Dr Krishna N. Balasubramaniam

Lecturer in Conservation & Animal Behaviour

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Life Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Research Supervision:Yes

Krishna is a behavioural and infectious disease ecologist. He is interested in the ecology and evolution of animal social behaviour, human-wildlife interactions, and their effects on the transmission of zoonotic (disease-causing) microbes. The broader impacts of his research and pedagogy involve understanding the origins of human sociality, and moving human-wildlife interfaces from conflict towards coexistence.

krishna.balasubramaniam@aru.ac.uk

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Background

Krishna completed an undergraduate (bachelors) degree in Biotechnology in Chennai, India. In his final year as an undergrad, he volunteered as an intern to study social insects at the Center for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Following this, he moved to the United States in August 2007, and completed a Masters & PhD in Evolution Ecology & Behaviour at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. Between 2014 and 2021, he worked as a research scientist (first as a Postdoctoral Researcher, and then as an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of California at Davis, USA. In January 2022, he joined the School of Life Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University as a Lecturer in Conservation and Animal Behaviour.

Spoken Languages

English
Tamil

Research interests

  • Behavioural ecology
  • Primatology
  • Conservation behaviour
  • Human-wildlife interactions
  • Infectious disease (microbial) ecology
  • Coupled natural & human systems
  • Conservation psychology
  • Social network analysis
  • Evolutionary anthropology

Areas of research supervision

  • Behavioural ecology
  • Primatology
  • Conservation behaviour
  • Human-wildlife interactions
  • Infectious disease (microbial) ecology
  • Coupled natural & human systems
  • Conservation psychology
  • Social network analysis
  • Evolutionary anthropology

Teaching

Module: Evolutionary Bases of Behaviour

Qualifications

2014 – 2019: Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California at Davis, CA, USA

2014 – 2019: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California at Davis, CA, USA

2009 – 2014: PhD in Evolution, Ecology & Behavior, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, NY, USA

2007 – 2009: MSc in Evolution, Ecology & Behavior, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, NY, USA

2003 – 2007: Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) in Biotechnology, Anna University

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

2021: National Institute of Health Award R01 HD104529-01 (PI: McCowan); Effects of Altering Social Connectedness on Health: Accepted pending administrative review; Co-Investigator

2015 – 2020: National Science Foundation Award 1518555 (PI: McCowan); Drivers and Mechanisms Underlying Human-Macaque Coupled Systems Across a Sociocultural Gradient; $1,134,560; Co-Principle Investigator

2012 – 2014: National Science Foundation Award 1231145; Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant; Variation in Macaque Hierarchical Steepness from Socioecological and Biological Markets Perspectives; $20,000; Co-Investigator

2013 - 2014: College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship, $6000 University at Buffalo SUNY

2012 - 2013: Michael Matsumunyane Travel Scholarship Award, $500 Department of Anthropology, University at Buffalo SUNY

Selected recent publications

2022

1. McCowan, B. J., Vandeleest, J., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Hsieh, F., Nathman, A., & Beisner, B. A. (submitted). Measuring dominance certainty and assessing its impact on individual and societal health in a nonhuman primate model: A network approach. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. In Press.

2021

2. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Beisner, B. A., Bliss-Moreau, E., Mohan, L., Rattan, S., Ruppert, N., Sah, S. A. M., Kodandaramaiah, U., & McCowan, B. (2021). Implementing social network analysis to understand the socio-ecology of wildlife co-occurrence and joint interactions with humans in anthropogenic environments. Journal of Animal Ecology, 90, 2819-2833, doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13584

3. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B. A., McCowan, B., & Bloomsmith, M. (2021). Female social structure influences, and is influenced by, male introduction and integration success among captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Behaviour, 158, 1007-1042, doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-bja10109

4. Holzner, A., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Ruppert, N., & Widdig. A. (2021). Oil palm cultivation critically affects sociality in an endangered Malaysian primate. Scientific Reports, 11, 10353, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-89783-3

5. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Bliss- Moreau, E., Beisner, B. A., Marty, P. R., Kaburu, S. S. K., & McCowan, B. J. (2021). Addressing the challenges of research on human-wildlife interactions using the concept of Coupled Natural & Human Systems. Biological Conservation, 257, 109095, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109095

6. Arlet, M., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Saha, R., Beisner, B. A., Marty, P. R., Kaburu, S. S. K., Bliss- Moreau, E., Kodandaramaiah, U., & McCowan, B. J. (2021). Infant survival among free-living bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) in southern India. International Journal of Primatology, 42, 220-236, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-021-00198-3

7. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Malaivijitnond, S., Kemthong, T., Meesawat, S., Hamada, Y., Jeamsripong, S., Srisamran, J., Kuldee, M., Thaotumpitak, V., McCowan, B., & Atwill, E. (2021). Prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae among wild long-tailed macaques in Thailand. International Journal of Primatology, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-021-00209-3

2020

8. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Marty, P. R., Samartino, S., Sobrino, A., Saha, R., Gill, T., Ismail, M., Beisner, B. A., Kaburu, S. S. K., Bliss-Moreau, E., Arlet, M., Ruppert, N., Ismail, A., Sah, S. A. M., Mohan, L., Rattan, S., Kodandaramaiah, U., & McCowan, B. (2020). Impact of individual demographic and social factors on human-wildlife interactions: A comparative study of three macaque species. Scientific Reports, 10, 21991, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78881-3

9. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Marty, P. R., Arlet, M. E., Beisner, B. A., Kaburu, S. S. K., Bliss- Moreau, E., Kodandaramaiah, U., & McCowan, B. J. (2020). Impact of anthropogenic factors on affiliative behaviors among bonnet macaques. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 171, 704-717, doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24013

10. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Li, J., Ogawa, H., & Berman, C. M. (2020). Tibetan macaque social style: covariant and quasi-independent evolution. In: The Behavioral Ecology of the Tibetan Macaque (Eds. J. Li, L. Sun, & P. M. Kappeler). Fascinating Life Sciences. Springer, Cham, 141-169.

11. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Huffman, M. A., Sueur, C., & Macintosh, A. J. J. (2020). Primate infectious disease ecology: insights and future directions at the human-macaque interface. In: The Behavioral Ecology of the Tibetan Macaque (Eds. J. Li, L. Sun, & P. M. Kappeler). Fascinating Life Sciences. Springer, Cham, 249-284.

12. Marty, P. R., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Kaburu, S. S. K., Hubbard, J., Beisner, B. A., Bliss- Moreau, E., Arlet, M., Ruppert, N., Arlet, M. E., Sah, S. A. M., Ismail, A., Mohan, L., Rattan, S. K., Kodandaramaiah, U., & McCowan, B. J. (2020). Individuals in urban dwelling primate species face unequal benefits associated with living in an anthropogenic environment. Primates, 61, 245-259, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-019-00775-4

2019

13. Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Beisner, B. A., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Bliss- Moreau, E. Arlet, M., Mohan, L., & McCowan, B. J. 2019. Interactions with humans impose time constraints on commensal rhesus macaques. Behaviour, 156, 1255-1282, doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003565

14. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B. A., Hubbard, J., Vandeleest, J., Atwill, E., & McCowan, B. (2019). Affiliation and disease risk: social networks mediate microbial transmission among rhesus macaques. Animal Behaviour, 151, 131-143, doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.03.009

15. Dunayer, E. S., Tyrell, M., Balasubramaniam, K. N., & Berman, C. M. (2019). Time-matching between grooming partners: do distinctions between pauses vs. bout terminations matter? American Journal of Primatology, e22968, doi: 10.1002/ajp.22968

16. Marty, P. R., Beisner, B. A., Kaburu, S. S. K., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Bliss-Moreau, E., Ruppert, N., Sah, S., Ahmad, I., Arlet, M. E., Atwill, R. A., & McCowan, B. (2019). Time constraints imposed by anthropogenic environments alter social behaviour in long-tailed macaques. Animal Behaviour, 150, 157-165, doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.02.010

17. Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Beisner, B. A., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Bliss- Moreau, E., Kaur, K., Mohan, L., & McCowan, B. (2019). Rates of human-monkey interactions affect grooming behaviour among urban-dwelling rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 168, 92-103, doi: 10.1002/ajpa.23722

Recent presentations and conferences

Conference Presentations

2021

1. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Aiempichitkijkarn, N., Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Beisner, B. A., Arlet, M., Bliss- Moreau, E., Atwill, E. A., & McCowan, B. J. (Dec 2021). A comparative network approach to understand the socio-ecology of zoonotic outbreaks at human-primate interfaces. Symposium on Anthropozoonotic Disease risk to Primates in Fragmenting.ed Landscapes, International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) Virtual Meetings.

2. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Beisner, B. A., Arlet, M., Bliss- Moreau, E., & McCowan, B. J. (Aug 2021). Implementing network approaches to understand the socio-ecology of human-wildlife interactions. Symposium on Conflict to Coexistence, Animal Behavior Society (ABS) Virtual Meetings.

3. Chakraborty, B., Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B. A., Mohan, L., Rattan, S. K., & McCowan, B. J. (Aug 2021). What can multi-layer networks tell us about patterns of interactions in macaques? Animal Behavior Society (ABS) Virtual Meetings.

4. Hubbard, J., Rupert, N., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B. A., Marty, P., Kaburu, S. S. K., & McCowan, B. (Aug 2021). Mitigating macaque infant risk in the urban environment. Animal Behavior Society (ABS) Virtual Meetings.

5. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Aiempichitkijkarn, N., Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Beisner, B. A., Arlet, M., Bliss- Moreau, E., Atwill, E. A., & McCowan, B. J. (Jul 2021). Using comparative network approaches and epidemiological modeling to assess zoonotic transmission at human-primate interfaces. International Society for Evolution Medicine & Public Health (ISEMPH) Virtual Meetings.

2020

6. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Marty, P. R., Samartino, S., Sobrino, A., Gill, T., Ismail, M., Saha, R., Beisner, B. A., Kaburu, S. S. K., Arlet, M., Bliss- Moreau, E., & McCowan, B. J. (Jul 2020). Impact of individual behavior on human-wildlife interactions: a cross-species comparative approach. Animal Behavior Society (ABS) Virtual Meetings.

7. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Malaivijitnond, S., Kemthong, T., Meesawat, S., Hamada, Y., Jeamsripong, S., Srisamran, J., Kuldee, M., Thaotumpitak, V., McCowan, B., & Atwill, E. (Aug 2020). Prevalence of enterobacteriaceae among wild longtailed macaques in Thailand. International Primatological Society (IPS), Quito, Ecuador*.

8. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Marty, P. R., Arlet, M., Beisner, B. A., Kaburu, S. S. K., Bliss- Moreau, E., Kodandaramaiah, U., & McCowan, B. J. (Aug 2020). The impact of anthropogenic factors on social grooming among wild bonnet macaques. International Primatological Society (IPS), Quito, Ecuador*.

9. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Marty, P. R., Arlet, M., Beisner, B. A., Kaburu, S. S. K., Bliss- Moreau, E., Kodandaramaiah, U., & McCowan, B. J. (Apr 2020). The impact of anthropogenic factors on social grooming among wild bonnet macaques. American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), Los Angeles CA, USA.

10. Hubbard, J., Rupert, N., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B. A., Marty, P., Kaburu, S. S. K., & McCowan, B. (Apr 2020). Effect of energetic need on human-macaque interactions and access to anthropogenic food in the urban environment. American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), Los Angeles CA, USA.

11. Chakraborty, B., Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B. A., Mohan, L., Rattan, S. K., & McCowan, B. J. (Apr 2020). Individual predictors of participation in intergroup encounters among urban-dwelling rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), Los Angeles CA, USA.

12. Vandeleest, J. J., Beisner, B. A., Hannibal, D. L., Fujii, K., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Hsieh, F., & McCowan, B. (Sep 2020). Predictors of trauma differ for high and low ranked compared to middle ranked rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). American Society for Primatologists (ASP), Denver CO, USA.

13. Dunayer, E. S., Balasubramaniam, K. N., & Berman, C. M. (Sep 2020). Short-term grooming time-matching: do methodological distinctions matter? American Society for Primatologists (ASP), Denver CO, USA.

2019

14. Marty, P. R. Balasubramaniam, K. N., Kaburu, S. S. K., Beisner, B. A., Bliss-Moreau, E., Arlet, M. E., & McCowan, B. (Aug 2019). Individuals in urban dwelling primates face unequal costs and benefits associated with living in an anthropogenic environment. Joint meeting between the European Federation of Primatology and the Primatological Society of Great Britain, Oxford, UK.

15. Kaburu, S. S. K., Beisner, B., Balasubramanian, K. N., Marty P. R., Bliss-Moreau, E., Mohan, L., Rattan, S. K.., Arlet, M. E.., Atwill, E. R., & McCowan, B. (Aug 2019). Interactions with humans reduce resting and grooming time in commensal rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Joint meeting between the European Federation of Primatology and the Primatological Society of Great Britain, Oxford, UK.

16. Chakraborty, B., Kaburu, S. S. K., Marty, P. R., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B., Mohan, L., & McCowan, B (July 2019). Individual predictors of participation in inter-group encounters among urban-dwelling rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Joint Meeting of the Animal Behaviour Society and the International Ethological Society, Chicago IL, USA.

17. Aiempichitkijkarn N., Kaburu, S. S. K., Beisner, B., Marty, P. R., Balasubramaniam, K. N., Bliss-Moreau, E., & McCowan, B. (June 2019). Stealing in exchange for food: spatial position in the group predicts stealing behavior among rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in Shimla, northern India. International Urban Wildlife Conference, Portland OR, USA.

Invited Talks, External
  • 2021, Nov Invited Speaker, Institute of Human Biology & Evolution, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
  • 2021, Nov Invited Speaker, Symposium on Weaving the MacaqueNet, University of Exeter, UK
  • 2021, Jul Invited Speaker, Symposium on Conflict to Coexistence, Animal Behavior Society Virtual Meetings
  • 2021, Feb Invited Speaker, Ecology and Social Behavior Seminar Series, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan
  • 2020, May Invited Speaker, Association of Indian Primatologists. Webminar series ‘Let’s Talk Primates’
  • 2019, Dec Invited Speaker, Department of Anthropology and the Program in Evolution Ecology and Behavior, University at Buffalo SUNY, Buffalo NY
  • 2019, Feb Invited Speaker, Department of Anthropology and the Primate Behavior & Ecology Program, Central Washington University, Ellensberg WA

Media experience

Invited virtual talk on the Utility of Social Networks in Behavioral Ecology, hosted by the Association of Indian Primatologists.

Featured as a guest in the Arch & Anth Podcast.