Ravindra P Nettimi

10511579_829871253735502_5829685084584897161_oI was not as excited about insects in my school days. During my undergraduate years, I volunteered to join a project  with Dr. Ramana Athreya (IISER Pune, India) in the rain forests of Arunachal Pradesh (India). This motivated me to appreciate the diversity and function in nature. I remember getting excited at the sight of an animal/plant that I had never seen before. Ants were the most common ones. So, I naturally had an inclication towards ants. I started observing them on our institute campus, and read a few interesting studies about them. During this process, I wanted to find answers to some questions. Thus, my explorations began: I studied navigation, ant-insect mutualism and natural history of ants that are found around the campus. Some of them were later published as research articles.

For my Master’s thesis, I worked in the lab of Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar (IISc, Bangalore), where I studied mate and nest mate recognition in a tropical wasp. This helped broaden my interests in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour, and motivated me to pursue research. For my PhD, I am investigating the effects of miniaturisation in ants on their visual navigation.

Over the course of my PhD, I have been involved in various science communication and outreach activities–like making podcasts and teaching research to school students. Please visit my blog and website for more information.

Website and blog




  • 2010—2015. Dual degree BS-MS, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune, India.

Thesis title: Mate and nestmate recognition in the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata. Supervisor: Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India


  1. Palavalli-Nettimi R and Narendra A. 2018. Does size affect orientation usage celestial cues. Insects Sociaux. [in press]
  2. Palavalli-Nettimi R and Narendra A. 2018. Miniaturisation decreases visual navigational competence in ants. Journal of Experimental BiologyDOI: 10.1242/jeb.177238
  3. Aniruddha Mitra, Ravindra Palavalli Nettimi, Arathy Ramachandran, Paromita Saha and Raghavendra Gadagkar. 2015. Males and females of the social wasp Ropalidia marginata do not differ in their cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and do not seem to use any long distance volatile mate attraction cues. Insectes Sociaux. 62: 281-289.
  4. Ravindra P Nettimi, Madhur Mangalam and Mewa Singh. 2015. Why not be an early-bird researcher? (Guest editorial). Current Science: 108 (6), 1027-1028
  5. Ravindra P Nettimi and Priya Iyer. 2015. Patch fidelity in Camponotus compressus ants foraging on honeydew secreted by tree hoppers. Current Science: 109(2), 362-366.
  6. Ravindra P N. Ant runners:  an analysis of running speed of Leptogenys  processionalis (Hymenoptera : Formicidae : Ponerinae). Current Science: 106(9), 1187–1189