Rallapalli Ramamurthi earned his BSc degree (Hons) (1957), MA (1958), MSc (1958) and PhD (1962) from SV University. His specializations are in Comparative Animal Physiology, Comparative Endocrinology and Environmental Biology. He held various positions as Demonstrator (1958-63), Lecturer (1965), Reader (1972-78), and Professor of Zoology. He has also been Honorary Director, Pesticide and Industrial Toxicological center, Director Ramasarma Centre for Research in Aquaculture and Aquatic Biology and Vice-Chancellor all at SV University, Tirupati. He was a Post Doctoral Associate (1963-65); Research Associate (1966-68), University of Oregon and Visiting Professor (1985), Simon Fraser University, Canada. He is presently ISRO Visiting Scientist at Department of Fishery Sciences, SV University.
Academic and Research Achievements: Ramamurthi worked on isolation, identification, parital characterization and mode of action of neuroendocrine active principles regulating moulting, metabolism and hydromineral balance in crabs, millipedes, scorpions and mollusks. He discovered an active principle in the central nervous system of crustacea that regulates sodium outflux in marine crab probably by altering the permeability of blood-medium barrier. This hormonal factor has great adaptive significance in euryhaline crustacea. The comparative study particularly those of hyperglycemic hormones and respiration inhibiting hormones, revealed interesting trends with reference to evolution of neuroendrocrine mechanisms in regard to the mode and site of their action. Expertise in animal physiology has been extended to toxicological aspects of environmental biology; efforts to develop diagnostic tools to assess the impact of pesticides and heavy metals using crabs and fish as models indicated haematology and oxidative enzymes of nerve tissue, ATPases in particular have such a prospect. He worked on development of a very sensitive bioassay through determination of state of condensation of chromatin and pattern analysis using crab hepatopancreatic tubule nuclei with the aid of image analysis system for establishing the so called "no effect dose" of xenobiotics. His studies in comparative evaluation of impact of pesticides on organisms of rice field ecosystem (fish, crab, snail) with special reference to physiological, histological and biochemical responses yielded useful information in regard to recovery potential of non-target species. Twenty-two students have completed their PhD under his supervision.
Other Contributions: Ramamurthi is associated with a large number of professional societies such as Indian Society for Comparative Animal Physiology (Secretary), Society of Ichthyologist, Society for Reproductive Biology and Comparative Endocrinology (President), Indian Society of Aquatic Biologists and Indian Society for Life Sciences (President) to name a few.
Awards and Honours: Ramamurthi served as President, Indian Science Congress Association. He is a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.