Welcome to the website of the Population Biology Laboratory (PBL) at IISER Pune. The PI for this group is Sutirth Dey. This page offers a quick overview of some of the activities of the group. For details, please follow the navigation buttons on the top or check out the various links below.


Broadly speaking, we seek to understand how the life-history of organisms and demographic parameters of populations interact with various environmental aspects on both short (i.e. ecological) and long (i.e. evolutionary) timescales. In simpler words, we study the ecology and evolution of populations. One major feature of our work has been a close juxtaposition of numerical simulations and laboratory experiments for many of the questions that we have tackled. This allows us to not only generate our own testable predictions, but also to investigate the generalizability of our empirical results. The other feature of our work is the use of an wide-array of genomic, biochemical, physiological and behavioural techniques to understand how organisms evolve.

Currently, there are four broad themes of research in the lab:

  • Ecology and evolution of dispersal

  • Effects of fluctuating environments and population size on microbial evolution

  • Controlling unstable dynamics

  • Extended Evolutionary Synthesis

A slightly more elaborate description of some of our insights in each of these areas can be found on the research page.

For prospective students

Research in PBL evolves according to the interest of its inhabitants. Therefore, if you are planning to join PBL, please do not take the above list of topics very seriously. It is presented only to give you a glimpse of what we have done till now. More important for you is this FAQ and the various ways in which you can join the lab. Prospective PhD students are requested to check out this write-up highlighting our research philosophy.

Outreach activities

We teach 3-day long intensive courses on Biostatistics involving both classroom teaching and hands-on training sessions. Titled "Biostatistics: a user's perspective", these courses attract students from all over the country.

We conduct 1-3 day long Molecular Biology workshops for school and college students. The number of students in each workshop is 10 at maximum, and each student gets to perform every aspect of the work. These workshops are sponsored by Eppendorf and Himedia Laboratories.