Vijay Ramesh, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

My research is focused on understanding how the environment shapes the ecology and behavior of tropical montane birds.

Specifically, I study the role of climate and habitat in structuring bird communities of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. My research uses an interdisciplinary approach that borrows from bioacoustics, community science, and historical ecology. Previously, my work incorporating acoustic data showed how bird species have responded to ecological restoration. Additionally, I have worked with eBird data and historical datasets of species occurrence to identify how birds have responded to a century of global change.

A common thread in my experience working with birds has been the terrain that I have studied them in: mountains. As a Cornell Lab Rose Postdoctoral Fellow (and a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati), I am exploring how the environment—specifically, climate and vegetation structure—drives bird community assembly and acoustic structure along an elevational gradient in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot.

At Cornell, I will continue to form networks among both faculty and students, and through mentoring, I will aim to emphasize the importance of working towards making ecology and conservation science more cross-disciplinary than it is today. I will be actively involved with the Nilgiri Field Learning Center, a partnership between Cornell University and Keystone Foundation (a non-profit organization in the Nilgiri hills of the Western Ghats) to promote cultural exchange and learning. Additionally, I will continue communicating the research I carry out to a wide audience who are far removed from it. I have previously written for The Wire (an Indian publication), Mongabay India and Sanctuary Asia.

Year Hired: 2022

Contact Information
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Social Media: Website, Google scholar

Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University
M.A., Conservation Biology, Columbia University
B.Tech., Biotechnology, RV College of Engineering

Sethi, S.S. et al. (2023) ‘Limits to the accurate and generalizable use of soundscapes to monitor biodiversity’, Nature Ecology & Evolution, pp. 1–6. Available at:
Ramesh, V. et al. (2023) ‘Using passive acoustic monitoring to examine the impacts of ecological restoration on faunal biodiversity in the Western Ghats’, Biological Conservation, 282, p. 110071. Available at:
Menon, T., Ramesh, V. and Barve, S. (2023) ‘Himalayan birds that show the greatest elevational shifts remain within the narrowest thermal regimes’, Global Ecology and Biogeography, 32(12), pp. 2111–2121. Available at: