Raghavendra Gadagkar obtained his BSc (Hons) in 1972 and MSc (1974) in Zoology from Bangalore University, and PhD (1979) in Molecular Biology from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He has since worked as a Research Associate at the Centre for Theoretical Studies, IISc (1979-84), Lecturer (1984-87), Assistant Professor (1987-91), Associate Professor (1991-97) and Professor (1997- ), all at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc. He is an Honorary Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali (2013- ), India and Visiting Professor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (2015-17) and Non-resident Permanent Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin (2002-2017).
Academic and Research Achievements: Over the past 35 years, Gadagkar has established an active school of research in the area of animal behaviour, ecology and evolution. Gadagkar teaches courses in general biology, animal behaviour, behavioural ecology and socio-biology and statistics. The origin and evolution of cooperation in animals, especially, in social insects, such as ants, bees and wasps, is a major goal of his research. By identifying and utilizing crucial elements in India's biodiversity, he has added a special Indian touch to his research. He has published over two hundred research papers and two books entitled Survival Strategies (Harvard University Press, USA, 1997 and Universities Press, Hyderabad, 1998, since translated into Chinese and Korean) and The Social Biology of Ropalidia (Harvard University Press, USA, 2001), which summarizes over twenty years of his research aimed at understanding the evolution of eusociality. Gadagkar has mentored seventeen PhD and two MS students.
Other Contributions: Gadagkar has delivered some 550 technical lectures in India and abroad and some 150 popular science lectures in schools and colleges. He served as Chairman, Centre for Ecological Sciences (1992-2002) and is the Founding Chairman of the Centre for Contemporary Studies (2004- ). Gadagkar has been Honorary Senior Fellow and subsequently Honorary Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore (1993- ). He has served as Secretary, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1995-2000), Council Member, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (2006) and Vice-President, Entomology Academy of India (2007- ). He has been on the Editorial Boards of several national and international scientific journals, including the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science. He is, or has been, a member of a number of national and international professional scientific bodies and government and non-government advisory committees including the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, Government of India.
Awards and Honours: Gadagkar is the recipient of a number of awards including INSA Medal for Young Scientists (1985) and Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Visiting Fellowship (2007) of INSA, SS Bhatnagar Prize, BM Birla Science Prize, Homi Bhabha Fellowship, BP Pal National Environment Fellowship on Biodiversity, and TWAS Award in Biology. He is an elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, USA and the German National Science Academy Leopoldina. He was awarded the DSc (hc) of the University of Burdwan, West Bengal and Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He served as Vice-President, INSA during 2003-05.