I am broadly interested in mammalian social behavior and behavioral ecology and have participated in studies addressing socioreproductive and mother-infant behavior in equids, reproductive behavior in canids, and interspecies interactions and habitat use in captive ungulates. My current research focuses on mother-infant behavior and juvenile strategies in African ungulates. Different ungulate species exhibit contrary maternal care behavior and development strategies. I hope to determine the extent to which these different behavioral patterns are dictated by a species¹ environment and physiology, and which environmental factors are most important in shaping behaviors and strategies.
Nitin Sekar is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate interested in the functional ecology of endangered species, the relationship between ecosystem services and poverty, and policy related to wildlife conservation and equitable development in the Global South. The aim of his dissertation is to shed light on whether Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are ecologically unique or redundant as seed dispersers in a disturbed, forested landscape typical of much of India. To understand this, Nitin is collecting data to identify the main alternative dispersers to elephants and to quantitatively compare the contributions of each of these animal species to the dispersal of seeds of three mammal-dispersed fruiting species in Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. Additionally, Nitin is pursuing a certificate in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) with the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Woodrow Wilson School. His policy work will look at whether the Indian government's voluntary village relocation scheme is likely to achieve its stated ecological and equitable development objectives, as well as whether voluntary village relocation is a cost-effective intervention.