HOME PAGE Of  Milind G Watve

Milind G  Watve
Professor, Biology
E-mail : milind@iiserpune.ac.in

Phone(O)  : +91- 020- 25908093
Fax (O)     +91-020-25899790

              3rd Floor, Chemistry Wing, Room No. 305
              SUTARWADI, PASHAN
              PUNE - 411021. (MAHARASHTRA)

Curriculam Vitae in PDF


Evolutionary biology in behavior, metabolism and health

I specialize in not specializing. I used research more as a tool in education and tried to motivate undergraduates to identify novel problems and use a variety of tools to handle them including modeling, simulations, observations, surveys, meta-analysis, field experiments as well as lab experiments. Since students came with a variety of interests and aptitudes, while catering to them I got into a diversity of research areas including bacterial cell division, predatory bacteria, behavior of plasmids, behavior of mitochondria, diseases of wild animals, behavior and infectious diseases, pollination biology, social behavior, animal cognition, sex, human behavior and health. Nevertheless there is a common theme that runs through all the work, the connecting thread being evolutionary biology. I like to give maximum freedom of ideas and experimental designs to students and don’t mind if a student’s interest goes away from my current line of work or out of my comfort zone.

Areas of current interest:

i. Evolutionary origins and basic biology behind type 2 diabetes and other age related conditions: We have completely reinterpreted the basic biological processes underlying metabolic syndrome. In the emerging picture of metabolic syndrome, brain and behavior rather than diet and metabolism occupy the central stage. This new interpretation has important implications for clinical practice and drug discovery. A behavioral intervention protocol for the reversal of type 2 diabetes is heading for clinical trials.

ii. Bacterial life in calorie restricted environments: Majority of natural habitats of bacteria are extremely dilute in terms of availability of soluble nutrients. Little is known about bacterial life in such environments. Using both theoretical and empirical approaches we study bacterial metabolism, thermodynamics, cell division and aging in dilute environments. A promising finding is that caloric restriction delays aging in bacteria by affecting cell division symmetry.


          iii. Ecology and evolution of secondary metabolites of Actinomycetes: Recently we happened to discover some novel ecological roles that species of the genus Streptomyces and their secondary metabolites play. We have demonstrated that Streptomyces sp. are predators of bacteria in soil and are currently studying what role secondary metabolites play during predation. This research has important implications for drug discovery.


 iv. Social behavior and social organization: Theoretical studies on the origin and stability of cooperation, sex, evolutionary psychology and human behavior.

v.Wildlife Ecology and conservation: Human Wildlife conflict, parasite ecology, prey-predator-parasite dynamics and other ecology and conservation related issues in  and around Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra.

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My Research Group:


PhD Students: Neelesh Dahanukar, Charushila Kumbhar, Uttara Lele, Prajakta Belsare, Ulfat Baig

Three PhD students to join in 2010-11


Dr. Chittaranjan Yajnik, Diabetes Research Center, KEM Hospital, Pune; Dr. Saroj Ghaskadbi, University of Pune; Dr. Maithili Jog, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.