Gitanjali Gnanadesikan

About Gitanjali Gnanadesikan

I am a biologist who is interested in social behavior and cognition. I work with Evan MacLean in the Arizona Canine Cognition Center studying the development and evolution of behavior and cognition in dogs and wolves.

Selected Publications

Gnanadesikan, Gitanjali E., William D. Pearse, and Allison K. Shaw. (2017). Evolution of mammalian migrations for refuge breeding, and food. Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1002/ece3.3120

Ilana Janowitz Koch, Michelle M Clark, Michael J Thompson, Kerry A Deere‐Machemer, Jun Wang, Lionel Duarte, Gitanjali E Gnanadesikan, et al (2016). The concerted impact of domestication and transposon insertions on methylation patterns between dogs and grey wolves. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.13480

Areas of Study

Cognitive evolution, sociality, epigenetics, endocrinology.

Research Interests

My research focuses on cognitive evolution and social behavior, especially in domesticated species. I am particularly interested in developing experimental paradigms that enable meaningful comparisons of cognitive abilities across species. I also aim to design experiments that link biological mechanisms--spanning genetics, epigenetics, and endocrinology--with individual differences in cognitive and behavioral phenotypes.

Gitanjali Gnanadesikan's picture


M.A. Anthropology - University of Arizona - 2019

A.B. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Princeton University - 2014