Dr. Anupama Krishnamurthy is a Palynologist and Palaeoecologist. Since more than 30 years she has been carrying out research in the fields of Palaeovegetation reconstruction, Pollination Ecology and Aerobiology employing pollen grains as the key tool, as also phytoliths. She has guided/co-guided several doctoral and masters students on various aspects of Quaternary Palynology, Melisso Palynology and in diverse topics linked to land cover reconstruction and Palynology. She has been actively involved with Humans and Biosphere Commission of INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) where she served as President during the Intercongress period 2019-2023 and is a member of PAGES (Past Global Changes) Landcover6K Working group.
She has organized several International workshops, conferences and Training programmes linked to Palynology and phytolith studies with support from both INQUA and PAGES. She is involved in various interdisciplinary projects involving archaeology and humanities. She is currently in the Research Advisory Committee of Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences , Lucknow and is a co-opted member of the Programme Advisory Committee of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (PAC-E&AS), Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi since 2022.
After completing her Masters in Physics she switched to Ecology and Paleoecology through Palynology. Her PhD was on the Airborne pollen of Pondicherry, linking its prevalence to allergies and in predicting crop (rice) productivity. Her research uses pollen as a proxy for plants both in reconstructing past vegetation history and in understanding contemporary ecological questions related to native honeybees, their diet and pollination. She also uses complementary proxies such as Phytoliths in past vegetation reconstructions, especially at prehistoric archeological sites in south India. Her focus has been on Tropical Palynology with current ongoing projects in the Nilgiri hills in south India and in Angkor Thom in Cambodia. A particular focus is the use of pollen based quantification of past landcover (vegetation) through modeling approaches which her former PhD student Navya Reghu has applied for the first time in South East India and that will also be applied in the ongoing Nilgiri Archeological Project. She is also interested in the dynamics of plant functional types across space and time and taphonomy – both with reference to proxies such as pollen and phytoliths. As an ecologist and paleoecologist working with archeologists and others in the humanities and in the physical sciences like Geology, one current preoccupation is the “Anthropocene” and a need to understand it in an inclusive and interdisciplinary manner.