Dr. Santosh Kumar




Highest Academic degree, year

Ph.D.(Zoology); 2011





Protozoology Section,

Zoological Survey of India

M-Block, New Alipore, Kolkata – 700 053

West Bengal, India


Email Address;


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Area of Expertise


Taxonomy, ecology, biogeography, and molecular biology ofCiliated protists, Gastrotrichs, and freshwater flatworms.


Experience after Ph. D.

12 years


Significant Achievements






  • New genera- 07; New Species- 29;New Records- 34; New comb- 04; Redescription- 15; Augmentation to NZC, ZSI : over 80 species.
  • Worked on taxonomy of ciliates from India, Italy, Australia, Jamaica, Dominican Republic,South Korea, and USA.
  • Dispersal of ciliated protist cysts through phoresy on mites.
  • Novel ciliates from heavy metal contaminated industrial outlet and petroleum contaminated soils. Characterization of toxicysts/extrusomes from ciliates.
  • Documentation of faunal diversity (protozoa to mammals) of Ramsar wetlands of India.


Supervising 01 PhD students


Research Focus











  • Taxonomy, ecology, biogeography, and molecular phylogenetics of ciliated protists, gastrotrichs, and flatworms from freshwater, terrestrial and marine habitats. Faunal composition of Ramsar wetlands of India.
  • Development of a ciliate-based product/device for cleaning and sanitizing water, as well as improving soil health. Ciliated protozoa as bio-indicators of soil/water quality.
  • Parasitic ciliates (marine ciliates) and bacteria associated with Indian corals and diseases.
  • Study on ciliates and their adaptation to high sulphur tolerance, photosensitivity, feeding behaviour, and cytotoxic compounds.
  • Development of a Tetrahymena-based assay: a "prognostic" assay capable of detecting sub-lethal toxicant effects in contaminated water and soil through the exploitation of stress gene activation responses. Response of heavy metals/nanoparticles in the resting cyst and vegetative cells of soil/water ciliates.



- Books: 03 (02 authored, 01 edited)

- Papers: 42

- Chapters: 11

Selected articles:

  • Bharti D., Kumar S. 2023. Description of a new oxytrichid ciliate, Oxytricha buxai n. sp. and redescription of O. quadricirrata Blatterer and Foissner, 1988 based on morphology and 18S rDNA analyses. European Journal of Protistology. 88: 125959. (IF- 2.9).
  • Kumar S., Bharti D., Shazib SUA. Shin M.K. 2021. Characterization of a novel hypotrich ciliate from heavy metal-contaminated industrial outlet in Onsan, Ulsan, South Korea. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12:761961. (IF-5.2).
  • Bharti D., Kumar S., La Terza A., Chandra K. 2020. Dispersal of ciliated protist cysts: mutualism and phoresy on mites. Ecology. 101 (9), e03075. (IF- 4.8).
  • Bharti D., Kumar S., Varatharajan G.R, Kamra K., La Terza A. 2018. Shedding light on the polyphyletic behavior of the genus Sterkiella: the importance of ontogenetic and molecular phylogenetic approaches. PLoS ONE. 13(11): e0207688 (IF- 3.7).
  • Geisan et al. 2017. Soil protistology rebooted: 30 fundamental questions to start with. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 111:94e103. (IF- 9.7).


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