Madhu Katti joined NC State in August 2016 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Leadership in Public Science. Katti, an associate professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, studies animals and plants in cities with the goal of applying understanding toward reconciling biodiversity conservation with human development. His research also focuses on the behavioral effects of humans on other species, e.g. effects of urban noise on birdsong.
Katti is an evolutionary ecologist who leads the multidisciplinary Urban Long-Term Research Area – Fresno And Clovis Ecosocial Study (ULTRA-FACES) project, studying the interactions between water policy, human water use, and urban biodiversity in California’s Central Valley. He serves on the steering committee of UrBioNet, a network that grew from an National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis Working Group to study global urban biodiversity. Katti is also active on the Science Advisory Board of Desert Biodiversity, the Advisory Board of Current Conservation and the Editorial Boards of the journals Urban Naturalist, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice and Indian Birds.
Katti discovered birds as an undergrad after growing up a nature-oblivious urban kid near Bombay, then went chasing after vanishing wildernesses in the Himalaya and Western Ghats as a grad student, and returned to study cities as a reconciliation ecologist. He integrates his passion into making science a part of everyday culture by writing for the Social Evolution Forum, The Nature of Cities, Coyot.es Network and other outlets. He founded the Central Valley Café Scientifique and hosts an affiliated radio show, “Science: A Candle In The Dark,” which airs on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. (Pacific Time), and is available as a podcast.