Rajan Kumar Gupta

Rajan Kumar Gupta

Government Post Graduate College, India

Title: Algal diversity of freshwater streams of Schirmacher Oasis, Antarctica


Rajan Kumar Gupta has worked on Ecophysiology of Antarctic Cyanobacteria for his PhD degree with Late Prof. A.K. Kashyap of Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. For the past twenty years he has been working on various aspects of Antarctic microflora. He was deputed by Govt. of India for his participation as Biological Scientist in Antarctica twice. He has participated in XI and XIV Indian Scientific Expeditions to Antarctica during 1991-92 and 1994-95. He has visited several countries like Mauritius, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, South Africa and Belgium, Singapore, Sri Lanka etc. for presentation of his work on different aspects of algae. He has worked on various aspects of cyanobacteria, i.e., morphology, ecology and nitrogen fixation, biotechnological applications and published more than 108 technical papers in various national and overseas journals and 7 reference (research) books entitled “Glimpses of Cyanobacteria”, “Advances in Applied Phycology”, “Soil Microflora”, “Microbial Biotechnology and Ecology Vol-1 Vol-2”, “Diversity: An Overview” and “Diversity of Lower Plants”. He is a recipient of Research Award from University Grants Commission, New Delhi. He is member of number of organizations in India and abroad. He is the Fellow of the Society for Environment and Ecoplanning and International Botanical Society and chaired various sessions in the conferences in India and abroad. Presently, he is teaching Microbiology and Biotechnology in Department of Botany, Dr. P.D.B.H. Govt. P.G. College, Kotdwar (Pauri), Uttarakhand, India.


Comparatively speaking Antarctic land is almost lifeless, the Antarctic seas are among the most productive seas in the world. The interior of the continent is too hostile to sustain biological life, but a variety of life abounds its edges and adjacent waters. The species of the Polar regions are a few but the numbers of each are many. The present study was made with reference to algal floral diversity in the Shirmacher Oasis (SO) of the Antarctica. Thirty species of algae were recorded, predominantly belonging to blue-green algae (Cyanophyceae). Nitrogen fixing species both heterocystous and unicellular diazotrophs, contributed more than 50% of the counts and their dominance was greatest in the middle of the stream where nitrogen and other nutrients were low. Green algae and diatoms also contributed to the flora. The species composition varied between streams. Glacial and snow drift melt water species contained a distinctive community. Based on the diversity indices, these streams were classified into clusters.

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