I was introduced to the fascinating world of insects as an undergraduate in Zoology, where I had Agricultural Entomology as a special paper. Since then there was an urge to learn more about these creatures which was capable of inhabiting almost all habitat on the earth. Entomology was not merely an optional subject for my Master’s course; the collection, identification and photography of insects have always been a passion for me. Living near to the Western Ghats, I could observe the immense diversity in the insect fauna and used to spend most of my free time photographing them. The Insect Taxonomy and Conservation Laboratory at ATREE, which is headed by Dr. Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan, brought me back to the insect world after some years spent with the trematode parasites as part of the M.Phil. course at University of Calicut, Kerala. I joined as a Research Associate at ATREE, in the project “Western Ghats Insect Inventory Programme” in 2008 and since then have been working on the systematics of Scarabaeine dung beetles. I was intrigued by the role they play in the ecosystem and decided to take up the biosystematics of scarabaeine dung beetles of southern Western Ghats as the topic of my Ph.D. research.
At present, I work as Senior Research Associate and Assistant Museum Curator at ATREE. The Insect Museum at ATREE includes almost all the species of dung beetles recorded from the Western Ghats so far, while specimens from the North-Eastern India and the Eastern Himalayas are being added to the collections. In our existing collection, there are about 250 species of dung beetles from the Western Ghats, out of which about 50 species are yet to be identified. Among them, a few might be new records and yet a few even new to science! The database on the dung beetles of Western Ghats prepared by Insect Taxonomy and the Conservation Laboratory, ATREE under the aegis of Western Ghats Insect Inventory Programme, would be the backbone for the species pages.
As an EOL Rubenstein Fellow, I will be preparing taxon pages for the Scarabaeine dung beetles of the Indian subcontinent. This will be shared to EOL through the India Biodiversity Portal (IBP), http://indiabiodiversity.org, a map-based wiki focused portal maintained by ATREE; which is also an incipient content partner of the EOL. The content will include high resolution images of the beetles, their description, distribution, synonyms, type depository, type locality and links to literature. These pages would be a one-stop information point for anyone interested about the dung beetles of the Indian subcontinent. Apart from digging up dung beetles from dung and carcasses, photographing nature and watching birds gives me immense joy and pleasure.
- Full name
- Seena Narayanan Karimbumkara
- I am
- an enthusiast, a student, an educator, a professional scientist
- Curator level
- Full Curator
- EOL Rubenstein Fellow 2012, Senior Research Associate & Assistant Museum Curator at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore, India. Worked as Research Associate in the project "Western Ghats Insect Inventory Program" at ATREE.
- Curation scope
- Dung beetles of sub-family Scarabaeinae