Department of Biological Sciences
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal

Personal Details

  • Name: Dr. Vinita Gowda
  • Designation: Assistant Professor
  • Department: Biological Sciences
  • E-Mail: gowdav[AT]
  • Phone: +91 755 269 1417, 669 1417
  • Lab Page: Click Here

Academic Details

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow: The Herbarium, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore, 2012-2013.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow: Dept. of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA, 2010-2012.
  • Ph.D: in Systematics, Evolution, and Ecology, Dept. of Biological Sciences, George Washington University, USA, 2002-2009.
  • M.Sc.: Applied Botany, Mangalore University, 1999.

Research And Teaching

  • My new research group at IISER-B will predominantly focus on: plant evolution and ecology. Using these two broad fields we will address questions related to: a) morphological trait evolution (such as key floral and vegetative characters in plants using phylogenetic tools), b) biogeography, c) plant-pollinator interactions, d) phenological patterns, and e) conservation (evolution of invasive vs. non-invasive plant traits).

    Although most of the research questions within the lab will center on plants, we are open to evolutionary questions in other taxa as well, such as phylogeny and evolution of morphological and behavioral traits in key pollinators and disperser species (e.g. insects, birds, and bats). Students and postdocs joining the lab are welcome to pursue their own topic of research within the broad fields of ecology and evolution or can choose to focus on some of the lab's main interests (as listed above). Herbarium, nursery, and collection facilities (for plant and animal tissue and specimen) will be provided to everyone with a strong field component and in-fact everyone is encouraged to build a good collection at IISER-B. Molecular facilities [genomic (Illumina) and sanger sequencing], and bioinformatics training are also available (see Dr. Vineet's page).

    For PhD candidates: Click Here

    I encourage potential PhD candidates to contact me and discuss their research interests before applying. All potential PhD students have to go through the IISER-B selection process and will be required to have one of the qualifier examinations score. Interviews are held twice a year i.e., Spring and Fall semester. Please find the interview/exam schedules on the main IISER-B page: Click Here

    For Post-doctoral fellows: Click Here

    Postdoctoral fellows are also encouraged to contact me and discuss their project interests. However, I expect a clear presentation of project idea, good field and lab experience, and publications in press or in print. The PD fellow is also expected to already have an inclination to certain taxa or group of organism when entering my lab. Molecular/phylogenetic training can be provided in the lab for those who come with only ecological training, however in these exceptional cases I will expect the PD fellow to have an excellent ecology background and good understanding of statistics (R or SAS or similar), and morphological taxonomy. I encourage both the PhD and Post-doctoral fellows to have a strong field component in their respective research topics. In the initial years, the main area of fieldwork can be North-East of India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Singapore, Asia, or Western Ghats, in this specific order.

    For Undergraduate students: Undergraduate students keen to get some research experience are also welcome - write to me if interested.

Teaching Interest

  • Plant Biology: Plant ecology, Plant population genetics, and Conservation biology (all courses with lab).
  • Plant Evolution: Morphological systematics, Molecular systematics, and Biogeography (all courses with lab).
Authors Title of Article Journal Year
Ajith Ashokan
Vinita Gowda
Describing terminologies and discussing records: More discoveries of vivipary in the genus Hedychium J. Koenig (Zingiberaceae) from Northeast India Phytokeys 2018
Siddharthan Surveswaran
Vinita Gowda
Mei Sun
Using an integrated approach to identify cryptic species, divergence patterns and hybrid species in Asian ladies’ tresses orchids (Spiranthes, Orchidaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2018
Ajith Ashokan
Vinita Gowda
Diversity of the genus Hedychium J. Koenig (Zingiberaceae) in the Northeast of India-I. Heliconia Society International Bulletin. 2017
Amit K Verma
Danish Diwan
Sandeep Raut
Neha Dobriyal
Rebecca E Brown
Vinita Gowda
Justin K Hines
Chandan Sahi
Evolutionary Conservation and Emerging Functional Diversity of the Cytosolic Hsp70:J Protein Chaperone Network of Arabidopsis thaliana. G3: Genes Genomes Genetics 2017


  • Students interested in a PhD in Ecology and Evolution starting from August 2014 are encouraged to take the new GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) exam paper titled “Ecology and Evolution” (paper code EY). For more information on the GATE application and deadlines refer to:

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