Zoology

The Department of Zoology was established in 1963 with a limited number of Faculty and facilities. During the last 50 years, the Department has made all round progress and acquired a position among the leading departments of GU and other Universities of India. We offer specializations in several major disciplines of Zoology (e.g. Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Entomology, Fish and Fishery Biology, Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology) and also offer MSc in Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology. It has contributed immensely for the development of Zoological studies in the North Eastern Region of India. This Department is recognized by the NAAC peer team as one of the best science departments of the University. This Department has been selected as FIST sponsored Department under DST (Govt. of India), Ministry of Science & Technology for building up the infrastructure for postgraduate teaching and research. The UGC has supported the department with the SAP programme since 2002.

The MSc syllabus of the Department is based on the UGC National Curriculum and it is regularly revised and updated to incorporate recent developments. So far, about 1543 students have been awarded MSc degree. Further, during the last 50 years, PhD and MPhil degrees have been awarded to approximately 300 and 50 scholars, respectively. On average 3 to 4 research students qualify NET/SLET and GATE each year. A large number of its students are holding, besides government jobs, important faculty positions in the different Colleges of the region, Universities and Research Institutions of the N.E. region and other parts of the country. Department also have Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility (BIF) Sponsored by: Department of Biotechnology (Govt of India) engaged in various research activities and every year studentship and trainee fellowship are awarded for few students.

The department also run a society "Zoological Society of Assam", which coordinates seminar organizes inter-departmental Quiz competition, debates/discussion and field trip etc. They also promote public awareness by celebrating the 'World Environment Day" and "World Forest Day" etc. The Department has selected “Aquaculture and Biodiversity” as its major thrust area for research having special relevance to the North Eastern India. Based on the overall academic and research contributions, the Department was sanctioned DRS project by the UGC (New Delhi) in 2002 under “Special Assistance Programme” The Department successfully completed the first and the second phase of the DRS project from 2002 -2012 on October 2000. The Department was sanctioned the third phase of DRS in 2015 for another five years. It is important to mention that the Department has received a grant of rupees twenty lakhs from the National Fishery Development Board Hyderabad last year for further development of infra-structural facilities in in aquaculture and biodiversity centre of the department about 25 research sponsored by UGC, CSIR, ICAR, DST, DoEn, DBt , ASTEC, DRDO and NHPC have already been completed. These projects have a direct relevance to the socio-economic development of the N.E. region.

The faculty of the Department of Zoology is working in collaboration with National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, National Research Center for Cold Water Fisheries, Zoological Survey of India, several Indian Universities and outside the country such as King's College London and Brunel University. In recognition of the distinguished academic and research contributions, most of the faculty members have been awarded prestigious national and international fellowships/awards (e.g. Lever Hume Trust, Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship, UGC post doctoral research awards). The faculty members have been attending various international and national conferences/ seminars/ symposia etc., in which they have chaired several scientific sessions. The department has so far organized many national symposia, Workshop, regional seminar etc. The faculty has published over 550 research papers in reputed national and international journals, edited books, manuals and monographs. The department publishes one peer reviewed journal “Tropical Zoology” every year.

Aquaculture and Biodiversity Centre

Zoology department have established one Aquaculture and Biodiversity centre to execute all the components of the objectives of UGC funded scheme Special Assistance programme under DRS (I & II) from 2002 -2012. The earlier site was allocated by University authority in the vicinity of 37 national highways with an area of about 20 acres of natural swampy land. However, due to conversion of 4 lanes high way of the 37 national highway University authorities have handed over the land to National Highway Authority and again reallocated about 16 acres of land in the heart of the main campus for construction of facilities & infrastructure in accordance with the objectives of both the thrust area.

The new campus have well protected boundary wall and approach road. A total of 09 pond (5 rearing pond and 4 Nursery pond) have been constructed. Two natural swampy areas are also kept inside the campus of the centre for rearing and culture of air breathing fishes. The centre has already procured facilities like Integrated Ornamental Fish farming Unit (already stocked 70 indigenous ornamental fish of N.E. Region) Hatcheries (Carp and Air breathing fishes), hatchling rearing unit, Office etc. Laboratory will also be constructed within the campus. The department has devoted full effort to achieve centre of excellence in Aquaculture and biodiversity with well defined Vision and Mission.

Our Vision

  • To develop technology in sustainable bio-resources utilization and conservation.
  • To promote applied research in the field of Aquaculture for developing sustainable and diversified freshwater aquaculture practices to enhance productivity and income
  • To adopt new approaches & scientific measures for the conservation of biological diversity and bio resources of NE India.


Our Mission

  • To select certain commercially important species available in N.E. India as candidate species of Culture Fisheries and Aquarium.
  • To improve brood stock management techniques in ongoing fish breeding research to generate commercially desirable traits in fish.
  • To develop molecular marker for genetic traits of economically important fishes, edible insect and other vertebrates in collaboration with advance institute of International and national repute. Blending of traditional knowledge with contemporary sciences on use of the flora and fauna to ensure the economic development while taking care of prosperity of the region.
  • To make an inventory of the components of biological diversity for conservation and sustainable utilization.
  • To build farmers' capacity for breeding and production of table fish using agriculture/aquaculture integrated systems. To equip trainees with basic aqua business skills for profitable and sustainable commercial management of fish farming enterprises.

 

Our Achievements

  • UGC has upgraded ongoing Special Assistance Programme of the department from DRS-II to DRS -III (2014-2019) with Aquaculture and Biodiversity as thrust area.
  • National Fish Development Board, Hyderabad has sponsored one Integrated Ornamental Fish farming Unit to the centre.
  • The centre has set up Fish Microbiology Laboratory for identification, Isolation and Characterisation of Bacterial Pathogen of Freshwater Fishes.
  • Plantation of Aquaculture & Biodiversity Centre has already been initiated.
  • Sponsored Training progamme for the benefit of rural stake holders has already initiated


 

Goals

In accordance with Vision & Mission of the Centre, following components will be carried out in 2015 to 2020

  • (a) Development of captive breeding and larval rearing protocol of Gudusia Chapra, Channa barca, Amblypharyngodon mola and Puntius sarana as candidates species in polyculture system.
  • (b) Improvement of Brood stock management, breeding and larval rearing techniques of Labeo bata and Labeo gonius.
  • (c) Hands on Training on quality fish seed production, improved larval rearing techniques of Air breathing fishes viz: Clarius magur, Anabus testudineus to rural beneficiaries and students.
  • (d) Practical training for popularization of cage culture of Anabus testudineus in pond.
  • (e) In integrated Ornamental fish farming Unit, Development of Aquarium rearing (retention of natural colour) and breeding protocols of Channa bleheri, Ctenops nobilis, Badis badis will be carried out.
  • (f) Hands on Training on different aspects of Aquaculture to the rural beneficiaries, researcher, students (PG & UG) and fishery officers.
  • (g) Phase wise exploration and evaluation of diversity and distribution patterns of available fish fauna, serico-genous insect, butterfly, avifauna, herpetofauna and mammals in some selected areas of N.E. India.
  • (h) Establishment of butterfly rearing and ranching facilities.
  • (i) Establishment of honeybee (natural population) conservation centre and threatened avian conservation centre.
  • (j) Development of molecular marker for genetic traits of certain biologically as well as economically importance fish, birds, serico-genous insects, edible insects and selected vertebrates in collaboration with advance institute of national and international repute.

 

Interested Researcher, stakeholders and alumni of the department can avail the facilities of the Centre. For details, please contact:

  • 1. Prof Jatin Kalita, Coordinator SAP (DRS-III) and Aquaculture and Biodiversity Centre, Department of Zoology, Gauhati University, Guwahati. (Phone: 9706021864(M). Email: kalitaj@live.com)
  • 2. Prof P K Saikia, Deputy Coordinator (Biodiversity) SAP (DRS-III) and Aquaculture and Biodiversity Centre, Department of Zoology, Gauhati University, Guwahati, Phone: (9435344883. Email: saikiapk@rediffmail.com)
  • 3. Dr D Sarma, Deputy Coordinator (Aquaculture) SAP (DRS-III) and Aquaculture and Biodiversity Centre, Department of Zoology, Gauhati University, Guwahati. (9435314768. Email: sarma_dandadhar@yahoo.com)

DEPARTMENTAL PROFILE

The Department of Zoology was established in the year 1963 and is the pioneer department of Zoological studies in entire northeastern region of India. During the last 55 years, the Department has made all round progress and acquired sound position in compare to other Universities of the region. Starting with a three specialization at start, the department of zoology has offer specialization in five major disciplines of Zoology viz. Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology, Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Entomology, Fish and Fishery Biology. The department of Zoology has also offered another M. Sc. course in “Wild life Science” to fulfill the needs for studies, conservation, research and self sustainability of young genders in Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Hot spot areas of Assam since, 2012. All the courses have pioneered & contributed immensely for the development of Zoological studies in North Eastern Region of India. Since 2016, the Course Curriculum of the Department is based on the UGC National Curriculum in CBCS programme and it is being regularly revised and updated to incorporate recent developments in Zoology and wildlife science. Average 9 students have qualified in NET/SLET/GATE examination each year and the success rate is found to be in increasing trend. A good number of passed out students are holding Central & State Government jobs including civil service, faculty positions in Colleges, universities, Research Institutions, forest Departments, ZSI etc.

The UGC has supported the department with the SAP Programme during 2002 and now DRS-III. It also recognized as DST FIST sponsored Department for building up the infrastructure for postgraduate teaching and research. Department supported through Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility (BIF) by GOI, engaged in various research activities and every year studentship and trainee fellowships are awarded for few students. Since 2016, department has offered the CBCS for M.Sc. in Zoology and Wildlife Science course with emphasis on hands-on practical training of the students and continuous internal assessment. Being an autonomous department of the University, the Department of Zoology also has flexibility in framing courses and conducting tests and examinations. In progress, two of the faculty members of the Department have received prestigious Commonwealth staff fellowship during 1989 and 2002 respectively and thus helping globalization of the science and culture in the department thereby opened the doors for International collaborations. The Faculty members of the Department have received research and conservation grants from numbers of International and National NGOs, Governments funding agencies in time to time such as Oriental Bird Club (OBC, UK), WCS (World Conservation Society, USA), UGC, IGNOU, CSIR, DRDO, DBT, DST, NMHS, ICMR, NBFGR, NFDB and ICAR etc and helped to conduct continuous research and conservation activities and further development.

Available Infrastructure Facilities

The department of zoology is furnished with very good lecture theatres, auditorium, sufficient laboratories, animal culture house, DBT supported Bioinformatics facility, Zoological Museum and infrastructure for practical learning and also promoting the use of ICT. The department has accumulated a store house of knowledge with various books and Journals of having one seminar library. The Department has one free internet access centre to all students for downloading essential study materials and updating their knowledge and skills. Apart from the normal lecture method, the interactive method, project-based learning, computer-assisted learning, experiential learning, seminars and other methods of teaching learning process are also practiced in the department. Almost all sorts of Infrastructure facilities are available for teaching and research in the department.

In addition, Department have seven normal class room and five class room with ICT facilities, one well equipped conference room with a capacity of 70-80 sitting capacity , 10 faculty rooms, one common room, seven students laboratories, five well equipped research laboratories, one dark room, microscopy room and one insect culture room, one zoological museum and computer laboratory. Research equipments includes Cooling centrifuge, Fluorescent Microscope, ELISA Reader, Thermal cycler, Real time PCR-200C Deep freezer, Quit Flurometer, -200C Deep freezer, BOD incubators and UV-Visible spectrophotometer, electronic balance, inverted microscope, Leica dissecting microscope. Department have acquired sufficient equipments for Wildlife Science course such as, Digital and SLR Camera, Mist Nets, sufficient numbers of Advanced camera trapping devices, telescope, Binoculars, Monoculars, Snake sticks, Head lamps etc.

Research Conducted in different Laboratories

Animal Ecology & Wildlife Biology Laboratory (AEWB)

Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology laboratory is the Pioneer laboratory in this kind within Northeastern region. The Laboratory conducts various Ecological and Biological studies on Endangered, Threatened and Critically endangered species of wildlife species of Assam and Northeastern region. Most of the pioneering works has already been done on certain endangered and threatened species of wild animals by AEWB Laboratory within India, viz., Asiatic Wild Elephant, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild Water Buffalos, Common leopard, Ecology and biology of Greater Adjutant and Lesser Adjutant Storks, Giant Squirrels, Golden Langur, various aspects of Avian Ecology and Biology in Assam, Diversity and Distributions Various birds fauna in Northeast India, Distribution and Ecology of vertebrate faun in Garo Hills, Water birds diversity and distributions in Assam, Faunal Diversity of vertebrate and invertebrate fauna in Protected and Unprotected areas of Assam and Northeast India, Ecology and Distribution of Chinese pangolin. Biodiversity of Protected and Reserve forest of Assam, Ecology, Diversity and distribution of Butterfly fauna In protected and unprotected areas of Assam, human modified landscapes, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Diversity and Distribution of Odonates and Spiders, Diversity and distribution of Chelonian fauna, Lizards fauna etc. Impact of Climate change of Butterfly fauna in Tropical forests of Eastern Himalayan biodiversity Hotspot areas of Assam etc. The laboratory also conducting collaborative research work and publication of research articles with different international frontline scientist/ Universities like, University of Manchester, University of Leeds UK, International crane foundation (ICF), Farallone Island Wildlife refuge Etc.. Presently the Laboratory has got Research fellowship funds from NMHS for the Study of Various Wildlife fauna in North bank landscapes of Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border area.

Animal Physiology and Biochemistry Laboratory

In Animal Physiology and Biochemistry Laboratory Research on Phyto-estrogens, environmental estrogens and endocrine disruption and estrogenic heavy metals in water bodies of Assam. Research on validation of traditional beliefs about use of fertility/antifertility, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflamatory and hepatoprotective plants/herbs of Assam and Northeast Region of India. In a nutshell,faculties are  using molecular and genomic tools to study the effect of osmotic, hypoxia and hyerammonia stress and the physiological adaptation at molecular level for the air breathing singhi catfish Heteropneustes fossilis. Presently faculties are trying to  understand the role of aquaporin in different stress condition in this particular fish and its adaptive strategy. The main interests also include microRNAs, the epigenetic regulation and immunomodulation of gene networks by environmental factors. Other interest of research includes ayurvedic formulation and its efficacy towards various metabolic syndromes.

Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory

The main focus area of Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory is the Cosmetic toxicology and cytogenetic studies of the certain endemic fishes of Northeast India. Histology and histochemistry studies of air breathing fish species of Northeast India; Molecular taxonomical studies of sericigenous insects of Assam.

Entomology Laboratory

In Entomology Laboratory, the research team under the guidance of Prof. R.K.Bhola has been working on mode of action, cross infectivity and transmission of Nosema sp. in eri silkworm Samia ricini. Research on nucleopolyhedrovirus of Hyposidra talaca (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in tea and efficacy of selected plant derivatives against Murine Dalton’s Lymphoma in vivo and in vitro is also going on. The research team under the guidance of Dr. Bulbuli Khanikor has been working on vector control using plant based products. Study on the efficacy of combinations of plant essential oils and terpene compounds as ovicidal, larvicidal, adulticidal and repellent against dengue vector Aedes aegypti and filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) has been going on. Research on the biology of parasitoids of muga silkworm Antheraea assama Westwood (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) with special reference to Exorista sorbillans, Apanteles sp and Cotesia dictyoplocae as well as study on the diversity of ants present in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Kholahat Reserve Forest, Assam is going on.

Fish and fishery Biology Laboratory

Fish taxonomy, fresh water ornamental and small indigenous fish culture and breeding, fish health management.

Wildlife Science Laboratory (WLS)

Wildlife Science Laboratory has conducting extensive inventory works of Biodiversity in both Vertebrate and Invertebrate fauna in Reserve Forest, Protected areas and Human Modified areas through Master’s thesis by the final semesters Students. Medicinal Plant and their used by Traditional people/ herbalists in Assam and Northeast India, Human Animal Conflict and Wildlife, Diversity and Distribution of Butterfly fauna, Spider fauna, Odonate fauna, Lizard fauna etc. Above 80 nos. of students have completed their Masters thesis in the Department since 2012 and other 20 research work is in progress. Part of the research work of the students have sponsored by Assam Science and Technology and Environmental Council (ASTEC) since its inception. One of the students of WLS is working PhD work in the WLS Laboratory and conducted research on ecology and distribution of Endemic and Threatened species of water birds viz., Swamp Francolin in, Brahmaputra valley of Assam. The students are establishing artificial bird nest on different natural and planted tree species available within the campus and Bat hose within the University Quarters for study of their biology and diversity of birds and bats respectively.

Aquaculture and Biodiversity Park

Apart from General Zoology building, the Department has 2nd field research Campus covering 16 acres of Land with Nine artificial Ponds and 7.5 acres of naturally occurring forest vegetations within Gauhati University campus that provides platform of Ecology and Wildlife students to work in natural ecological process, natural succession, Energy flow and biodiversity study and applied study in ecology and biodiversity in ecosystem etc. for fish biology and fishery Biology students have got opportunity to do various experimental research work on Fish species and Aquaculture research.

AQUACULTURE CENTRE

The existing 9 ponds (Stocking & Rearing) & 5 nursery ponds along with other facilities has already set up for development of breeding and rearing protocols of commercially important indigenous & ornamental fish species of North East India. These are such as NFDB sponsored Integrated Ornamental Fish Farming Unit (capacity of 70 aquariums and 10 cisterns) where 70 indigenous ornamental fishes are maintaining since 2014, FRP Carp Hatchery (2 unit)and Air breathing fish Hatchery (3 unit)sponsored by ICAR-CIFA, Locally fabricated Ornamental Fish Hatchery (6 unit) sponsored by DBT, GOI, UGC-Sap and University sponsored Overhead tank with 20,000 liter water capacity fitted with iron removal plant, Ozone generator and Oxygen concentrator and double water lifting facilities and Aquatic housing system, Laboratory facilities for fish culture, Fish disease surveillance & diagnostic facility, Accommodation facilities for extension programme with 25 numbers of intact capacity, Small unit of artificial fish food culture arrangements (e.g. Tubifex culture, Daphnia culture, Paramecium culture, Artemia culture, Micro worm culture &Vermi compost unit)

BIODIVERSITY CENTRE

Biodiversity centre has been established in the 2nd Capmpus of the department through its self generated funds. It is a traditional/eco-friendly house constructed with the help of biodiversity/ natural resources. The centre has 70 person sitting capacity of students/participants and traditional thatched house with Bamboo structure. The house is using for teaching. It was made to train or dissipate the knowledge of Conservation of earth, Biodiversity and climate change amongst the college students, school students/ participants of any other occasions and as well as to establish a nature conservation interpretations. Various training Courses/class teaching programme/orientation programme related to Wildlife and biodiversity conservation and studies. The biodiversity centre was established covering 7.5 acres of lands (without construction of permanent house) to study and teach the ecology and wildlife biology students/ Wildlife science students in the year 2012. The students are regularly learning/ acquiring practical knowledge for eco-restoration experimental set up, ecosystem process, productivity study, energy flow study in natural ecosystem, Biodiversity study and the process of species assemblages and regeneration study, seed dispersal and pollination study, study of biotic community in different serial stages of ecosystem, dominant plant and animal species and their interaction in the habitat and ecosystem community structure in pioneer ecosystems. The Biodiversity Centre documented higher and lower organisms of Gauhati university campus through direct field observation of the faculty/research scholars and students and also through the syllabus oriented student projects and as well camera Trapping methods etc and the documentation is in progress. The Centre has established more than 100 nos. of artificial birds nest within Gauhati University campus, Bat house within the campus of University Professors Quarter areas for conducting their own projects to study the successfulness of the experiments.

OUR VISION

To attain new horizon in teaching & research in Zoology, shaping Zoology department into a premier institution of the N. E. region in general and Assam in particular for creation of wealth and ensuring services to the society. To contribute towards better quality of life for the people through development of Technology in sustainable bio-resources utilization and conservation To promote applied research in the field of Aquaculture for developing sustainable and diversified freshwater aquaculture practices of North East India to enhanced productivity and income.  To adopt new approaches & scientific measures for the conservation of biological diversity and bio resources of NE India.

Our Mission

Teaching

Efforts are on to impart value based, creative, innovative& skill oriented teaching to the stakeholders not only in principal subject but also in allied subject like M. Sc in Wild Life Science.

Our Achievements

UGC has upgraded ongoing Special Assistance Programme of the department from DRS-II to DRS -III (2015-2020) with Aquaculture and Biodiversity as thrust area. • Revival of DST-FIST (level-I) program from 2018 in the thrust area of Aquaculture & Biodiversity. • National Fish Development Board, Hyderabad has granted Integrated Ornamental Fish farming Unit to the centre as well as Establishment of Fresh water ornamental Fish Brood Bank • Two new species of Fish described/discovered so far which has already been included in Zoological Record of Cal academy. • Nine species of Indigenous ornamental fish has successfully bred and larval rearing also successfully carried out with 80% success.

Department is engaged in the following as a thrust area of research

1. Aquacuture and Biodiversity

2. Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology

3. Animal physiology and Biochemistry

4. Cell and Molecular Biology

5. Fish Biology And Fishery Science

6. Entomology

 A. M. Sc. in Zoology

1. Total Seat : 40 Nos.

B. Ph.D. in Zoology

1. Vacant Seat for PhD: 12 Nos.(2018-2019)

C. M. Sc. in Wildlife Science

1. Total Seat: 20 Nos.

D. Ph.D. in Wildlife Science

1. Vacant Seat for PhD: 5 Nos.(2018-2019)

 

 

Department of Zoology
Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam
Email : zoology@gauhati.ac.in
Web   : gauhati.ac.in/science/zoology

Associated Faculty

Jatin Kalita [ Dean of Faculty of Science ]
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Entomology
jatink@gauhati.ac.in

Professor

Dandadhar Sarma
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Fish Biology and Fishery Science
sarmadd@gauhati.ac.in
Jogen Chandra Kalita
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (King's College)
Animal Physiology and Biochemistry
jogenck@gauhati.ac.in
Karabi Dutta
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Cell and Molecular Biology
kdutta@gauhati.ac.in
Prasanta Kumar Saikia Head of the Department
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology
pksaikia@gauhati.ac.in
Rakesh Kumar Bhola
MSc (BHU) PhD (BHU)
Entomology
bhola@gauhati.ac.in

Assistant Professor

Banasri Mech
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Dibrugarh)
Cell and Molecular Biology
banasrimech@gauhati.ac.in
Bulbuli Khanikor
MSc (Dibrugarh) PhD (Dibrugarh)
Assistant Professor (Grade-II) in Zoology (Specialization Entomology)
bkz11@gauhati.ac.in
Hrishikesh Choudhury
MSc (Gauhati)
Fish Biology and Fishery Science
choudhuryhr165@gauhati.ac.in
Malabika Kakati Saikia
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology
malabikaks@gauhati.ac.in
Manas Das
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (NEHU)
Animal Physiology and Biochemistry
manasdasne@gauhati.ac.in