Prof. Sampath Seneviratne
I am a birder and a naturalist. Also I am an evolutionary ecologist, geneticist and an ornithologist by training. My research interests are rooted in the studies of evolution, island biogeography, causes of endemicity and the evolution of novel traits. My approach uses both field- and laboratory-based research grounded in a strong conceptual framework to address processes underlying species boundaries.
Contact: email@example.com | +94 710 821177
AviEN Lab Members
Sanjaya Weerakkody (PhD Student)
Sanjaya Weerakkody is broadly interested in evolutionary ecology and bioacoustics.
He received his bachelor’s degree in 2017 from the University of Colombo and joined our lab in May 2017 for his PhD. He is studying the Gene flow, vocal plasticity, and their role in maintaining species limits in a vocally complex songbird: Dicrurus Drongo species complex for his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Sampath Seneviratne and Prof. Eben Goodale (Guangxi University, PR China). Profile
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com | +94 715 777610
Gayomini Panagoda (PhD Student)
Gayomini Panagoda is a birder.
She studies ecology, evolution and connectivity patterns of waterfowl migration in Sri Lanka, with a special interest on shorebirds. Her research is supervised by Dr. Sampath Seneviratne, Prof. Sarath Kotagama , Dr. Taej Mundkur (Wetlands International) & Dr. S. Balachandran (Bombay Natural History Society). Her fieldwork is focused on Mannar Island – a bird migratory hotspot in Sri Lanka, from where she is engaged in bird banding & satellite-tagging activities. She also coordinates the National Bird Ringing Program – Mannar, along with the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (Sri Lankan affiliate of Birdlife International).
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 716 251169
Dineth Danushka (MSc Student)
Ecological and phylogenetic affinities of tree snakes in Sri Lanka
Contact: email@example.com | +94 713 707779
Chandika Jayaratne (MPhil Student)
Having completed 4 year of medical school Chandika completed his LLB (Hons) Degree from the University of Staffordshire in the UK, he pursued a career within the sectors of hospitality and environmental stewardship in the specialized niche of wildlife tourism. He also has a research background where he studied captive rusty spotted cats which was featured in the documentary “Story of Cats”. Chandika is working on the ecology and evolution of the Indian Dwarf Wolf – that is our humble ‘Hiwala‘ or the ‘Indian Jackal’
Jude Janitha Niroshan
Research: The role of genome and phenome in an incipient speciation event of the Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) in Sri Lanka
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 76 735 7216 | Profile
A 4th year student from Guangxi University, majoring in ecology. Doing graduate project in Sri Lanka about vocal behavior of dicrurus drongos in Sri Lanka. Profile
Research: Vocal divergence in a group of divergent forest birds: Babblers of Sri Lanka. His current research focuses on the effect of genes, environment and morphology on the vocalization thereby leading to endemicity.
Academic interests: Bio-acoustics, Ecology, Migration, evolution, genetics and related molecular biology aspects.
Contact: email@example.com | +94 771 786114 | Profile
Research: Characterization of the symbiotic relationship of the Crematogaster ants and the Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus) in Sri Lanka.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 770 705032
Research: Evolutionary and ecological affinities of the Laughingthrush of Sri Lanka.
Contact: email@example.com | +94 768 527226
Research: Dentition and foraging ecology of the Sri Lankan Jackal ( Canis aureus nariya ).
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 711 175124
Research: Genetic signature of habituation to humans behaviour in House Swallows. His research focuses on how neurotransmitter receptor gene polymorphisms relate to personality and adaptation to an urbanised environment in House swallow species complex Hirundo javanica. (Co-supervise by Prof. Liz Scordato from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.)
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Research: Responses of avian communities to cloud line along an elevation gradient
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +754097475
Research: Morphological, plumage, vocal, and genetic characterization of Motacilla flava – tschutschensis allospecies complex in Sri Lanka.
Contact: email@example.com | +94768316997
Research: Effect of genetic introgression on phenotype of Dicrurus drongos across a climatic gradient.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94768304576
Research: Parasite levels and host response in avian communities along an altitudinal gradient
Contact: email@example.com | +94 757285400
Research: Breeding ecology of recently described Red-backed woodpecker (Dinopium psarodes)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94767610595
AviEN Lab Alumni
Dr. Saminda Fernando (PhD)
First PhD of the lab. Currently a Senior Lecturer at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL)
PhD Thesis Title: Barriers to gene flow and the resulting endemicity in Dinopium flamebacks of Sri Lanka
Contact: email@example.com | +94 718 441883
Dr. Nelum Wickramasinghe (PhD)
Patterns of speciation in a rapidly diverging clade of passerines: Zosterops white-eyes of South Asia
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org |+91 776 0544865
Dr. Madushika Silva
BSc. Thesis: Characterization of neutralizing ability of a herbal preparation used in indigenous medicine for snake envenamation in the wet zone of Sri Lanka (Co-supervised with Prof. Charitha Goonasekara).
She completed her PhD on muscle protein structure at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada (more info).
Research: Conservation of in-silico predicted epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 and other native Corona viruses from different geographic regions.
Academic interests: Virus ecology and evolution, zoonotic viruses
Research: Deep history of a Gondwanan refugee revealed through Scolopendrid phylogeny (co-supervise with Dr. Jahnavi Joshi from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, India).
Academic interests : Phylogenetics, Evolutionary deep-history, Scolopendrid centipedes, Biogeography and Ecology.
Contact: email@example.com | +94 775 363408
Chamalka de Silva
Research: The role of polymorphism in MHC class I gene on speciation in higher altitude fauna
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 76 6647979
BSc. Thesis: Phylogenetic and ecological affinities of Ceylon Bush Warbler.
He is currently doing a PhD in Bird Ecology and Bioacoustics in the Department of Biological Sciences, at the University of Alberta, Canada. His current research aims to use acoustic recordings to monitor boreal bird populations and understand the impacts of energy sector disturbances on the wildlife populations in boreal forest in Canada.
Contact: email@example.com | (403) 620-3392
BSc. Thesis: Phylogenetic affinity and environmental signature in a selected region of the genome of a near-endemic montane insectivore. This was co-supervised by Prof. Liz Scordato from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Profile
She is currently doing a MSc. at Lethbridge University, Alberta, Canada on population genetics of Swallows. Profile
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94715647277
BSc. Thesis: Evolutionary affinities within genus Raufa revealed through genetics and morphometric markers.
She is currently doing her PhD. at the University of Minnesota, USA.
Contact: email@example.com | +94 718324903
Janaka Perera (Graduate researcher)
Ranging ecology and vocalization of Ashy-headed Laughingthrush in mixed-species feeding flocks in Sri Lanka
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 775 126021
Naveendra Malalgoda (BSc Environment Science Major)
BSc. thesis : The shifts in guild structure and composition in response to habitat variability (co supervise with Prof. Mayuri Wijesinghe).
Contact: email@example.com | +94 772 336982
Tharindu Premachandra (Graduate Researcher)
The use of genetic, phylogenetic and simulation based models to measure the health of fragmented rain forest patches near the Colombo City.
He is currently doing his PhD research study at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. His current research work is based on confirming sex determining mechanisms of Xenopus tropicalis using genomic editing. Profile
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 779 162485
Shyanika Lasanthi (Graduate Researcher)
BSc. Thesis: Level of genomic differentiation in an avian hybrid zone determined using markers generated through Illumina RAD-NGS tools.
She is currently doing an MSc research on evolution and biochemical pathways of nonphotosynthetic algae at the Western University, London, Ontario. Profile
Contact: email@example.com | +94 711 653139
Pavithra Panduwawala (Graduate Researcher)
Structure and Diversity of Vocalization of an Endemic Bird: Brown Capped Babbler (Pellorneum fuscocapillus)
She is now employed as a research associate at Pelagikos.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +94 719 461708
BSc. Thesis: Assessing the areas of priority for conservation in rainforest patches in Colombo
She completed her MSc at Oxford University, UK in Conservation and Management at the School of Geography and the Environment.(more info )
She is currently employed as a communications and data officer with the United Nations Environment Programme. Profile
BSc. Thesis: Genetic connectivity of a sessile forest babbler in the forest patches of Colombo.
Currently doing a PhD at University of Colombo and Uppsala University, Sweden. She is currently working on her PhD research project titled “Integrative taxonomy of Sri Lankan shallow water demosponges and characterization of bioactive compounds from Rhabdastrella species”. Profile
BSc. Thesis: Phenotypic and Genetic Affinities of a Sessile South Asian Endemic: Rophocichla attriceps
Currently doing a MSc. at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada. She is currently investigating ecological, morphological, and behavioural predictors of fitness in dark-eyed juncos in Newfoundland. Profile
BSc. Thesis: Biochemical basis of color expression in flamback woodpeckers in Sri Lanka (Co-supervised with Dr K. M. Kaumal and Dr. Hiran Jayaweera).
She is currently doing a PhD on the genomic differentiation and the genetic basis of carotenoid color expression in Flamebacks of Sri lanka with Prof. Darren Irwin at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Profile
BSc. Thesis: Using Molecular and Phylogenetic Diversity to Set Priorities in Biodiversity Conservation for Sri Lanka.
She is currently doing a PhD at Lethbridge University, Alberta, Canada on conservation genetics of the effects of commercial fishery on seabirds in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Profile
Former lab manager. Did her BSc. thesis on ‘Structure based drug design towards Xanthomonas Oryzae Pv. Oryzae Topoisomerease I inhibitors’. (thesis supervisor – Dr Inoka Perera). Studied the molecular phylogeny of woodpeckers and the dietary ecology of Sri Lanka Leopard at the AviEN lab.
She is currently doing her PhD at North-eastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Profile
BSc. Thesis: Genetic and phenotypic divergence in Zosterops white-eyes along a climatic gradient in Sri Lanka (Co-supervised with Dr Enoka Kudawidanage).
She worked as graduate research assistant at the National University of Singapore. Currently she is doing her PhD in University of Auckland, New Zealand on eco-acoustic indices. Profile.
She is also working at for Quiet Parks International as an advisor for Bioacoustic. Profile
BSc Thesis : Mechanisms of temperature homeostasis in eggs of ground nesting Charadriids with special reference to the Red Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) (Co-supervised with Dr Hiran Jayaweera)
BSc. Thesis: Influence of Anthropogenic Perturbation on Energy Trade-offs of the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia): Relationships among Parasite Load, Immune Response and Physical Fitness in Wild, Urban and Captive Populations (Co-supervised with Prof. Preethi Udagama)
He is currently doing a PhD at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. His research focuses on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on the behaviour of birds. Profile
Kalpani de Silva
BSc. Thesis: Resolving phylogenetic relationships of Flameback woodpeckers in south Asia using GBS/RAD data generated with NGS.
She is currently doing a PhD at School of Medicine, University of Louisville, USA
BSc. Thesis: The level of gene flow in Dinopium benghalense allospecies cluster