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Dr. Nayana Wijayathilaka

B.Sc. , Ph.D. (Peradeniya)
Senior Lecturer 
Research Interests: Bioacoustics, Niche modeling, Phylogeny, Biogeography, Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation

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  • Ph. D. in Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • B. Sc. (Special) Degree in Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


  • Visiting Lecturer, Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya. (2018)
  • Senior Lecturer Gr II (on contract), Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. (2017-2018)
  • Lecturer in Zoology (on contract), Faculty of Natural Sciences, The Open University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura Regional Centre. (2016-2017)
  • Academic Co-ordinator, Faculty of Natural Sciences, The Open University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura Regional Centre. (2016-2017)
  • Research Assistant, Evolutionary Ecology & Systematics Lab, Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya (2012-2016)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Open University of Sri Lanka, Kandy regional Centre. (2015-2016)
  • Temporary demonstrator, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Open University of Sri Lanka, Kandy regional Centre. (2010-2012)


  • National Research Council Merit Award for Scientific Publications (2015)
  • National Research Council Merit Award for Scientific Publications (2014)
  • Graduate student fellowship. National Research Council. (2012)
  • Scholarship to attend Advanced Field Ecology and Conservation course (AFEC-X) conducted at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Yunnan, China (2009)
  • Scholarship to attend Harvard Summer School, “Biodiversity of Borneo” (2008)

Research Grants:

  • 2015-2016 –  Bioacoustic repositories to facilitate the conservation of frogs at Knuckles Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka. Nagaoi Environmental Foundation, Japan.
  • 2013-2014 – Ecology, Behavior and Conservation of Critically Endangered Frog Adenomus dasi. Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.
  • 2013 – Ideawild programme, Equipment Grant

International Workshops:

  • Harvard University/CTFS-AA Field Biology Course: “The Biodiversity of Borneo”(Harvard University Summer School & Center for Tropical Forest Science and the Arnold Arboretum (CTFS-AA), Sarawak and Sabah (East Malaysia) – (01 July to 7 August 2008).
  • Advanced Field Ecology and Conservation course (AFEC-X) 9 July – 7 August, 2009. Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunan, China.

Public and extension services:

  • Guest Speaker, Science day of St.Thomas’ College, Matale (29th October, 2018)
  • Biodiversity Conservation, field class for Biology students, De Mazenod College, Kandana (1st February, 2018).
  • Nature Camp conducted for the students in Delta Gamunupura College, Pussallawa (10th November, 2017).
  • Member of the Pollinator Conservation Committee (2016-2017), Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Sri Lanka.
  • Expert member of the team to develop a standard procedures and practices to evade attacks of Bambars and Hornets in Sigiriya world heritage site. Collaboration with Central Cultural Fund and Biodiversity secretariat. (2017)
  • Expert member of the team to develop a standard procedures and practices to evade attacks of Bambars and Hornets in Tea Plantations managed by Finlays, Sri Lanka.(2016)
  • Team Leader, Biodiversity awareness workshop (Nature Camp) conducted for the students in Kegalu Balika Vidyalaya and St.Joseph Girl’s College, Kegalle. (2016)
  • Biology seminar for AL students in Anuradapura district.(2016)
  • Faunal expert, Biodiversity and environment assessment survey of the rubber plantations managed by Lalan rubbers Pvt Ltd as per the requirements of FSC, 2016.
  • Resource person- Awareness workshop series on “evading Bambara attacks” conducted in Nuwara-Eliya district. Collaboration with Department of Wildlife Conservation (2016)
  • IEE team member- Biodiversity expert,  Moragahakanda Kalu Ganga Multi- purpose Development Project (2007)
  • Field assistant- the survey of Elephants in Northwestern Sri Lanka, organized by the Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka (2004)

Research projects:

  • Systematics and evolutionary relationships of Sri Lankan Amphibians
  • Vocalizations as a tool to detect, identify and monitoring of threatened amphibian populations and their conservation.
  • Conserving the versatile pollinator, “Giant rock bees” and mitigating the emerging human-bambara conflict.
  • Distribution pattern of threatened butterflies and the effectiveness of protected area network system.

Research publications:

  1. Garg S., Suyesh R., Das A., Tang Li J., Wijayathilaka, N., Amarasinghe A.A.T., Alhadi F., Vineeth K.K.,  Aravind N.A., Senevirathne G., Meegaskumbura M. and Biju S.D. 2018. Systematic revision of Microhyla (Microhylidae) frogs of South Asia: a molecular, morphological, and acoustic assessment. Vertebrate Zoology, https://doi.org/10.26049/VZ69-1-2019-01.
  2. Wijayathilaka, N., Senevirathne, G., Bandara, C., Rajapakshe, S., Pethiyagoda, R. and Meegaskumbura, M., 2018. Integrating bioacoustics, DNA barcoding and niche modeling for frog conservation – The threatened balloon frogs of Sri Lanka. Global Ecology and Conservation, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2018.e00496.
  3. Senevirathne, G.,Samarawickrama VAMPK, Wijayathilaka, N., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Bowatte G., Samarawickrama DRNS. and Meegaskumbura, M., 2018. A new frog species from rapidly dwindling cloud forest streams of Sri Lanka—Lankanectes pera (Anura, Nyctibatrachidae). Zootaxa, 4461 (4): 519–538.
  4. Garg, S., Senevirathne, G., Wijayathilaka, N., Phuge, S., Deuti, K., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Meegaskumbura, M. and Biju, S.D., 2018. An integrative taxonomic review of the South Asian microhylid genus Uperodon. Zootaxa, 4384 (1): 001–088.
  5. Jayawardena, B., Senevirathne, G., Wijayathilaka, N., Ukuwela, K., Manamendra-Arachchi, K. and Meegaskumbura, M., 2017. Species boundaries, biogeography and evolutionarily significant units in dwarf toads: Duttaphrynus scaber and D. atukoralei (Bufonidae: Adenominae). Ceylon Journal of Science, 46(5), pp 79-87
  6. Wijayathilaka, N. and Meegaskumbura, M., 2016. An acoustic analysis of the genus Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) of Sri Lanka. PloS one11(7), p.e0159003.
  7. Wijayathilaka, N., Garg, S., Senevirathne, G., Karunarathna, N., Biju, S.D. and Meegaskumbura, M., 2016. A new species of Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) from Sri Lanka: an integrative taxonomic approach. Zootaxa4066(3), pp.331-342.
  8. Meegaskumbura, M., Wijayathilaka, N., Abayalath, N. and Senevirathne, G., 2015. Realities of rarity: climatically and ecologically restricted, critically endangered Kandian Torrent Toads (Adenomus kandianus) breed en masse. PeerJ PrePrints3, p.e1575v2.
  9. Priyadarshana, T.S., Wijewardhane, I.H., Sarang, S. and Wijayathilaka, N., 2015. Immature stages and the larval food plant of Nacaduba pactolus ceylonica Fruhstorfer, 1916 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in Sri Lanka. Journal of Threatened Taxa7(12), pp.7945-7949.
  10. Somaweera, R., Wijayathilaka, N., Bowatte, G. and Meegaskumbura, M., 2015. Conservation in a changing landscape: habitat occupancy of the critically endangered Tennent’s leaf-nosed lizard (Ceratophora tennentii) in Sri Lanka. Journal of natural history49(31-32), pp.1961-1985.
  11. Meegaskumbura, M., Senevirathne, G., Wijayathilaka, N., Jayawardena, B., Bandara, C., Manamendra-Arachchi, K. and Pethiyagoda, R., 2015. The Sri Lankan torrent toads (Bufonidae: Adenominae: Adenomus): species boundaries assessed using multiple criteria. Zootaxa3911(2), pp.245-261.
  12. Biju, S.D., Garg, S., Mahony, S., Wijayathilaka, N., Senevirathne, G. and Meegaskumbura, M., 2014. DNA barcoding, phylogeny and systematics of Golden-backed frogs (Hylarana, Ranidae) of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot, with the description of seven new species. Contributions to Zoology83(4).
  13. Wijayathilaka, N., Abayalath, N. and Bandara, C., 2015. Observation of the Vagrant Emperor (Anax ephippiger, ODONATA: AESHNIDAE) in Sri Lanka after 38 years. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Sciences)43(2).
  14. Somaweera, R., Wijayathilaka, N. and Bowatte, G., 2012. Does the invasive shrub Ulex europaeus benefit an endemic Sri Lankan lizard. Herpetological Conservation and Biology7(2), pp.219-226.
  15. Rajakaruna, R.S., Wijayatilaka, N., Ekanayake, E.L. and Ranawana, K.B., 2012. Tortoiseshell Trade in Sri Lanka: Is Centuries-old Trade Now History?. Marine Turtle Newsletter, (134), p.9.
  16. Wijayatilaka, N., 2009. Life history of the Tamil yeoman butterfly. Tigerpaper (FAO).

Posters and Leaflets:

  • Leaflet series of Kanneliya forest reserve on Fresh water fishes, lizards and snakes in English and Sinhala mediums.
  • Poster series on Mammals of Sri Lanka, Venomous Snakes of Sri Lanka. (2007) in collaboration with Wildlife and nature protection society (SLWCS), Sri Lanka

In discovery of NEW SPECIES:

  1. Microhyla darreli
  2. Lankanectes pera
  3. Uperodon rohani
  4. Microhyla mihintalei
  5. Indosylvirana serendipi 
  6. Indosylvirana magna
  7. Indosylvirana caesari 
  8. Indosylvirana indica
  9. Indosylvirana sreeni
  10. Indosylvirana urbis
  11. Indosylvirana doni

Membership in Professional Societies

  • Commission Member – IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017-2020

(Last updated- 27th December, 2018)