Page 49 - April 2021
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        Deciphering Food Dynamics in Indian Waters
The ingenious work of
Dr L Jagadeesan, winner of CSIR-Young Scientist Award 2020, throws light on the impact of hydrographic characteristics on marine biological production
n Science India Bureau
DDr L Jagadeesan, winner of the CSIR-Young Scientist Award 2020 in the category of Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sci- ences, is a Scientist at the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, since 2016. He is a budding biological Ocean- ographer/Marine Ecologist working on plankton food web dynamics (which determine the fishery potential of an en- vironment) and ecosystem functioning in the aquatic environment. His work mainly focuses on Marine Biology and how different physical processes, such as coastal currents, upwelling, mesoscale eddies and riverine inputs influence the structure and functioning of plankton communities in the marine environ- ment. Dr Jagadeesan’s area of work is Zooplankton Taxonomy & Ecol- ogy, and Marine Biology. His research interests include Ecology & Ecosys- tem Functioning, Marine Biodiversity, and Aquaculture.
Dr Jagadeesan completed his grad- uation in B.Sc. (Zoology), from Kan- dasamy Kandar’s College, affiliated to Periyar University, Salem, Tamil Nadu. He pursued M.Sc. (2006-2008) and M.Phil. (2008-2010) in Marine Biol- ogy and Oceanography, CAS in Ma- rine Biology from Annamalai Univer- sity, Chidambaram. He secured the first rank with a gold medal in graduation and was second in post-graduation. He was awarded the CSIR-Senior Research
Feeding studies of copepods
Fellowship in Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences in 2014.
One of his recent studies revealed that eddies re-distribute plankton from their formation zone (eastern Bay of Bengal) to the Indian coastal water and change their diversity. This study has a serious impact on plankton diversity and food web dynamics as the new species of plankton brought by eddies may modify the food web in the coastal waters and its implications on coastal fisheries are un- known. Dr Jagadeesan has also worked on how ocean currents alter the primary production and composition of plank- ton in the Gulf of Mannar. This is the first evidence to show how seasonally reversing coastal currents influence hy- drographic characteristics and, therefore biological production in Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay.
The occurrence of the hypoxic con- dition in the aquatic environment is driv- en by strong physical force associated with biological response. He studied
Dr L Jagadeesan
how shift in composition of copepods species occurs in the shallow hypoxic coastal waters and showed how physiological adaptations and reproductive behaviour of copepods changes in hy- poxic conditions. His study from the Alaphuzha Mud banks explains that upwell- ing is the key mechanism in Mudbank region to enhance the biological production
during the Southwest Mon- soon and the Mud banks are not too muddy for plankton.
His study of Tumour like Anomalies (TLA) in copepods from waters around India explains possible reasons for those tumours. In addition to the field-based studies, Dr Jagadeesan derived numeri- cal coefficients to estimate plankton growth, grazing, mortality, respiration and egg production to improve ecosys- tem modeling studies. He is currently working on quantifying atmospheric dust deposition on coastal plankton composition and primary production along the east coast of India. He is also working on ecological changes in the coastal waters of Bay of Bengal. It ex- plains how the influx of major rivers af- fects the structuring of phytoplankton production in in the Bay of Bengal. His contributions in biological oceanog- raphy are significant, as evidenced by several high impact publications. So far, he has published 37 articles in the SCI journals with total impact factor of ~80.

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