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 at University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, and later in 2012, a PhD at Prof Rick Shine’s lab at University of Sydney, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in 2019 and a Reserch Scientist position in 2021 at the ECE lab at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).
Currently I am the Practice Lead for Ecology and a Principal Scientist at Stantec Australia, an Adjunct Associate Professor at Murdoch University and an Adjucnt Research Fellow at 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, cocktails and my two little munchkins - Rehan and Nehan.
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.