Kadambari Deshpande

External Consultant | kvdeshpande at iihs dot ac dot in


2023    PhD, Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE),

             Bengaluru, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal, Karnataka, India

2009    MSc, Genomics Centre for Excellence in Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai

             Kamaraj University Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

                                      2007    BSc, Zoology, Microbiology, Biochemistry Maharani Laxmi Ammanni College for Women,

                                                   Bangalore University Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Countries: India
States: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa
Cities: Bengaluru, Nashik, Sirsi
Languages: Marathi, English, Hindi

Kadambari Deshpande is interested in studying ecosystem services from bats to people in diverse habitats, from forest-plantation mosaics to peri-urban and urban landscapes. For her Ph.D. at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), she studied the benefits and costs from bats to people in agroforestry landscapes of the Western Ghats.


With over a decade of experience in studying bats, her research interests include bat sensory and foraging ecology, and its applications in understanding habitat use by bats, spatio-temporal dynamics of bat populations, accrual of ecosystem services from bats to people in human-modified landscapes, and human-bat interactions and their implications for One Health. She integrates local ecological knowledge in her research and regularly engages in conservation education and outreach to create scientific awareness, for bat conservation and human well-being. She has also been regularly invited by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as an expert to contribute to strategic discussions on surveillance, research, and management of zoonotic viral disease outbreaks such as of Nipah Virus.


At IIHS, as part of the Long-Term Urban Ecological Observatory (LTUEO), at the School of Environment and Sustainability, Kadambari designs and executes surveys and monitoring of bat diversity and activity at the IIHS Campus, Kengeri and across other peri-urban and urban locations. Through long-term studies, she plans to assess the utility and applications of bat ecosystem services as nature-based solutions. As part of this, she conducted field experiments with bat guano in the Campus, to quantify its potential as a future nature-based solution to conventional fertilisers. She will also be setting up studies on bat foraging activity and their spatial distribution using real-time acoustic monitoring methods, to quantify and assess insect pest control services by bats in urban ecosystems.


  • Urban Biodiversity, Ecology, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Urban Biodiversity, Ecology, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS

Journal Articles

  • Deshpande, K., Vanak, A. T., Devy, M. S., & Krishnaswamy, J. (2022). Forbidden fruits? Ecosystem services from seed dispersal by fruit bats in the context of latent zoonotic risk. Oikos. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.08359
  • Deshpande, K., Kelkar, N., Krishnaswamy, J., & Sankaran, M. (2021). Stretching the habitat envelope: Insectivorous bat guilds can use rubber plantations, but need understorey vegetation and forest buffers. Frontiers in Conservation Science, 111.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fcosc.2021.751694
  • Dey, S., Choudhary, S. K., Dey, S., Deshpande, K., & Kelkar, N. (2020). Identifying potential causes of fish declines through local ecological knowledge of fishers in the Ganga River, eastern Bihar, India. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 27(2), 140-154.
  • Deshpande, K., & Kelkar, N. (2019). Environmental influences on acoustic divergence in Rhinolophus bats of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka region. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/661314
  • Kelkar, N., Dey, S., Deshpande, K., Choudhary, S. K., Dey, S., & Morisaka, T. (2018). Foraging and feeding ecology of Platanista: an integrative review. Mammal Review, 48(3), 194-208.
  • Deshpande, K., Gangal, M., & Kelkar, N. (2016). First record of a bat from the Lakshadweep archipelago, southwestern India. Mammalia, 80(2), 223-225.
  • Deshpande, K., & Kelkar, N. (2015). How do fruit bat seed shadows benefit agroforestry? Insights from local perceptions in Kerala, India. Biotropica, 47(6), 654-659.
  • Deshpande, K., & Kelkar, N. (2015). Acoustic identification of Otomops wroughtoni and other free-tailed bat species (Chiroptera: Molossidae) from India. Acta Chiropterologica, 17(2), 419-428.
  • Soisook, P., Struebig, M. J., Noerfahmy, S., Deshpande, K., Bernard, H., Maryanto, I., Chen, S. F., … & Miguez, R. P. (2015). Description of a new species of the Rhinolophus trifoliatus-group (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) from Southeast Asia. Acta Chiropterologica, 17(1), 21-36.


Books & Book Chapters

  • Mangrulkar, A., Bakhale, G., Krishnaswamy, J., Deshpande, K., Kulkarni, M., Khare, N. A., Jambhekar, R., Satish, R., & Atri, S.R. (2024). In A. Revi, J. Krishnaswamy, R. Mehrotra, & S. Prakash (Eds.), Natural history of IIHS campus: A future of urban biodiversity. Indian Institute for Human Settlements.



  • Deshpande, K. (2012). Assessing diversity and distribution of bats in relation to land-use and anthropogenic threats in the southern Western Ghats, India. Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.18924.41601




Press Coverage
Friend or foe? The way bats disperse seeds benefit farmers: Study. The Hindu. (March 2022). https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/friend-or-foe-the-way-bats-disperse-seeds-

  • Deshpande, K. (April 2024) Invited talk on “Bat Surveillance and One Health – India” in “Nipah Disease and Medical Countermeasures”, co-hosted by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Indian Council on Medical Research (ICMR), and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC), New Delhi, India.
  • Deshpande, K. (November 2023) Invited talk on “Nipah Virus in Kerala: perspectives from human-fruit bat interactions in the Western Ghats”, co-hosted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at an international webinar on “Nipah Virus Disease – A One Health Perspective”. https://main.icmr.nic.in/sites/default/files/workshops/ICMR_Webinar_on_Nipah_Virus_Disease.pdf
  • Deshpande, K. (2021, October). Fruits of bats labour: Bat-human relationships in changing plantation economies in India [Paper presentation]. Anthropology and Conservation conference 2021, The Royal Anthropological Institute, London, UK. https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/rai2021/paper/62527
  • Deshpande, K. (2020, March). Benefits and costs of seed dispersal by fruit bats in agroforestry landscapes of India’s Western Ghats [Paper presentation]. FSD2020 – 7th International Conference on Frugivores and Seed Dispersal, Corbett landscape, India. https://fsd2020.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/fsd-2020-abstracts-and-schedule1.pdf
  • Long-Term Urban Ecological Observatory (LTUEO)