Academic Staff

he University of Peradeniya has a large number of Ph.D. qualified, highly-trained and motivated academic staff spanning 72 academic departments in 8 faculties ( Agriculture, Allied Health Sciences, Arts, Dental, Engineering, Medical, Science, Veterinary Medicine). Several of these academics work in multidisciplinary research teams. In addition, the University draws on resource persons from other Universities and institutions in Sri Lanka, as well as from overseas.

MDP Lead Faculty

Dr. J. M. Ananda Jayawickrama, Ph.D. (National University of Singapore) is Chairman of the Arts Faculty HIgher-Degrees Committee and a Senior Lecturer in the DES. His research mainly focuses on policy simulation and forecasting, economic development and the role of government, macro-econometric modeling and time series econometrics. He has served as Development Economist at the International Labour Office in Bangkok and a Research Fellow at the Singapore Centre for Applied and Policy Economics. He taught DPR524 Economic and Policy Analysis, DPR401 Basic Statistics, and co-taught DPR522 Data Analysis for Development Practice and DPR511 Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development in the 2011-12 AY. He is a member of the MDP Project Team.

 

Prof. Dileni Gunewardena,  Ph.D. (American) is the MDP Programme Coordinator. Her research relates to poverty, child nutrition, gender and ethnic inequality.  She has contributed to UNDP and World Bank reports on Sri Lanka’s progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and published in the Routledge Studies in Development Economics, UNU-WIDER studies in Development Economics and Policy and Directions in Development (Human Development) series of the World Bank.  She coordinated DPR511 Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development and co-taught DPR522 Data Analysis for Development in the 2011-12 academic year (AY).

Prof. Piyasena Wickramagamage, Ph.D. (London) is Professor, Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya and assistant coordinator to the MDP programme. He specializes in environmental geography, remote sensing and GIS. He has conducted many Environmental Impact Assessments for development projects and served as a resource person in EIA training workshops. He has contributed to developing a natural resource database for coastal aquaculture development in southern and eastern coastal areas of Sri Lanka for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Sri Lanka. He has served as the Deputy Coordinator of the Centre for Environmental Studies. He taught DPR513 Human Impact on the Natural Environment, DPR521 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Development Practice and guest-taught in DPR511 Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development in the 2011-12 AY. He is in overall charge of the Field Training Programme for the MDP.

Dr. Samanmala DorabawilaPh.D. (Clark) is a Senior Lecturer in the DES. Her research relates to the analysis of labour markets and spatial econometric analysis. She co-taught DPR401 Basic Statistics in 2011-12 AY and will teach DPR623 Environmental Economics and ECN661  Health Economics in 2012-13 AY. She is also in charge of the Development Resource Centre established at the World Bank at the DES. She is a member of the MDP Project Team.

 

Prof . OG Dayaratna-Banda, Ph.D. (National University of Singapore) is a Senior Lecturer in the DES. His research interests are in economic growth and convergence, trade openness, free trade agreements and micro-finance institutions. Formerly a Visiting Research Professor at the Center for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Canada, his collaborative research papers are included in the CIGI, CESifo and NBER working paper series.  He taught DPR502 Introduction to Research Methods in the 2011-12 academic year. He is a member of the MDP Project Team.

 

Dr. Nalani HennayakePh.D. (Syracuse) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography. Her research interests include cultural and political issues in development, gender and development, place-based approach to poverty, participatory development and theories of development.  She is the author of Culture, Politics and Development in Postcolonial Sri Lanka. She has been a consultant to several environmental impact assessments in Sri Lanka. She is a member of the MDP Project Team.

Dr. P. Nalin Wikramanayake, Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University of Sri Lanka and a visiting lecturer at the University of Peradeniya. His research interests are in hydraulic and environmental engineering. He was actively engaged in international and regional scientific programs such as Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone, Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System and Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research. He is involved in projects in the areas of coastal hydrodynamics and sediment transport, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, community-based sewerage and waste-water treatment. He has co-taught DPR404 Introduction to Natural Sciences and DPR511 Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development. He is a member of the MDP Project Team.

 

Dr. Lareef ZubairPh.D. (Yale) is currently a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Peradeniya. He is a member of the research staff at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University.  Zubair has fifteen years of teaching and research experience in the areas of computational mathematics, environmental engineering, climate adaptation and sustainable development.  He has served as a Lecturer at Yale University and Columbia University, and served at the University of Peradeniya as a Senior Lecturer. He has worked on several development projects funded by the NOAA Climate Variability and Human Health program, START/GEF and World Bank. He is a member of the MDP Project Team.

Dr. Wasantha Athukorala, Ph.D. (QUT) is a Senior Lecturer in the DES.  His research interests include Resource Economics, Environment Valuation and Agricultural Economics. He has published papers in Journal of Agricultural EconomicsThe Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsHydrogeology JournalEnergy EconomicsEconomic Analysis and Policy and Journal of Resources, Energy, and Development. He taught DPR510 Data analysis for development practice and co-taught DPR623 Environmental Economics in 2013-14 AY. He is the newest member of the MDP project team.

 

Other MDP Teaching Faculty

Health Sciences

Academics from the Departments of Community Medicine  of the Universities of Peradeniya and University of Rajarata jointly provide expert training in the Health Sciences, with a social science perspective provided by the Departments of Economics and Statistics.

Prof. Samath Dharmaratne, MBBS, M.Sc., M.D. (Colombo) is Head and Senior Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Peradeniya. His expertise is in Community Medicine/Public Health, Health Metrics and Evaluation, Injury Research, and Biometrics. He has served as a research fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U. S. A. and  the Injury Research Centre, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia and Injury Prevention and Trauma Care Division, George Institute for International Health,  Sydney, Australia. He taught DPR515 Introduction to Public Health in the 2011-12 AY.

Dr. Suneth Agampodi,  MBBS (Peradeniya), MSc, MD (Colombo), MPH (Massey), is a Public Health/ Community physician and a lecturer in Community Medicine at the University of Rajarata. He has a strong background in infectious disease epidemiology and teaching/promoting epidemiological research. He was recently Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of California–San Diego. He will coordinate DPR603 Equity and Health, Nutrition and Population in the 2012-13 AY.

Natural Sciences and Engineering

Academics from the Departments of Geography (Arts), Crop Science, Animal Science (Agriculture), Chemical and Process Engineering and Mechanical Engineering (Engineering) of the University of Peradeniya and the Departments of Civil Engineering of the University of Moratuwa and the Open University of Sri Lanka, and the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, the IRI, Earth Institute, Columbia University, collaborate to provide training in the natural sciences and engineering aspects of development practice.

Prof. Dilanthi AmaratungeB.Sc (Moratuwa), Ph.D. (Salford) is Professor of Disaster Management and Associate Head of School (International) at the University of Salford. Her research interests include post disaster reconstruction, including conflict mitigation, gender and projection, capability and capacity building in managing disasters and socio-economic measures for conflict-affected reconstruction, and women in construction. She will co-teach DPR605 Planning Urban and Rural Infrastructure and DPR622 Disaster Management in 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Richard HaighB.Sc (Hons.) Ph.D. is a professor at the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK and Programme Director for the School’s Disaster Mitigation and Reconstruction Masters programme. He lectures on principles of mitigation and reconstruction, participatory reconstruction and strategic management. His research interests include the reintegration and rehabilitation of conflict affected communities in Sri Lanka, and corporate social responsibility in disaster risk reduction. He works closely with local government and major stakeholders to reduce the level of disaster risk in the Sri Lankan District of Batticaloa as part of the UNISDR’s Resilient Cities campaign. He will co-teach DPR605 Planning Urban and Rural Infrastructure and DPR622 Disaster Management in 2012-13 AY.

Prof. S.S.L. Hettiarachchi, B.Sc. Eng (Sri Lanka), PhD (Lond), is a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering University of Moratuwa, consultant to several Government Ministries on coastal and port engineering related projects, Member of National Early Warning Committee, and Sri Lankan delegate to international gatherings on establishing an Indian ocean Tsunami warning system. He will co-teach DPR622 Disaster Management in 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Prasanna Liyanage, B.Sc., Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physics, University of Peradeniya. He has a wide range of research interests including Physics of electrical discharges, low pressure discharges and Lightning. He co-taught DPR 408 Introduction to Natural sciences in 2014-15 AY.

D. H. Sanjeeva MaithripalaB.Sc. (Eng.), M.Phil (Peradeniya), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Texas Tech) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya . His research interests are in nonlinear analysis and control of electrostatically actuated MEMS and modern geometric methods in mechanics and control.  He is the author of several articles published in a number of refereed journals, including The Journal of the Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka and Journal of Sound and Vibration. He co-taught DPR404 Introduction to Natural Sciences in the 2011-12 AY.

Prof. B. Marambe, B.Sc. Agric (Peradeniya) M.Agr. (Hiroshima), D.Agri. (Hiroshima) is a Professor in the Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. His research is in Rice Varieties in Sri Lanka. He will co-teach DPR601 Agriculture and Environment and DPR621 Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Madhava Meegaskumbura, B.Sc. (Peradeniya) Ph.D. (Boston) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya.  A former Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Centre, as an evolutionary biologist,  he focuses on understanding species extinction and how best to construct conservation strategies for endangered species in biodiversity hotspots.  He co-taught DPR404 Introduction to Natural Sciences and DPR511 Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development in 2011-12 AY and 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Sanath RajapakseB.Sc., M.Phil. (Peradeniya) Ph.D. (Hokkaido) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya. His research interests are in Hydrolytic enzymes in Sri Lankan carnivorous plants, Protease inhibitors from Sri Lankan plants, Human and mouse Kallikreins, Anti microbial activities of modified fabrics, Genetic diversity of Rhizobia. He co-taught DPR404 Introduction to Natural Sciences in 2011-12 AY and 2012-13 AY.

Prof. R. ShanthiniPh.D. (Lulea) is Professor in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya. Over her career her research interest and expertise have moved from fluid mechanics, to environmental engineering and sustainable development. She has been a visiting researcher at the Division of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Pradeepa Silva, B. Sc. (Peradeniya), Ph.D. (Sydney) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. Her research interests are in indigenous farm animal genetic resources, focusing on diversity analysis. She is currently the National project director of the GEF-UNEP-ILRI-FAnGR Asia project. She will co-teach DPR601 Agriculture and Environment and DPR621 Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2012-13 AY.

Social Sciences

Academics from the Departments of Economics and Statistics, Geography and Law of the Faculty of Arts, the Centre for Environmental Studies and the Centre for Human Rights and outside experts team up to provide expertise in the social and economic aspects of development. Coursework features micro and macroeconomic aspects of development, data analysis, community development and social dynamics, environmental economics and environmental impact assessment, gender and human rights, and risk analysis.

Academics from the Departments of Sinhala and Tamil provide introductory language training to non-native speakers of these two languages.

Dr. Liyanage AmarakeerthiPhD (Wisconsin), is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sinhala, University of Peradeniya. He is an accomplished fiction writer, academic literary critic and well-known cultural critic in Sri Lanka. A Fulbright fellow, he has taught at Cornell University, and been a CSWR Senior Visiting Scholar to Harvard University Divinity School. He coordinated and co-taught DPR405 Colloquial and Communicative Sinhala in 2011-12 AY.

Dr. Suresh de MelB.Sc. (Moratuwa), C.I.M.A, M.A., Ph.D. (American University) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Statistics. His collaborative field experiment research on microenterprise behaviour in Sri Lanka has been published in the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Development Economics. He taught DPR402 Basic Mathematics and DPR403 Principles of Economics in 2011-12 and 2012-13 AY and co-taught DPR511 Integrated approach to Sustainable Development in 2011-12 AY.

Dr. Nishan de MelB.Sc. (Harvard), M. Phil. (Oxford)  D. Phil (Oxford), is Director, Verite Research (Pvt. Ltd.) His expertise is in Choice Theory and Social Policy. He guest-taught DPR511 Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development in 2011-12 AY.

Ms. Champa Fernando B.A. (Peradeniya) has over 14 years’ experience teaching English as a Second Language. Formerly an Editor at Institute for Fundamental Studies and the International Irrigation Management Institute, she is familiar with the different types of technical writing required in Development Practice. She taughtDPR501 Professional Writing and Communication Skills in 2011-12 AY and 2012-13 AY.

Prof. Shantha HennayakeMA (Peradeniya), PhD (Syracuse) is Head, Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya and Director, Centre for Environmental Studies, Sri Lanka. His research interests are in Political Nationalism and Geography, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Management and Social Impact Assessment. He will teach DPR 626 Environmental Impact Assessment in 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Anurudhha D.H.K. Kankanamge, B.Sc.(Peradeniya), Ph.D. (Oklahoma) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Peradeniya. His teaching and research interests are in Industrial Organization, Economic Forecasting and Microeconomics. He  co-taught DPR522 Data Analysis for Development Practice in 2011-12 AY and will teach ECN660 Energy Economics in 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Muditha Karunarathna. MSc, (Peradeniya), Ph.D. (QUT, Australia) is a Senior Lecturer in the DES. Her research relates to theoretical and applied research in environmental, natural resource and agricultural economics. She taught DPR623 Environmental Economics in the 2013-2014 academic year.

Dr. V. Maheswaran B.A.(Hons., Peradeniya). , M.Phil (Peradeniya), Ph.D (Thanjure), PGD in Temple Art (Karaikudi) is Head, Department of Tamil, University of Peradeniya. His research interests are in Epigraphy, culture, folklore and literature. He coordinated and co-taught DPR406 Colloquial and Communicative Tamil in 2011-12 and 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Sunanda PremasiriB.Sc. (Peradeniya), Ph.D. (Delhi) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sinhala, University of Peradeniya. Her research interests are in Folklore Studies, Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, Modern Fiction, Theater and Drama and Paleography. She co-taught DPR405 Colloquial and Communicative Sinhala in 2011-12 and 2012-13 AY.

Ms. Shobana Rajendran, B.A. (Peradeniya), M.A. (Peradeniya), M.Phil (Peradeniya) is a Senior Lecturer in the  Department of Economics and Statistics, and resource person to Centre for the Study of Human Rights, University of Peradeniya. Her teaching and research interests are in Gender and Labour Economics. She co-taught DPR525 Gender and Human Rights in 2011-12 AY.

Ms. Sothimalar R. Theavar, B.A. (Peradeniya), M.Phil (Peradeniya) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Tamil. Her research interests are in Tamil Folklore, Roots of Tamil and Sinhala words. She co-taught DPR406 Colloquial and Communicative Tamil in 2011-12 and 2012-13 AY.

Dr. Deepika UdagamaLLB and LLM (University of Colombo), LLM and JSD (Berkley, Cal) is Professor, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya. Her expertise is in International Human Rights Law. She has been Sri Lanka’s alternate member to the United Nations (UN) Sub-Commission on the promotion and protection of Human Rights, and the UN Sub-Commission’s Co-Special Reporter on Globalisation and its impact on Human Rights, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights. She co-taught DPR525 Gender and Human Rights in 2011-12 AY.

Mr. Nimal Wijesiri, M.A. (Delhi), B.A. (Peradeniya) is a lecturer in the Department of Sinhala, University of Peradeniya. His research interests are in comparative literature and cultural studies. He co-taught DPR405 Colloquial and Communicative Sinhala in 2012-13 AY.

Management Science

Academics from the Departments of Economics and Statistics, English, Geography and Management Studies of the Faculty of Arts and from the Department of Agribusiness in the Faculty of Agriculture provide expert training in communication, finance, geographical information systems, leadership and project evaluation.

N. Agilan, MBA (Sheffield) MBS, (Ireland) BBA (Jaffna) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management Studies, Faculty of Arts. His research interests are in Human Resource Management and Strategic Management and Organisational Behaviour. He has worked as a Human Resource Officer for Oxfam, Great Britain. He co-taught DPR523 Budget Planning, Financial Management and Commodities Management in 2011-12 AY.

Vajira Balasuriya, MBA (Peradeniya) is a Visiting Tutor at the Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. He has lectured at several tertiary education institutions in Sri Lanka including the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, SLIM. He taught DPR503 Principles of Leadership in the 2011-12 AY.

Ms. Manjula Gunawardane, B.A. (Cardiff), M.A. (Colombo) is a visiting lecturer to a several government and private tertiary educational institutes. Her research interests are in Fisheries Economics, Economic Growth, International Economics and International Business. She taught DPR501 Professional Writing and Communication Skills in 2014-15 AY and DPR503 Principles of Leadership in the 2014-15 AY.

Sujeewa Kodithuwakku, (M.Com., B.Com., Kelaniya) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management Studies, Faculty of Arts. Her research interests are in Financial Management. She co-taught DPR523 Budget Planning, Financial Management and Commodities Management in 2011-12 AY.

Dr. Shamala Kumar, B.A. (University of South), M.Sc. (Illinois State), Ph.D. (Purdue) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics, and Business Management, University of Peradeniya. Her research interests are in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Motivation, Gender and Management. She coordinated the teaching of DPR503 Principles of Leadership and co-taught DPR511 Integrated approach to Sustainable Development in 2011-12 AY.

Dr. Nuwan WickramasingheMBBS, Dip (OH&S), MSc (App. Epid.), MSc, MD (Com. Med.), FRSPH, is a Community Physician and a Lecturer in the Department of Community Medicine, FMAS, RUSL. His research interests are in Maternal and Child Health, Occupational Health and Mental Health. He co-taught DPR 603 Equity and Health, Nutrition and Population in 2012-13 AY, DPR 515 Introduction to Public Health and DPR 511 Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development in 2013-14 AY, and DPR 603 Equity and Health, Nutrition and Population in 2014-15 AY.

 






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