About me

I joined Jan's group as a PhD student in September 2008. I'm currently working on aspects of the microbial ecology of gut microbiota. While my work is currently computational, I do hope to get in the lab fairly soon. I'm a biologist by training, though I've been programming as a hobby for a long time.

When I'm not hard at work, you'll probably find me curled up with a book or hanging out with friends. When I'm back home in India, you're likely to find me in a rain-forest hunting creepy crawlies.


My research focuses on the ecology of gut microbiota. Currently, I'm working on why herbivores choose to let microbes digest cellulose rather than evolve indigenous enzymes to do it. I'm also interested in how the gut microbiota are assembled, and whether this is a question to be addressed when releasing captive-bred animals back into the wild. My other research interests are mostly to do with reptiles and amphibians, something I hope to bring into the PhD by studying the gut microbiota of tadpoles.


  • Kanchi C, Kreft JU (2010). Modelling the rumen microbial food-chain. Spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology, March-April 2010.

Brief CV

  • September 2008 - now: Kreft Group
    PhD student studying gut microbiota
  • September 2006 - October 2007: MSc. Molecular Cell Biology, Nottingham Trent University
    I completed an MSc programme in molecular cell biology at Nottingham Trent University where I did a project on the venom of the snake Bungarus fasciatus
  • 2003 - 2006: Undergraduate diploma in Biotechnology


My PhD is sponsored by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh, who pay my fees and give me a generous stipend. Being sponsored by the Darwin Trust also gives me the option of putting a very fancy-sounding "Darwin Research Fellow" in my email signature. Jokes aside, I am very grateful to the Darwin Trust, because I know first hand just how hard it is for international students to obtain PhD funding in the UK.

University of Birmingham | Centre for Systems Biology | Institute of Microbiology and Infection | School of Biosciences | Find The Lab