay B†, Sadanandan KR, Prawiradilaga DM, Yuda P, Lee JGH, Rheindt FE. 2020. Using historical genome-wide DNA to unravel the confused taxonomy in a songbird lineage that is extinct in the wild. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13149

  8. Shingate P, Ravi V, Prasad A, Tay BH, Garg KM, Chattopadhyay B, Yap LM, Rheindt FE, Venkatesh B. 2020. Chromosome-level assembly of the horseshoe crab genome provides evidence for three rounds of whole-genome duplication. Nature Communications, 11:2322.

  9. Cros E, Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ng NSR, Tomassi S, Benedick S, Edwards DP, Rheindt FE. 2020. Quaternary land bridges have not been universal conduits of gene flow. Molecular Ecology. DOI:10.1111/mec.15509.

  10. Ray R, Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ramachandra TV, and Ray A. Western Ghats Myrtaceae are not Gondwana elements but dispersed from south-east Asia. (Preprint: bioRxiv, 10.1101/2020.04.12.037960)

  11. Garg KM, Sam K, Chattopadhyay B, Koane B, Ericson PGP, Rheindt FE. 2019. Secondary gene flow in the Müllerian mimicry ring of a poisonous Papuan songbird clade (Pitohui; Aves). Genome Biology and Evolution,11:2332–2343.

  12. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Mendenhall IH, Rheindt FE. 2019. Historic DNA reveals Anthropocene threat to a tropical urban fruit bat. Current Biology, 29:R1269–R1300.

  13. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ray R, Rheindt FE. Fluctuating fortunes: genomes and habitat reconstructions reveal global climate mediated changes in bats’ genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 286, https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0304

  14. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Jing SY, Low GW, Frechette J and Rheindt FE. 2019. Conservation genomics in the fight to help the recovery of the critically endangered Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis. Molecular Ecology, 28:936–950.

  15. Gwee CY, Eaton JA, Garg KM, Alström P, van Balen S, Hutchinson RO, Prawiradilaga DM, Hung LM, Rheindt FE. 2019. Cryptic diversity in Cyornis (Aves: Muscicapidae) jungle-flycatchers flagged by simple bioacoustic approaches. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz003

  16. Garg KM, Chattopadhyay B, Wilton PR, Prawiradilaga DM, Rheindt FE. 2018. Pleistocene land bridges act as semipermeable agents of avian gene flow in Wallacea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 196–203.

  17.  Garg KM#, Chattopadhyay B and Ramakrishnan U. Social structure of the harem-forming promiscuous fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx, is the harem truly important? Royal Society Open Science, 172024

  18. Tan D, Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Cros E, Per E, Martin I, Rheindt FE. Novel genome and genome-wide SNPs reveal early fragmentation effects in an edge-tolerant songbird population across an urbanized tropical metropolis. Scientific Reports, 12804

  19. Low GWJ, Chattopadhyay B†, Garg KM†, Irestedt M, Ericson PGP, Yap G, Tang Q, Wu S, Rheindt FE. 2018. Urban landscape genomics identifies fine-scale gene flow patterns in an avian invasive. Heredity, 120: 138–153.

  20. Garg KM#, Ramakrishnan U. 2017. Variance in Female Reproductive Success Differentially Impacts Effective Population Size in the Short-Nosed Fruit Bat, Cynopterus sphinx. Evolutionary Biology, 1–8.

  21. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Gwee CY, Edwards SV, Rheindt FE. 2017. Gene flow during glacial habitat shifts facilitates character displacement in a Neotropical flycatcher radiation. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17: 210.

  22. Ng EY, Garg KM, Low GW, Chattopadhyay B, Oh RR, Lee JG, Rheindt FE. 2017. Conservation genomics identifies impact of trade in a threatened songbird. Biological Conservation, 214: 101–108.

  23. Ng NS, Wilton PR, Prawiradilaga DM, Tay YC, Indrawan M, Garg KM#, Rheindt FE. 2017. The effects of Pleistocene climate change on biotic differentiation in a montane songbird clade from Wallacea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 353–366.

  24. Çilingir FG, Rheindt FE, Garg KM, Platt K, Platt SG, Bickford DP. 2017. Conservation genomics of the endangered Burmese roofed turtle. Conservation Biology, 1469–1476

  25. Mani RS, Dovih DP, Ashwini MA, Chattopadhyay B, Harsha PK, Garg KM, Sudarshan S, Puttaswamaiah R, Ramakrishnan U, Madhusudana SN. 2017. Serological Evidence of Lyssavirus Infection among Bats in Nagaland, a North-Eastern State in India. Epidemiology & Infection, 145: 1635–1641.

  26. Garg KM, Tizard R, Ng NSR, Cros E, Dejtaradol A, Chattopadhyay B, Pwint N, Päckert M, Rheindt FE. 2016. Genome-wide data help identify an avian species-level lineage that is morphologically and vocally cryptic. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 102: 97–103.

  27. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Vinoth Kumar AK, SwamiDoss DP, Rheindt FE, Kandula S and Ramakrishnan U. 2016. Genome-wide data reveal cryptic diversity and genetic introgression in an Oriental cynopterine fruit bat radiation. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16:1.

  28. Garg KM#, Chattopadhyay B, SwamiDoss PS, Vinoth Kumar AK, Kandula S and Ramakrishnan U. 2015. Benefits of sociality: Males and females gain differentially from sociality in a promiscuous fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx. PLoS ONE, 10(3): e0122180.

  29. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM and Ramakrishnan U. 2014. Effect of diversity and missing data on genetic assignment with RAD-Seq markers. BMC Research Notes, 7:841.

  30. Garg KM#, Chattopadhyay B, SwamiDoss PS, Vinoth Kumar AK, Kandula S and Ramakrishnan U. 2012. Promiscuous mating in a harem bat Cynopterus sphinx. Molecular Ecology, 21: 4092–4105.

  31. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Vinoth Kumar AK, SwamiDoss DP, Ramakrishnan U and Kandula S. 2012. Sibling Species in South Indian Populations of the Rufous Horse-Shoe Bat Rhinolophus rouxii. Conservation Genetics. 13: 1435–1445.

  32. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, SwamiDoss DP, Ramakrishnan U and Kandula S. 2011. Molecular genetic perspective of group-living in a polygynous fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx. Mammalian Biology, 76: 290–294.

  33. Chattopadhyay B, Schuller G, Garg KM and Kandula S. 2010. A new phonic type of the Rufous Horseshoe bat Rhinolophus rouxii from southern India. Current Science 99: 114-118.


#Manuscripts in which I am corresponding/co-corresponding author.

†Authors with equal contribution.

PhD positions: My lab is looking for enthusiastic and hard-working students interested in pursuing a PhD. Prospective students can write to me directly to discuss their ideas.

Postdoctoral positions: If you are interested in pursuing postdoctoral research in evolutionary biology or comparative genomics please contact me for further discussions. The lab currently does not have any funded postdoc position. However, I am willing to help you with your fellowship applications to various funding agencies.

Internship: Students interested in short-term internships in the field of evolutionary biology can contact me with their CV and cover letter.

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