Professor KN Ganeshaiah did his BSc (Agr), MSc (Agr) and PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. He joined the Department of Plant Genetics and Plant Breeding in 1983 and since then he has been working at various positions in the university.
Academic and Research Achievements: Ganeshaiah began working in the area of evolutionary ecology of plant reproductive strategies during 1980 and demonstrated both theoretically and empirically that evolutionary concepts such as sexual selection, sibling rivalry and parent offspring conflict, generally seen in animal systems, do occur in plants as well, in very subtle but intriguing ways. He showed that invoking these concepts in plants can help explaining several peculiarities of plant reproductive systems for which the adaptive basis was not yet clear. His work on understanding the foraging behaviour of ants lead to the identification of certain simple yet very effective strategies used for exploring unknown and complex territories. He has shown that while mass foraging ants searching for randomly distributed preys on ground adopt a branching pattern that simulates the blood supply system in higher animals, individual ants foraging on complex designs of plants adopt simple thumb rules of circular exploration for achieving efficient foraging.
Other Contributions: Ganeshaiah developed Jeeva Sampada; a massive database on the biological resources of the country. Being the largest database ever compiled, it brings together data from a wide range of experts, on to a common digital platform and is now made available on the website www.ibin.co.in. His other contributions are in assessing and mapping biological resources of Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas and Eastern Ghats; and in building a huge network of teams of field ecologists and taxonomists. Besides, he has also developed new tools for measuring and techniques for assessing the biological diversity.
He has established the portal www.ibin.com, on bioresources of the country.
Contributions to Kannada Literature: Ganeshaiah has written 7 novels, 6 short story collections and one collection of essays. He is also a column writer in Kananda Prabha, a Kannada news paper
Awards and Honours: Ganeshaiah is a recipient of Environment Award from the Karnataka Government. He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Acadey of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi, Current Science Association, and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment.