Fieldwork, Sri Lanka (photo credit: Nimani Rathnasooriya)

I am interested in linking genetics and gene expression of plants with different modelling approaches. I engaged in various research, specifically on medicinal plant groups focusing their genomics, transcriptomics, phenomics, and gene editing. I use data from these approaches for computational modeling to seek answers for industrially important plant based questions.

I graduated with a PhD in Botany from the Department of Biology, the 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 genomics, transcriptomics, and systematics during both BSc and Msc. The research work that I conducted towards my PhD at the Florida Museum of Natural History gave me the perfect opportunity to combine all these areas to understand the evolution of a medicinal plant group, Memecylon (Melastomataceae) and to use bioinformatics intensively.

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. 

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