Meet the Author:
Madhusudan Katti,  Fresno

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Madhusudan Katti

Madhusudan Katti

Associate Professor of Vertebrate Ecology
Dept of Biology
California State University, Fresno

I am an evolutionary ecologist who discovered birds as an undergrad after growing up a nature-oblivious urban kid near Bombay, went chasing after vanishing wildernesses in the Himalaya and Western Ghats as a graduate student, and returned to study cities grown up as a reconciliation ecologist. I study ecological and evolutionary processes in more or less human dominated ecosystems with the goal of applying our understanding of these processes towards reconciling biodiversity conservation with human development. I am Project Leader of the multidisciplinary Urban Long-Term Research Area – Fresno And Clovis Ecosocial Study (ULTRA-FACES) project, where we study the interactions between water policy, human water use, and urban biodiversity, and Co-Principal Investigator of an NCEAS (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis) Working Group on the comparative ecology of urban biodiversity worldwide. Other research in my laboratory addresses the behavioral consequences of human activities on other species, such as the effects of urban noise on bird song, and the foraging ecology of mammals and birds in cities. I am a Guest Editor for a special forthcoming issue of Cities and the Environment journal focusing on the ULTRA network. I serve on the Board of Directors of Fresno Audubon Society, the Science Advisory Board of Desert Biodiversity, the Advisory Board of Current Conservation and the Editorial Board of Indian Birds. I try to make science part of our cultural mainstream through the Central Valley Café Scientifique, the Fresno Bird Count, and my primary blog.

June 22, 2014
tea with sparrows

A friend once told me about the time he started finding dry dog food pellets mysteriously appearing in his pockets every time he put on a freshly laundered and dried pair of pants. Dr. Will Turner had a dog, of course, and recognized the pellets as the same kind he offered his dog in a bowl out … Continue reading The Rhythms of City Life

January 26, 2014
A pair of lesser flamingos in Mumbai’s busy port area.  Photo: Madhusudan Katti

Mention the word biodiversity to a city dweller and images of remote natural beauty will probably come to mind — not an empty car park around the corner. Wildlife, we think, should be found in wild places, or confined to sanctuaries and national parks. But research shows that cities can in fact support biodiversity and … Continue reading Biodiversity Can Flourish on an Urban Planet

July 3, 2013
Kee Gompa. Photo: Madusudan Katti

“Your stomach is empty since yesterday. Let me make you some soup,” said the monk to me as I took deep breaths to try and get more oxygen to my altitude-sickened body, “it may help with your nausea too.” As I nodded weakly, he went back into the kitchen, in his home under the great … Continue reading We’re Not In a Village Anymore

February 10, 2013

Out in the no longer so Wild West of America, a war is brewing. At the fringes of the great southwestern deserts, in the shadows of the high Sierra Nevada mountains, lies the great Central Valley of California, a primary battleground for this war — a war over water. The war has been brewing here for … Continue reading Water and the City: A Dispatch From an American Frontier Town