Dr Rucha Karkarey

Lancaster University

Email: r.karkarey@lancaster.ac.uk

Rucha is a marine ecologist and conservation biologist. She studies  animal behavioural responses to rapid environmental change and examines how animal behaviour (fish behaviour) can be incorporated into marine conservation. She is also interested in inclusive and community-based approaches to marine conservation and sustainability and undertaking Science-Policy engagemens. Rucha gained her PhD in India, came to LEC Reefs as a Royal Society Newton International Fellow and works in the lesser-known tropical marine ecosystems in the Northern Indian Ocean.

Research Interests

Working in the Lakshadweep archipelago (India) over the last decade, Rucha grew very interested in the political ecology of the conservation of coral reef fish spawning aggregations. In her current project as a National Geographic Explorer (2022-2024), Rucha is examining the social-ecological dynamics of fish spawning aggregations in the Lakshadweep archipelago, where major fisheries transitions (pelagic-reef fish) are taking place.
Her work addresses two broad themes with an aim to inform conservation :
  1. Understanding the ecological vulnerabilities of fish spawning aggregations by studying changes in fish behaviour along spatial, environmental and anthropogenic gradients.
  2. Understanding change in local ecological knowledge, livelihood and nutritional dependence of coastal communities on coral reef fish.
Rucha’s work is interdisciplinary, and collaborative and she is open to interesting partnerships.

“A cascading catastrophe"

Popular article on the impacts of habitat degradation on coral reef fish.

“On the line”

Popular article on work with conservation of fish spawning aggregations

“Life of fry”

Newspaper story on the life of larval reef fish

“She sells, seashells, on the seashore”

Newspaper story about the influence of tourism on local culture

Selected Publications

  • Karkarey, R., Rathod, P., Arthur, R., Yadav, S., Theo, A., & Alcoverro, T. (2020). Wave exposure reduces herbivory in post-disturbed reefs by filtering species composition, abundance and behaviour of key fish herbivores. Scientific reports, 10(1), 1-14.

  • Karkarey, R.,Zambre, A., Isvaran, K., & Arthur, R. (2019). Hypothesizing novel mating behaviours in the squaretail grouper based on direct behavioural observations. Rethinking Ecology. 4: 103–114.

  • Karkarey,R., Alcoverro, T., Kumar, S., & Arthur, R. (2017). Coping with catastrophe: foraging plasticity enables a benthic predator to survive in rapidly degrading coral reefs. Animal Behaviour.131, 13-22.

  • Karkarey, R., Zambre, A.,Isvaran, K., & Arthur, R. (2017). Alternative reproductive tactics and inverse size-assortment in a high-density fish spawning aggregation. BMC Ecology, 17(1), 10.

  • Karkarey, R., & Theo, A. H. (2016). Homeward bound: fish larvae use dispersal corridors when settling on coral reefs. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(10), 569-570.

  • Karkarey, R., Kelkar, N., Lobo, A. S., Alcoverro, T. & Arthur, R. (2014). Long-lived groupers require structurally stable reefs in the face of repeated climate change disturbances. Coral reefs, 33(2), 289-302.