I am broadly interested in molecular systematics, biochemistry, taxonomy, niche evolution, and evolutionary biology of medicinal plants.
I graduated with a PhD in Botany from the Department of Biology, the University of Florida and I worked in Dr. Nico Cellinese lab, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. I completed my MS in Molecular Life Sciences (2013) at the Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IBMBB), University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and BS in Agricultural Technology and Management (2009) at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. I had the opportunity to study various medicinal plant groups focusing their biochemistry, morphology, DNA based identification during both BSc and Msc. The research work that I conducted towards my PhD gave me the perfect opportunity to combine all these areas to understand the evolution and conservation of a medicinal plant group, Memecylon (Melastomataceae).
I love being in the field and have traveled to forests in South Africa, Sri Lanka, China, Singapore, and the USA to study different plant groups. In addition, I enjoy lab work and analysis of large datasets.