Alumnus, Oceans and Coasts
For the past few years, I have worked (alongside colleagues) on a range of basic and applied studies in marine systems. These include studies on understanding the role of local institutions in governing resource use, socio-ecological resilience, illegal marine trade, interactions between dugongs and sea-grass meadows, amongst others. For my doctoral research I evaluated impact of tsunami on the coral reef communities and marine resource utilisation in the Nicobar archipelago.
My broad research interests are in understanding animal behaviour, species interactions, socio-ecological resilience, and ecosystem level processes in marine environments. In the future, I plan to continue studying coral reefs, dugongs, dolphins, coconut crabs and socio-ecological systems in marine environment.
Vardhan continues to work actively in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and is currently pursuing a post-doctoral programme with WCS India.
- Popular Article2017The Stars of the Seahttps://www.natureinfocus.in/story/the-stars-of-the-sea/
- Popular Article2017Camping at Jahajihttps://www.natureinfocus.in/features/camping-on-jahaji-beach
- Popular Article2017The Crocodile StoryAndaman and Nicobar quarterly magazine. February-April.
- Journal Article2017Latitude and live coral cover independently affect butterflyfish & angelfish community distribution in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago, IndiaMarine Biodiversity. DOI 10.1007/s12526-017-0790-4Download
PDF, 1.41 MB
Latitude and live coral cover independently affect Chaetodontid and Pomacanthid fish community distribution in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India
Empirical evidence indicates that for two reef fish groups, chaetodontids and pomacanthids, live coral cover and latitude determine the local abundance and species richness patterns. Most studies have considered the influence of either live coral cover or latitude in isolation, and the interactive effects that are likely to influence the geographical distribution of species richness and diversity has not been explored. In this study we explored the relationship between (1) species richness and latitude, and (2) species richness and benthic variables, (3) species diversity and latitude and (4) species diversity and benthic variables for butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) and angelfish (Pomacanthidae) at 75 sites across 51 islands in the Andaman and Nicobar (A & N) archipelago. A total of 30 species of chaetodontids belonging to four genera and 13 species of pomacanthids belonging to nine genera were recorded. We found that live coral cover and latitude were the best predictors for explaining variation in the distribution of these fish communities across the A & N archipelago. This is probably because of the high dependence of these two fish groups on the live coral cover and Nicobar’s geographical proximity to the Coral Triangle, which is considered to be the centre of origin of coral reefs and supports high biodiversity. Our results show that de- spite the high dependence of chaetodontids and pomacanthids on live coral cover, reduction of live coral cover due to a series of disturbance events had limited influence on species richness of these two fish groups, indicating that broad geographical trends are important in explaining variation in species richness for chaetodontid and pomacanthid fish groups.
- Popular Article2017Lost in the eyes of a Crocodile fishSanctuary Cubs, March issue.
- Journal Article2016For traditional island communities in the Nicobar archipelago, complete no-go areas are the most effective form of marine managementFor traditional island communities, no-go areas are the most effective form of managementOcean & Coastal Management 133, 53-63 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.09.003Download
PDF, 1.16 MB
For traditional island communities in the Nicobar archipelago, complete no-go areas are the most effective form of marine management
The ability of local communities to sustainably manage natural resource harvests in coral reefs ecosystem depends heavily on the strength of traditional institutions. Coastal communities have evolved a suite of restrictive practices to control marine offtake and there is considerable recent evidence of their effec- tiveness in protecting and enhancing resource stocks. However, traditionally imposed restrictions can vary considerably in their complexity and in their functional effectiveness. The indigenous communities of the Nicobar Islands are dependent on marine resources for sustenance, managing them with a range of traditionally imposed restrictions. These include limited entry to certain locations, closed seasons and areas, and restrictions on species, size-classes of fish and fishing methods. We tested the relative effectiveness of protection in areas managed under different traditional control regimes by comparing the abundance and biomass of targeted fish groups in managed and unmanaged areas. Our results indicate that reef sites with the strictest form of restriction e essentially no-go areas e had significantly higher abundance and biomass values of most functional groups of fishes compared with partially protected and control locations. In contrast, targeted food fish stocks did not differ from control locations in partially protected sites managed with even complex forms of traditional management. Ensuring that traditional harvest rules are complied is critical to the success of any management system, and our re- sults suggest that they can be most strictly enforced in traditional no-go areas. Our work highlights the importance of critically evaluating the factors influencing traditional management systems to strengthen their ability to protect these reefs from unsustainable overharvest.
- Popular Article2016The Bay Island Lizard: My Work CompanionsSanctuary Asia, January. http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/magazines/features/10184-the-bay-island-lizard-my-work-companions.html
- Popular Article2016Attacks in the AndamansDown to Eath, 16th to 30th November issue
- Popular Article2016On the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, humans and crocodiles are locked in a conflicthttp://www.firstpost.com/living/on-the-andaman-and-nicobar-islands-humans-and-crocodiles-are-locked-in-a-conflict-3078280.html
- Popular Article2016“ A Hundred More Years To Go”: A Tribute to Dr. Chhapgarhttp://www.sanctuaryasia.com/magazines/features/10196--a-hundred-more-years-to-go-a-tribute-to-dr-chhapgar.html