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Dr. Kosala Sirisena

B.Sc. (USJP), M.Sc.(Pera.), Ph.D.(New Zealand)
Senior Lecturer (On contract)
kosala@sci.sjp.ac.lk
Research Interests: Microbial Biotechnology, Astrobiology, Molecular Microbial Ecology, Extremophiles

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Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • M.Sc. in Biotechnology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
  • B.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

Appointments:

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate   (October 2015 – July 2017) Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA. (Advisor: Dr Mihaela Glamoclija)
  • Visiting Researcher   (November 2015 – July 2017) Geophysical Laboratory Carnegie Institution of Washington, DC, USA. (Advisor: Dr Andrew Steele)
  • Research Assistant   (January 2015 – February 2015) GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand (Advisor: Dr Chris Daughney)
  • Research Assistant   (May 2014 – December 2015) School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. (Advisor: Prof. Ken Ryan)
  • Teaching Assistant, Cell Biology (BIOL 111)   (March 2012 – July 2012) School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. (Advisor: Prof. Joe Zuccarello)

Scholarships / Fellowships:

  • Victoria Doctoral Submission Scholarship (2013) from Victoria University of Wellington – New Zealand
  • Victoria Doctoral Scholarship (2010) from Victoria University of Wellington – New Zealand
  • Victoria Masters (by thesis) Scholarship (2008) from Victoria University of Wellington – New Zealand

Research publications :

Peer Reviewed

  1. Sirisena KA, Ramirez S, Steele A & Glamoclija M (2017) Microbial diversity of hypersaline sediments from Lake Lucero playa in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA. Microbial Ecology (Accepted)
  2. Sirisena KA, Daughney CJ, Moreau M, Sim DA, Lee CK, Cary SC, Ryan KG & Chambers GK (2017) Hydrochemistry and human impact influence bacterial diversity and predicted bacterial metabolic profiles in New Zealand groundwater. FEMS Microbiology Ecology (In review)
  3. Sirisena KA, Daughney CJ, Moreau M, Ryan KG & Chambers GK (2014) Relationships between Molecular Bacterial Diversity and Chemistry of Groundwater in the Wairarapa Valley, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 48: 524–539.
  4. Sirisena KA, Daughney CJ, Moreau‐Fournier M, Ryan KG & Chambers GK (2013) National survey of molecular bacterial diversity of New Zealand groundwater: relationships between biodiversity, groundwater chemistry and aquifer characteristics. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 86: 490–504.
  5. Sirisena KA, Daughney CJ, Ryan KG & Chambers GK (In preparation) Universal primers in the era of Next-Generation Sequencing. Intended for submission to Journal of Microbiological Methods
  6. Ramirez S, Sirisena K, Widanagamage I, Potochniak S, Zeidan M, Glamoclija M (In preparation) Shallow-Subsurface Microbial Ecology and Sediment-Groundwater Interface in Sulfate-Rich Playa at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. Intended for submission to Microbial Ecology

Technical reports

  • Moreau M, Zemansky G, Cameron S, Daughney CJ, Morgenstern U, White P, Gusyev M, Sirisena KA, Tschritter C, van der Raaij R, Donath F, Kmoch A & Cox S (2012) Outputs from GNS Science Research programmes, September 2012. GNS Science Letter Report No: 2012/194LR (Project No: 632GWR12)

 Invited Seminar Presentations

  • Sirisena KA (2016) Microbial Diversity of Gypsum Playas in New Mexico and Gypsum Containing Concretions from Svalbard. Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences Seminar Series; October 05, 2016: Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.
  • Sirisena KA (2011) National Survey of Microbial Biodiversity in New Zealand Groundwater. 50th New Zealand Hydrological Society Conference; December 06, 2011: Te Papa, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Sirisena KA (2009) Microbial Diversity in New Zealand Groundwater.  SBS Evolution and Ecology Seminar Series; September 18, 2009: School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Presentations

  • Glamoclija M, Steele A, Fogel ML, Sirisena KA, Ramirez S, Widanagamage IH, Waldron A, Zeidan M & Potochniak S (2017) Microbial Ecology within the Top Meter of Playa Sediments at White Sands National Monument (New Mexico). The Astrobiology Conference (AbSciCon 2017): 24–28 April 2017, Mesa, Arizona, USA. (https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/abscicon2017/pdf/3442.pdf)
  • Glamoclija M, Steele A, Starke V, Zeidan M, Potochniak S, Sirisena KA, & Widanagamage IH (2016) Microbial Signatures in Sulfate-Rich Playas. Proceedings of Biosignature Preservation and Detection in Mars Analog Environments: LPI Contributions, 1912: 16-18 May 2016, Nevada, USA. (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016LPICo1912.2051G)
  • Sirisena KA, Daughney CJ, Herbold CW, Lee CK, Ryan KG & Chambers GK (2012) Molecular Microbial Diversity in New Zealand Groundwater. 14th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology: 19 – 24 August 2012: Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Sirisena KA, Moreau-Fournier M, Daughney CJ, Ryan KG & Chambers GK (2012) Molecular Microbial Diversity of New Zealand Groundwater: Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) Approach. 2 nd Conference of the New Zealand Microbial Ecology Consortium: 16 – 17 February 2012: University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Sirisena KA, Chambers GK & Daughney CJ (2010) Molecular Characterization of Bacterial Diversity in New Zealand Groundwater. Conference of the New Zealand Microbiological Society and New Zealand Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: 30 November – 03 December 2010: University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Professional Services:

  • American Society for Microbiology Young Ambassador to Sri Lanka (ASM YA)
  • Reviewer – FEMS Microbiology Ecology
  • Reviewer – Molecular Ecology

Membership in Professional Societies

  • Member – American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • Member – New Zealand Microbial Ecology Consortium (NZMEC)
  • Member – Institute of Biology Sri Lanka – M.I.Biol (Sri Lanka)
  • Member – Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS)

(Last updated- 9th October, 2017)