Subhash Rajpurohit

Associate Professor and Ramanujan Fellow
Affiliate Faculty, Global Centre for Environment and Energy
Areas of interest
Evolutionary Physiology (macrophysiology to molecules)
(Species response to climate change)

Lab website:

Dr. Subhash Rajpurohit is an evolutionary physiologist. Having completed his PhD in Bioscience (Population Genetics), he held a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Nevada, USA (Gibbs Lab) and at the University of Pennsylvania, USA (Schmidt Lab). He is a recipient of the Ramanujan Fellowship from DST-SERB, Government of India in 2018. Dr Rajpurohit describes his approach as ‘Macrophysiology to molecules’. He is interested in understanding the fundamental questions around spatiotemporal variations, metabolic ecology, and rapid adaptations through an evolutionary physiology lens. In addition, he uses experimental evolution to study how physiological systems function and evolve under defined conditions. He has been involved in using Indian drosophilids as a natural laboratory of evolutionary biology and leading long-term studies on tropical Indian drosophilids. His Lab 'EEE Lab' Experimental Ecology and Evolution Laboratory <> hosts a resource on Indian Drosophila <>. At this Lab, undergraduate, graduate students, and postdocs are engaged in various evolutionary physiology projects. Dr. Rajpurohit ‘believes in the big picture’, and so collaborates with several labs in India, North America, and Europe. At the School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University, he teaches evolutionary biology and research methodology.

At Ahmedabad University, the Rajpurohit Lab is focusing on 'How Organisms Work". To address our specific research questions we use evolutionary physiology lens. To know more about our group and research work please visit our Lab webpage:


PhD Programme Chair (2019-present)

Biological and Life Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences


1. Editorial Board Member: Current Research in Insect Science (CRIS)
2. Reviewing Editorial Board: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
3. Board of Subject Editor: Current Science


In my Lab, we study ecological- and evolutionary-physiology, focusing on mechanisms fundamental to the understanding of ecological patterns and processes, survival in and adaptation to a changing world. We are currently focusing on three major areas:

1. Clines, Seasonality, & Rapid Adaptations

In the past, I studied ecologically relevant traits in Drosophila species populations along spatial and temporal scales in India (Rajpurohit et al. 2008 abc; Rajpurohit & Nedved 2013; Rajpurohit et al. 2017). My most recent research in the Gibbs Lab (in collaboration with William J. Etges) and the Schmidt Lab (in collaboration with Dmitri A. Petrov) included artificial selection (Rajpurohit & Gibbs 2012), functional genomics (Rajpurohit et al. 2013), spatiotemporal variations (Rajpurohit & Schmidt 2016, Rajpurohit et al. 2017 ab), experimental evolution (outdoor mesocosm settings), and eco-evolutionary dynamics/rapid adaptations in North American Drosophila melanogaster populations (Rajpurohit et al. 2017 cd, in preparation). I am following up this work here at the Division of Biological & Life Sciences using tropical drosophilid populations. This work is in collaboration with Volker Loeschcke (Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark) and two other Drosophila consortiums: Dros-RTEC (North America) and DrosEU (Europe). My lab is particularly interested in ecological and evolutionary physiology questions. All these efforts are part of a long-term study on tropical Indian drosophilids relating to organismal responses to climate change and monitoring. My Lab also hosts a resource on Indian Drosophila Ecology & Evolution (a window to Indian Drosophila clines DrosoCline). The research findings associated to this long-term study are regularly updated on the following web-resource: 

2. Climate & Metabolic Ecology

Metabolic rates are the fundamental biological rate that governs most observed patterns in organismal ecology. The thermal sensitivity of physiological rates (i.e. metabolic rate) is one of the most significant characteristics of all organisms. It is especially important in ectotherms, which frequently have a more limited scope for thermoregulation than do endotherms and so are more susceptible to changing environmental temperatures. The unprecedented rates of climate changes in the future, coupled with land use changes that impede gene flow, can be expected to disrupt the entire ecology of many insect species. At the physiological level, we could argue that the entire metabolic machinery of an organism is going to be affected. Warmer temperatures (mediated through metabolic machinery) associated with climate changes will tend to influence (and frequently amplify) insect species' population dynamics directly through effects on survival, generation time, fecundity and dispersal. We are studying metabolic responses to climate warming. My current focus is on the life in the Thar Desert. This is one of the hottest areas of India - with summer temperatures averaging and peaking at 49.5 °C. This work is in collaboration with Allen G. Gibbs, William J. Etges, and Eran Gefen.

3. Molecules Matter

The colonization of terrestrial environments necessitated evolution of mechanisms to minimize desiccation and preserve water balance, particularly for small animals with a high surface area to volume ratio. Arthropods were among the first terrestrial animals and are particularly vulnerable to desiccation; one primary adaptation to desiccating terrestrial environments is the production and deposition of a variety of hydrophobic compounds (hydrocarbons) on the cuticle that function as a barrier to water transpiration. These cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have been secondarily co-opted for a variety of other functions such as communication and the conveyance of information regarding species identity or mating status. CHC profiles are genetically determined, exhibit extensive phenotypic variation within and among populations and covary with environmental parameters such as temperature and humidity; this suggests that the evolution of CHCs may be dynamic and rapid in natural populations. Despite the established functional links to fitness traits that vary in nature, the potential role of CHCs in adaptation to heterogeneous environments has not been comprehensively examined.


Google Scholar            ResearchGate

*Corresponding author

  1. Maurya R, Swamy KBS, Loeschcke V, *Rajpurohit S. 2020. No water, no eggs: insights from a warming outdoor mesocosm experiment, submitted.
  2. Arya H, Toltesi R, Eng M, Bhati H, Merritt TJS, *Rajpurohit S. 2020. Dehydrated Drosophila don't diddle, submitted.


  1. Bhati H, *Rajpurohit S. 2020. Quantification of wing and body tergite pigmentation in Drosophila. In Experiments with Drosophila for Biology Courses, Ed. S C Lakhotia and H A Ranganath (Publisher Indian Academy of Sciences), accepted.
  2. *Rajpurohit S, Vrkoslav V, Hanus R, Gibbs AG, Cvacka J, Schmidt PS. 2020. Post-eclosion temperature effects on insect cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Ecology and Evolution, accepted.
  3. Vasquez-Procopio J, Rajpurohit S, Missirlis F. 2020. Cuticle darkening correlates with increased body copper content in Drosophila melanogaster. Biometals
  4. Rudman S, Greenblum S, Hughes R C, Rajpurohit S, Kiratli O, Lowder DB, Lemmon SG, Petrov D, Schmidt PS. 2019. Microbiome composition shapes rapid genomic adaptation of Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 116: 20025-20032.
  5. *Rajpurohit S and Schmidt PS. 2019. Latitudinal pigmentation variation contradicts ultraviolet radiation exposure: a case study in tropical Indian Drosophila melanogaster. Frontiers in Physiology 10:84. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00084.
  6. Durmaz E, Rajpurohit S, Betancourt N, Fabian DK, Kapun M, Schmidt PS, Flatt T. 2019. A clinal polymorphism in the insulin signaling transcription factor foxo contribute to life-history adaptation in Drosophila. Evolution 73:1774-1792.
  7. Machado H, Bergland AO, Taylor R, Tilk S, Behrman E, Dyer K, Fabian D, Flatt T, Gonzalez J, Karasov T, Kozeretska I, Lazzaro B, Merritt T, Pool J, O'Brien K, Rajpurohit S, Roy P, Schaeffer S, Serga S, Schmidt P, Petrov D. 2019. Broad geographic sampling reveals predictable and pervasive seasonal adaptation in Drosophila. Elife (in revision).
  8. Betancourt N, Rajpurohit S, Durmaz E, Fabian D, Kapun M, Flatt T, Schmidt P. 2019. Allelic polymorphism at foxo contributes to local adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular Ecology (in revision) 71565.
  9. *Rajpurohit S, Gefen S, Bergland AO, Petrov D, Gibbs AG, Schmidt PS. 2018. Spatiotemporal dynamics and genome-wide association analysis of desiccation tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular Ecology 27: 3525-3540.

Publications: prior joining Ahmedabad University

  1. *Rajpurohit S, Zhao X, and Schmidt PS. 2017. A resource on latitudinal and altitudinal clines of ecologically relevant phenotypes of the Indian Drosophila populations. Scientific Data – Nature 4:170066 DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2017.66.
  2. Etges WJ, de Oliveira CC, Rajpurohit S, and Gibbs AG. 2016. Effects of temperature on transcriptome and cuticular hydrocarbon expression in ecologically differentiated populations of desert Drosophila. Ecology & Evolution 7:619-637.
  3. Rajpurohit S, Hanus R, Vrkoslav V, Behrman EL, Bergland A, Dmitri P, Cvacka J, and Schmidt PS. 2016. Adaptive dynamics of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles in Drosophila. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30:66-80.
  4. *Rajpurohit S, Richardson R, Dean J, Vazquez R, Wong G and Schmidt PS. 2016. Pigmentation and trade-off through the lens of artificial selection. Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0625.
  5. *Rajpurohit S, Peterson LM, Orr A, Marlon AJ, and Gibbs AG. 2016. An experimental test of the relationship between melanism and desiccation survival in insects. PLoS One 11(9):e0163414.
  6. Rajpurohit S, and Schmidt PS. 2016. Measuring thermal behaviour in smaller insects: a case study in Drosophila melanogaster demonstrate effects of sex, geographic origin, and rearing temperature on adult behaviour. Fly 10:149-161.
  7. Etges WJ, Oliveira de CC, Rajpurohit S, and Gibbs AG. 2016. Preadult life-history variation determines adult transcriptome expression. Molecular Ecology 23:741-763.
  8. Etges W, Trotter MV, de Oliveira CC, Rajpurohit S, Gibbs AG, and Tuljapurkar S. 2015. Deciphering life history transcriptomics in different environments. Molecular Ecology 24:151-179.
  9. Rajpurohit S, de Oliveira CC, Etges WJ and Gibbs AG. 2013. Functional genomic and phenotypic responses to desiccation in natural populations of desert drosophilid. Molecular Ecology 22:2698-2715.
  10. *Rajpurohit S, Nedved O and Gibbs AG. 2013. Meta-analysis of geographical clines in desiccation tolerance of Indian drosophilids. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 164:391-398.
  11. *Rajpurohit S, and Nedved O. 2013. Clinal variation in fitness related traits in tropical drosophilids of the Indian subcontinent. Journal of Thermal Biology 38:345-354.
  12. *Rajpurohit S, and Gibbs AG. 2012. Selection of body tergite pigmentation and correlated responses in trident: a case study in Drosophila melanogaster. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106:287-294.
  13. *Rajpurohit S, and Marlon AJ. 2011. Pigmentation scoring method for Drosophila. Drosophila Information Service 94:134-139.
  14. Gibbs AG, and Rajpurohit S. 2010. Cuticular Lipids and Water Balance. In Insect Hydrocarbons-Biology, Biochemistry, and Chemical Biology, G. J. Blomquist, ed. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Publisher), pp. 100-119.
  15. Parkash R, *Rajpurohit S, and Ramniwas S. 2009. Impact of darker, intermediate and lighter phenotypes of body melanisation on desiccation resistance in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Insect Science 9:1-10. First two authors equally contributed.
  16. Parkash R, Rajpurohit S, and Ramniwas S. 2008. Changes in body melanization and desiccation resistance in highland vs. lowland populations of D. melanogaster. Journal of Insect Physiology 54:1050-1056.
  17. *Rajpurohit S, Parkash R, and Ramniwas S. 2008. Pigmentation, ovariole number and fecundity variations in lowland and highland populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Insect Science 15:553-561.
  18. *Rajpurohit S, Parkash R, and Ramniwas S. 2008. Climatic changes and shifting species boundaries of drosophilids in the western Himalaya. Acta Entomologica Sinica 51:328-335.
  19. *Rajpurohit S, Parkash R, and Ramniwas S. 2008. Climate change, boundary increase and elongation of a pre-existing cline: a case study in Drosophila ananassae. Entomological Research 38:268-275.
  20. *Rajpurohit S, Parkash R, and Ramniwas S. 2008. Body melanization and its adaptive role in thermoregulation and tolerance against desiccating conditions in drosophilids. Entomological Research 38:49-60.
  21. Parkash R, Ramniwas S, Rajpurohit S, and Sharma V. 2007. Variations in body melanization impact desiccation resistance in Drosophila immigrans from western Himalaya. Journal of Zoology 276:219-227.
  22. *Rajpurohit S, Parkash R, Ramniwas S, Nedved O, and Singh S. 2007. Parallel trend in pigmentation and desiccation tolerance: altitudinal and latitudinal effects in Drosophila melanogaster. Drosophila Information Service 90:70-79.
  23. Pregent SR, and Rajpurohit S. 2007. Genome, Evolution, Drosophila and Beyond. Fly 1:297-302. (Meeting Report)
  24. Parkash R, Tyagi PK, Sharma I, and Rajpurohit S. 2005. Adaptations to environmental stress in altitudinal populations of two Drosophila species. Physiological Entomology 30:353-361.



Monsoon 2020 (Aug-Nov): Evolutionary Biology (Core Course)

Foundation Programme (Aug-Sep 2020 and Jan-Feb 2021): Studio-Environment & Climate Change; Module-2 Biology and Life


In Past:

Foundation Programme (Mar-Apr 2020): Studio-Environment & Climate Change; Module-2 Biology and Life

Winter 2020 (Jan-Apr): Research Methodology (Core Course)

Foundation Programme (Jul-Oct 2019): Environment & Climate Change

(with Prof. P R Shukla, IPCC Co-chair; Dr. Minal Pathak; Dr. Arijit Ganguli; Dr. Tana Trivedi and Dr. Ashwin Pandey)

Winter 2019 (Jan-Apr): Research Methodology (Core Course)

ISP 2018 (Dec): One Planet: Sustainability Challenges and Solutions

(with Prof. P R Shukla, IPCC Co-chair; Dr. Minal Pathak; Dr. Arijit Ganguli; Dr. Tana Trivedi and Dr. Ashwin Pandey)

Monsoon 2018: Evolutionary Biology (Core Course)

Winter 2018: Research Methodology (Core Course)

Summer 2017: Chemical Ecology (Elective)

Professional Service


1. PhD Programme Chair 


Biological and Life Sciences Division, School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad


Scientific Journals 

1. Current Research in Insect Science (CRIS)

Editorial Board Member

2. Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Board of Reviewing Editors

3. Current Science

Board of Subject Editors

FUNDING Our current research has been generously funded by:

1. SERB-Core Research Grant 2019-2022

2. DST-SERB Ramanujan Fellowship 2018-2023

3. University Research Board - Ahmedabad University, Start-UP Seed Grant 2018-2020

4. UPENN Peachey Environmental Biology Term Fund; 2015

5. Indo-Israel Cultural Exchange Program Award; 2007-2008



  • EMBO Fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (2020)
  • Ramanujan Fellowship from SERB-Government of India (2018).
  • The American Physiological Society Research Recognition Travel Award - Westminster, USA (2010).
  • Visiting Scholar grant under Indo-Israel Cultural Exchange Program funded through Israel Government to visit the Institute of Evolution, The University of Haifa, ISRAEL (2007-2008).
  • Riken Kobe Institute Center for Development Biology travel grant - Awaji Island, JAPAN (2007).
  • Association for the study of animal behavior (ASAB) travel grant - Locarno, SWITZERLAND (2005).
  • Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship from the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, INDIA (1998).


Recent TALKS

1. TRP channels role in thermal preference: A fly story. 21 Jan 2020. Bioinformatics Centre, Birla Institute of Scientific Research, Jaipur, India.

2. Molecules matter: insect cuticular hydrocarbons. 24-25 October 2019. ISEB1: Celebrating Ecology and Evolutiion in India. First Conference of the Indian Society of Evolutionary Biologists. JNCASR, Bangaluru, India. 

3. Water Balance in Insects. 20 September 2019. H N B Garhwal University Campus Badshahithaul, Srinagar, Uttrakhand, India.
4. Seasonality and eco-evolutionary dynamics. 18 September. H N B Garhwal University Campus Chauras/Birma Campus, Tehari, Uttrakhand, India. 

5. Impacts and risks to ecosystems. 23 August 2019. Global Centre for Environment and Energy, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad, India. 

6. Natural variation, laboratory selection, and genomics of desiccation tolerance in Drosophila. 15 March 2018. International Centre for Theoretical Sciences-TIFR Bangaluru (3rd Bangalore School on Population Genetics & Evolution), Bangaluru, India

7. Understanding geographical clines: seasonality and eco-evolutionary dynamics. 14 Feb 2017. IISER Pune, Pune, Maharastra, India.

8. Adaptation to spatial and temporal environmental variants in Drosophila25 Oct 2016. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangaluru, India.


Scientific Conference/Meetings Presentations

1. ISEB2: Indo-Swiss Meeting on Evolutionary Biology. Date: 12-14 Dec 2019. Centre for Human Genetics, Bangalore, India (Invited Talk: Thermal preference in Drosophila: It's not that simple).

2. ISEB1: Celebrating Ecology and Evolution in India. First Conference of the Indian Society of Evolutionary Biologists. Date: 24-25 October 2019. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India (Invited Talk: Molecules matter: cuticular hydrocarbons).

3. The 3rd Bangalore School on Population Genetics & Evolution. Date: 15 March 2018. International Centre for Theoretical Sciences-TIFR Bangalore, India (Invited Talk: Natural variation, laboratory selection, and genomics of desiccation tolerance in Drosophila).

4. The 5th Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference APDRC and Indian Drosophila Research Conference. Date: 6-10 Jan 2020. Indian Institute of Science & Education, Pune, India (Poster Presentation with Homica Arya: But first, give me water!: Drosophila adults refrain from copulation when dehydrated).

5. The 3rd Biennial Indian Drosophila Research Conference (InDRC). 6-9 Dec 2017. Indian Institute of Science & Education, Bhopal, India (Poster Presentation- Rajpurohit et al.: Post-eclosion temperature effects on insect cuticular hydrocarbon profiles).

6. European Society of Evolutionary Biology. 10-14 Aug 2015. Lausanne, Switzerland (Oral Presentation- Rajpurohit et al.: Allelic variation at TrpA1 and trpl regulated thermal-mediated behavior in the lab and field in Drosophila).

7. European Society of Evolutionary Biology. 10-14 Aug 2015. Lausanne, Switzerland (Poster Presentation- Rajpurohit et al.: Eco-evolutionary dynamics in response to seasonal adaptation in Drosophila).

8. Drosophila Research Conference. Date: March 4-8, 2015. Chicago, USA (Oral Presentation- Bergland et al.: Genome-wide test of a life-history model underlying seasonal adaptation in Drosophila).

9. The 5th International Symposium on the Environmental Physiology of Ectotherms and Plants (ISEPEP). Date 12-16 Aug 2013. Ontario, Canada (Poster Presentation-Nedved & Rajpurohit: Clinal variation in ecophysiological traits in drosophilids of the Indian subcontinent).
10. EVOLUTION 2013. Date June 21-25, 2013. Salt Lake City, USA. (Poster Presentation-Rajpurohit et al.: Spatial and temporal variation in drought tolerance in North American populations of Drosophila melanogaster).  
11. EVOLUTION 2013. Date June 21-25, 2013. Salt Lake City, USA. (Poster Presentation-Etges et al.: Transcriptomics of cuticular hydrocarbon expression in a desert drosophilid: age and temperature/desiccation stress).
12. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology SICB 2013. Date: 3-7 Jan 2013. San Francisco, USA (Oral Presentation-Gibbs et al. Testing melanism-desiccation hypothesis using experimental evolution).
13. EVOLUTION 2011. Date: 17-21 June 2011. Norman, Oklahoma, USA (Poster Presentation-Etges et al.: Ecological genomics of stage and age specific responses to different host plants in populations of Drosophila mojavensis).
14. APS Intersociety Meeting: Global Change & Global Science: Comparative Physiology in a Changing World. Denver, Colorado, USA. Date: 4-7 Aug 2010. Westminster, Colorado, USA (Poster Presentation-Rajpurohit et al.: Transcriptome analysis of desiccation in desert adapted Drosophila mojavensis).
15. EVOLUTION 2010. Date: 25-29 Jun 2010. Portland, Oregon, USA (Poster Presentation-Etges et al.: Ecological genomics of host use and mating status in Drosophila mojavensis).
16. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology SICB. Date: 3-7 Jan 2010. Seattle, WA, USA (Poster Presentation-Marlon et al.: Evolution of gene expression in larval fat body of stress-selected Drosophila).
17. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology SICB. Date: 3-7 Jan 2010. Seattle, WA, USA (Poster Presentation-Gibbs et al.: Ecological genomics of host plant adaptation and stress in desert Drosophila).
18. Drosophila Research Conference. Date: 4-8 Mar 2009. Chicago, USA (Poster Presentation-Rajpurohit et al.: Drosophilids as indicators of changing climatic conditions).
19. Gordon Research Conference on Evolutionary and Ecological Functional Genomics. Date: 12-17 Jul 2009. New Hampshire, USA (Poster Presentation-Rajpurohit et al.: Evolution of gene expression in larval fat body of stress-selected Drosophila).
20. Gordon Research Conference on Evolutionary and Ecological Functional Genomics. Date: 12-17 Jul 2009. New Hampshire, USA (Poster Presentation-Oliveira et al.: Ecological genomics of host plant adaptation and stress in desert Drosophila).
21. International Workshop on The Evolution of Sexual Size Dimorphism. Date: 4-7 Sep 2005. Locarno, Switzerland (Poster Presentation-Rajpurohit et al.: Morphometric variations in altitudinal populations of three Drosophila species).  
22. The 8th Japanese Drosophila Research Conference. Date: 2-4 Jul 2006. Osaka, Japan (Poster Presentation-Rajpurohit et al.: Adaptations to altitudinally varying colder environments: Correlated changes in melanism, desiccation tolerance and reproductive fitness traits in Drosophila immigrans).  



1. Teaching Biology to Young and Curious Minds.

2. What does a fruit-fly tell us about water?

3. Panel Discussion; To mark the launch of the Global Centre for Environment and Energy at Ahmedabad University, a panel discussion was organized titled No ‘Plan B’: Looking Through the Sustainability Lens.





City Nature Challenge 2018 Ahmedabad, India

April 27-29, 2018

We, humans, share Ahmedabad with a large number of organisms living in our neighbourhoods! Let's try to find out what's out there! Join us (Rajpurohit Lab @ the Division of Biological & Life Sciences, School of Arts & Sciences, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad) in this citizen science adventure to catalogue our city's biodiversity!

Participation is very simple. Download the iNaturalist app to your mobile phone; then, from April 27-30, 2018, use the app to take photos of plants, trees, insects, animals, fungi, moss or other organisms you see and the iNaturalist community will help you identify it.

Note: For this project, our geographical boundary is outer ring road. Anything inside the outer ring road is advised to go in this work. Please keep your mobile coordinates open.

Stay tuned to us for further updates.

The City Nature Challenge is organized by Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences, USA.


May 1-3, 2018



1. Fruit flies' microbes shape their evolution


107, Division of Biological & Life Sciences,
Ahmedabad University,
Central Campus,
Navrangpura, Ahmedabad,
Gujarat, India


Your browser is out-of-date!

For a richer surfing experience on our website, please update your browser.Update my browser now!