Debapriyo Chakraborty

Alumnus, Primates

18149 331171900168 1693058 n


Debapriyo studies parasite communities and its influence on mammalian hosts, particularly, in human modified landscapes. He combines knowledge of population and community ecology with that of parasitology to understand how host and parasite communities may influence each other’s composition and internal dynamics. These interactions, in addition, are prone to changes due to anthropogenic disturbances. Human-driven habitat fragmentation, modification, global connectivity and climate change are expected to considerably modify such interactions, not only locally but, perhaps, at the global level, with serious repercussions to wildlife conservation and, in turn, public health. His overarching interest, thus, is driven by understanding how increasing human interventions may change the dynamics of interactions between hosts and parasites and consequently, perhaps, facilitate the emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases.


1. assamese macaque 4

Genes in space and time

Genetic study of the Arunachal and bonnet macaques

Arunachal macaque photo by kripaljyoti mazumdar

Monkey of the deep jungle

Ecology and conservation of Macaca munzala


  • Journal Article
    In press
    Mixed fortunes: old expansion and recent decline in population size of a subtropical montane primate, the Arunachal macaque
    PLoS One
  • Book Chapter
    Anthropogenic Influences on Macaque Populations and Their Genetic Consequences
    Pages 209 to 224 in S. Radhakrisna and A. Sinha (editors) The Macaque Connection: Cooperation and Conflict between Humans and Macaques, Springer, New Delhi.

    PDF, 338 KB

    Human–macaque interactions constitute a complex phenomenon influencing perhaps the biology of the macaque more profoundly than ours. At the population level, humans tend to influence the distribution, demography, immunology and even behaviour of the macaque species they interact with though none of these interactions are ever simple. These works at different levels, interacting, in turn, with other environmental factors and most of these impacts are likely to have genetic consequences over the long term. In this chapter, we reviewed available literature on anthropogenic impacts on macaque populations. We should, however, stress that our current state of knowledge, unfortunately, suffers from a serious lack of insight into such genetic impacts. There is, therefore, a dire need for long-term genetic monitoring programmes to understand the effect of anthropogenic factors on the dispersal and demography of different macaque species.

  • Book Chapter
    Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala (Sinha, Datta, Madhusudan and Mishra 2005)
    Anindya Sinha, Debapriyo Chakraborty, Aparajita Datta, Nabam Gama, R Suresh Kumar, M D Madhusudan, Uttara Mendiratta, Uma Ramakrishnan, Charudutt Mishra
    Pages 198-210 in A. J. T. Johnsingh & N. Manjrekar (editors) Mammals of South Asia – Volume 1. Universities Press, Hyderabad, India
  • Journal Article
    Genetic Polymorphism in the Serotonin Transporter Promoter Region and Ecological Success in Macaques
    Debapriyo Chakraborty, Anindya Sinha, S Chakraborty, O Mukherjee, S Jain, U Ramakrishnan
    Behaviour Genetics, 40: 672-679

    PDF, 404 KB

    A well-characterised sequence length poly- morphism in the serotonin transporter promoter region (5-HTTLPR) influences individual behavioural traits and cognitive abilities in humans and rhesus macaques. Maca- ques have been classified into four continuous grades on the basis of their behavioural attributes, ranging from highly hierarchical and nepotistic species to the most egalitarian and tolerant ones. A comparative study of several species that spanned these grades revealed only rhesus macaques to be polymorphic at the 5-HTTLPR and concluded that the polymorphism was responsible for their despotic and aggressive behaviour (Wendland et al., Behav Genet 36:163–172, 2006). We studied wild populations of three other species and found that the egalitarian and tolerant bonnet and Arunachal macaques are also polymorphic while liontailed macaques, although belonging to the same group, are monomorphic. We thus reject a role for this particular polymorphism in interspecific behavioural vari- ability and show that polymorphic species enjoy greater ecological success possibly due to their higher infraspecific variability in individual behavioural traits.

  • Journal Article
    Phylogenetic relationships and morphometric affinities of the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala, a newly described primate from Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India
    Debapriyo Chakraborty, Uma Ramakrishnan, Jikom Panor, Charudutt Mishra, Anindya Sinha
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 44(2): 838–849

    PDF, 388 KB

    A new species of primate, the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala, belonging to the sinica species-group of the genus, was described from northeastern India in 2005, and, based on its appearance and distribution, hypothesised to be closely related to M. assamensis and M. thibetana. We subsequently obtained an entire adult male specimen and tissue remains from two other M. munzala individuals. Molecular analyses establish the distinct identity of the species and indicate a time of origin of c. 0.48 mya for it. The species also shows close phylogenetic affinities with the allopatric M. radiata and with the geographically closer M. assamensis and M. thibetana, possibly mediated by male introgression from an ancestral M. assamensis–M. thibetana stock into an ancestral M. munzala stock. Morphometric analyses, on the other hand, reiterate its close similarity only with M. assamensis and M. thibetana, presumably resulting from convergent evolution under similar ecological conditions and along a latitudinal gradient, as predicted by Bergmann’s and Allen’s rules.

Did you know your internet explorer is out of date?

To access our website you should upgrade to a newer version or other web browser.

How to do that »