Growing up in Sri Lanka, I’ve been an enthusiastic reptile-chaser since a young age and my interest in studying reptiles flourished at Trinity College (my high school), where a group of like-minded friends formed an active field group to study reptiles. In 2006, I completed my BSc (Hons) in Zoology, and later in 2008, a PhD at Prof Rick Shine’s lab at University of Sydney. 


Currently I am a Research Scientist at the Ecosystem Change Ecology (ECE) team of CSIRO and an Adjunct Research Fellow and University of Western Australia. I am also a National Geographic Explorer and co-manage a specialized, science-based wildlife expedition venture – Aaranya Wildlife Odysseys.  


Apart from science, I love scuba diving, wildlife photography, wine and two little munchkins!



Research Interests

The human-dimension in conservation

Identifying and quantifying the direct and indirect impacts of human alteration of landscapes 

2008-2012 : PhD in Biological Sciences 

School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia

Thesis title: Ecology and conservation of Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) at Lake Argyle, Western Australia

Impact of invasive species on reptiles 

Understanding the challenges enforced by invasive fauna and flora upon native reptiles and how they confront these challenges  

Conservation in changing landscapes

Gaining a sound understanding of how animals interact with their habitat in order to formulate more informed conservation strategies 

2002-2006 : BSc (Hons.) [First Class in Zoology]  

Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Thesis title: Communal egg-laying of the endemic Kandyan day-gecko (Cnemaspis kandiana) in rock caves at Gannoruwa forest reserve, Sri Lanka.

  • YouTube
  • Insta
  • twitter

    © 2017 by Ruchira Somaweera. Last update 9 Feb 2020