Dr. Kritika Garg

Dr. Kritika Garg

SERB-Ramanujan Fellow, Evolutionary Biology


Dr. Kritika Garg obtained her Master’s degree in Genomics from the Madurai Kamaraj University, after which she persued her PhD in Behavioral Ecology at the National Centre for Biological Science under the guidance of Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan. During her PhD, she combined long-term field-based behavioral data with population genetic data and rigorous statistical modelling to define promiscuity and mating systems of natural populations. She provided one of the rare and earliest evidence of promiscuity in harem forming bats, while also revealing the importance of flexible mating strategies in wild populations. After this she moved to the National University of Singapore and worked on speciation and biogeography of various avian lineages. Her post-doctoral research focused on the effects of Pleistocene glaciations in shaping the avifauna diversity in South East Asia and Australasia using both fresh as well as historical museum samples. Dr. Garg joined IBAB in July 2020 as a Ramanujan Fellow and will be working on the role of mate choice in shaping the speciation pattern of the endemic Rufus horseshoe bat species complex.


  • Postdoctoral research: National University of Singapore, 2014–2019
  • PhD: National Centre for Biological Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental
  • Research, 2008–2014 MSc: Madurai Kamaraj University, 2006–2008

Research Interest

  1. Mate choice and speciation: Mate choice is a strong evolutionary force responsible for the formation of social groups, segregation of populations and also in the formation and maintenance of species boundaries. My lab focusses on understanding and identifying the genomic basis of mate choice using a comparative approach and evaluate the role of genomic compatibility in shaping species boundaries. The two main themes we are working on are: a) the role of mate choice in shaping the social dynamics within a species and b) identify patterns and processes responsible for maintaining species boundaries in the face of gene flow.
  2. Comparative genomics and specialization in bats: Bats are the only true volant mammals and with over 1400 species and enormous physiological diversity. They are the second most specious group of mammals and present unique adaptations in terms of lifestyle, life expectancy, diet among others. Using the comparative genomics approach my lab is investigating the genomic basis of physiological specializations within bats when compared to other mammals.

Research Publications

  1. Garg KM, Chattopadhyay B, Koane B, Sam K, Rheindt FE.
    Last Glacial Maximum led to community-wide population expansion in a montane songbird radiation in highland Papua New Guinea.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology, 20:82, 2020
  2. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ray R, Mendenhall IH, Rheindt FE.
    Novel de novo genome of Cynopterus brachyotis reveals evolutionarily abrupt shifts in gene family composition across fruit bats.
    Genome Biology and Evolution. evaa030, https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evaa030, 2020
  3. Cros E, Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ng NSR, Tomassi S, Benedick S, Edwards DP, Rheindt FE.
    Quaternary land bridges have not been universal conduits of gene flow.
    Molecular Ecology. DOI:10.1111/mec.15509, 2020
  4. Shingate P, Ravi V, Prasad A, Tay BH, Garg KM, Chattopadhyay B, Yap LM, Rheindt FE, Venkatesh B.
    Chromosome-level assembly of the horseshoe crab genome provides evidence for three rounds of whole-genome duplication.
    Nature Communications, 11:1–13, 2020
  5. Ray R, Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ramachandra TV, and Ray A.
    Western Ghats Myrtaceae are not Gondwana elements but dispersed from south-east Asia.
    (Preprint: bioRxiv, 10.1101/2020.04.12.037960), 2020
  6. Garg KM.
    Last Ice Age: understanding Earth’s climatic history.
    CEiBa Newsletter. Volume 2, Issue 1: 1–14. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.11159.42409, 2019
  7. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Mendenhall IH, Rheindt FE.
    Historic DNA reveals Anthropocene threat to a tropical urban fruit bat.
    Current Biology, 29:R1269–R1300, 2019
  8. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ray R, Rheindt FE.
    Fluctuating fortunes: genomes and habitat reconstructions reveal global climate mediated changes in bats’ genetic diversity.
    Proceedings of Royal Society B, 286, https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0304, 2019
  9. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Jing SY, Low GW, Frechette J, Rheindt FE.
    Conservation genomics in the fight to help the recovery of the critically endangered Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis.
    Molecular Ecology, 28:936–950, 2019
  10. Garg KM, Sam K, Chattopadhyay B, Koane B, Ericson PGP, Rheindt FE.
    Secondary gene flow in the Müllerian mimicry ring of a poisonous Papuan songbird clade (Pitohui; Aves).
    Genome Biology and Evolution, 11: 2332–2343, 2019
  11. Gwee CY, Eaton JA, Garg KM, Alström P, van Balen S, Hutchinson RO, Prawiradilaga DM, Hung LM, Rheindt FE.
    Cryptic diversity in Cyornis (Aves: Muscicapidae) jungle-flycatchers flagged by simple bioacoustic approaches.
    Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz003, 2019
  12. Garg KM, Chattopadhyay B, Wilton PR, Prawiradilaga DM, Rheindt FE.
    Pleistocene land bridges act as semipermeable agents of avian gene flow in Wallacea.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 125: 196–203, 2018
  13. Garg KM#, Chattopadhyay B, Ramakrishnan U.
    Social structure of the harem-forming promiscuous fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx, is the harem truly important?
    Royal Society Open Science, 5: 172024, 2018
  14. Tan D, Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Cros E, Per E, Martin I, Rheindt FE.
    Novel genome and genome-wide SNPs reveal early fragmentation effects in an edge-tolerant songbird population across an urbanized tropical metropolis.
    Scientific Reports, 8: 12804, 2018
  15. Low GWJ, Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Irestedt M, Ericson PGP, Yap G, Tang Q, Wu S, Rheindt FE.
    Urban landscape genomics identifies fine-scale gene flow patterns in an avian invasive.
    Heredity, 120: 138–153, 2018
  16. Garg KM#, Ramakrishnan U.
    Variance in Female Reproductive Success Differentially Impacts Effective Population Size in the Short-Nosed Fruit Bat, Cynopterus sphinx.
    Evolutionary Biology, 1–8, 2017
  17. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Gwee CY, Edwards SV, Rheindt FE.
    Gene flow during glacial habitat shifts facilitates character displacement in a Neotropical flycatcher radiation.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17: 210, 2017
  18. Ng EY, Garg KM, Low GW, Chattopadhyay B, Oh RR, Lee JG, Rheindt FE.
    Conservation genomics identifies impact of trade in a threatened songbird.
    Biological Conservation, 214: 101–108, 2017
  19. Ng NS, Wilton PR, Prawiradilaga DM, Tay YC, Indrawan M, Garg KM#, Rheindt FE.
    The effects of Pleistocene climate change on biotic differentiation in a montane songbird clade from Wallacea.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 353–366, 2017
  20. Çilingir FG, Rheindt FE, Garg KM, Platt K, Platt SG, Bickford DP.
    Conservation genomics of the endangered Burmese roofed turtle.
    Conservation Biology, 1469–1476, 2017
  21. Mani R, Dovih D, Ashwini M, Chattopadhyay B, Harsha PK, Garg KM, Sudarshan S, Puttaswamaiah R, Ramakrishnan U, Madhusudana S.
    Serological Evidence of Lyssavirus Infection among Bats in Nagaland, a North-Eastern State in India.
    Epidemiology and Infection, 145:1635–1641, 2017
  22. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Vinoth Kumar AK, SwamiDoss DP, Rheindt FE, Kandula S, Ramakrishnan U.
    Genome-wide data reveal cryptic diversity and genetic introgression in an Oriental cynopterine fruit bat radiation.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16: 41, 2016
  23. Garg KM, Tizard R, Ng NSR, Cros E, Dejtaradol A, Chattopadhyay B,Pwint N, Päckert M, Rheindt FE.
    Genome-wide data help identify an avian species-level lineage that is morphologically and vocally cryptic.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution,102:97–103, 2016
  24. Garg KM#, Chattopadhyay B, Doss PS, Vinoth Kumar AK, Kandula S, Ramakrishnan U.
    Benefits of sociality: Males and females gain differentially from sociality in a promiscuous fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx.
    PLoS ONE, 10: e0122180, 2015
  25. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Ramakrishnan U.
    Effect of diversity and missing data on genetic assignment with RAD-Seq markers.
    BMC Research notes 7:841, 2014
  26. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, Vinoth Kumar AK, SwamiDoss DP, Ramakrishnan U, Kandula S.
    Sibling Species in South Indian Populations of the Rufous Horse-Shoe Bat Rhinolophus rouxii.
    Conservation Genetics. 13: 1435–1445, 2012
  27. Garg KM#, Chattopadhyay B, SwamiDoss DP, Vinoth Kumar AK, Kandula S, Ramakrishnan U.
    Promiscuous mating in a harem bat Cynopterus sphinx.
    Molecular Ecology. 21: 4092–4105, 2012
  28. Chattopadhyay B, Garg KM, SwamiDoss DP, Ramakrishnan U, Kandula S.
    Molecular genetic perspective of group-living in a polygynous fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx.
    Mammalian Biology. 76: 290–294, 2011
  29. Chattopadhyay B, Schuller G, Garg KM, Kandula S.
    A new phonic type of the Rufous Horseshoe bat Rhinolophus rouxii from southern India.
    Current Science 99: 114–118, 2010

#Manuscripts in which I am corresponding/co-corresponding author.Authors with equal contribution.


Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology
Biotech Park, Electronic City Phase I,
Bengaluru 560100,


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