Home / Academic Staff / Dr. Nayana Wijayathilaka


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

Career Profile:

  • Senior Lecturer Gr II , Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. (2018 onwards)
  • 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)


  • Young Researcher Award, University of Sri Jayewardenepura (2019)
  • 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)

Administrative and other positions:

  • Deputy Proctor, Faculty of Applied Sciences (2022)
  • Member of the Life Science Study Board, Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Senior Consultant, Faculty of Urban Agriculture and Aquatic Bioresources
  • Senior Treasurer, Zoologists’ Association of University of Sri Jayewardenepura (2019 to date)

Research Grants:

  • 2022-2023 – Molecular Species Delimitation, Phytogeography and Pollination Ecology of Oberonia Lindl. and Bulbophyllum Thouars (Orchidaceae) Species in Sri Lanka.
  • 2019-2021- Analyzing the Phylogenetic relationships of Sri Lankan Agamid Lizards to facilitate their conservation. National Research Council, Sri Lanka.
  • 2019-2021- Amphibian call bank; a comprehensive bioacoustic repository of Sri Lankan Amphibians to facilitate amphibian monitoring and conservation in Sri Lanka. University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.
  • 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:

  • Editorial group member, Biology textbook, Educational Publications Department
  • 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:



Ellepola, Gajaba; Herath, Jayampathi; Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Senevirathne, Gayani; Pethiyagoda, Rohan; Meegaskumbura, Madhava

Molecular species delimitation of shrub frogs of the genus Pseudophilautus (Anura, Rhacophoridae) Journal Article

PloS one, 16 (10), pp. e0258594, 2021.




Silva, De S; Wijayathilaka, Nayana

Bioacoustics of Sri Lankan Amphibians: a Review of Current Knowledge and Conservation Significance Journal Article

Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment, 9 (1), 2019.



Bandara, C; Herath, B; Karunarathna, N; Silva, De S; Adhikari, H; Wijayathilaka, Nayana

Range Extension and Vocalisation of Endangered Shrub Frog, Pseudophilautus zorro (Amphibia: Rachophoridae) in Sri Lanka Inproceedings

Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, 2019.




Garg, Sonali; Senevirathne, Gayani; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Phuge, Samadhan; Deuti, Kaushik; Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Meegaskumbura, Madhava; Biju, SD

An integrative taxonomic review of the South Asian microhylid genus Uperodon Journal Article

Zootaxa, 4384 (1), pp. 1–88, 2018.



Garg, Sonali; Suyesh, Robin; Das, Abhijit; Jiang, Jianping; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Amarasinghe, AA Thasun; Alhadi, Farits; Vineeth, Kumar K; Aravind, NA; Senevirathne, Gayani; others,

Systematic revision of Microhyla (Microhylidae) frogs of South Asia: a molecular, morphological, and acoustic assessment Journal Article

Vertebrate Zoology, 69 (1), pp. 1–71, 2018.



Senevirathne, Gayani; Samarawickrama, VAMPK; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Bowatte, Gayan; Samarawickrama, DRNS; Meegaskumbura, Madhava

A new frog species from rapidly dwindling cloud forest streams of Sri Lanka—Lankanectes pera (Anura, Nyctibatrachidae) Journal Article

Zootaxa, 4461 (4), pp. 519–538, 2018.



Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Senevirathne, Gayani; Bandara, Champika; Rajapakse, Sanath; Pethiyagoda, Rohan; Meegaskumbura, Madhava

Integrating bioacoustics, DNA barcoding and niche modeling for frog conservation--The threatened balloon frogs of Sri Lanka Journal Article

Global Ecology and Conservation, 16 , pp. e00496, 2018.

Links | BibTeX


Hansana, N; Priyaranga, I; Jayasena, N; Wijayathilaka, Nayana

Diurnal Behavior of Captive and Free-Ranging Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus): A Case Study in Sri Lanka and Implications for Captive Management. Inproceedings

Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, 2018.




Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Ukuwela, Kanishka; Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Megaskumbura, Madhava; Jayawardena, Beneeta; Senevirathne, Gayani

Species boundaries, biogeography and evolutionarily significant units in dwarf toads: Duttaphrynus scaber and D. atukoralei (Bufonidae: Adenominae) Journal Article

Ceylon Journal of Science, 46 (5), pp. 79–87, 2017.




Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Meegaskumbura, Madhava

An Acoustic Analysis of the Genus Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) of Sri Lanka Journal Article

PLoS ONE, 11 (7), 2016.



Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Senevirathne, Gayani; Karunarathna, Nuwan; Biju, SD; Garg, Sonali; Meegaskumbura, Madhava

A new species of Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) from Sri Lanka: an integrative taxonomic approach Journal Article

Zootaxa, 4066 (3), pp. 331–342, 2016.




Meegaskumbura, Madhava; Senevirathne, Gayani; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Jayawardena, Beneeta; Bandara, Champika; Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Pethiyagoda, Rohan

The Sri Lankan torrent toads (Bufonidae: Adenominae: Adenomus): species boundaries assessed using multiple criteria Journal Article

Zootaxa, 3911 , 2015.



Somaweera, Ruchira; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Bowatte, Gayan; Meegaskumbura, Madhava

Conservation in a changing landscape: habitat occupancy of the critically endangered Tennent’s leaf-nosed lizard (Ceratophora tennentii) in Sri Lanka Journal Article

Journal of natural history, 49 (31-32), pp. 1961–1985, 2015.



Meegaskumbura, Madhava; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Abayalath, Nirodha; Senevirathne, Gayani

Realities of rarity: climatically and ecologically restricted, critically endangered Kandian Torrent Toads (Adenomus kandianus) breed en masse Journal Article

PeerJ PrePrints, 3 , pp. e1575v2, 2015.




Biju, SD; Garg, Sonali; Mahony, Stephen; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Senevirathne, Gayani; Meegaskumbura, Madhava

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 Journal Article

Contributions to Zoology, 83 (4), pp. 269–S4, 2014.




Somaweera, Ruchira; Wijayathilaka, Nayana; Bowatte, Gayan; others,

Does the invasive shrub Ulex europaeus benefit an endemic Sri Lankan lizard Journal Article

Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 7 (2), pp. 219–226, 2012.


Posters and Leaflets:

  • Leaflet series of Kanneliya forest reserve on Freshwater 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 the 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 2017-2023
  • Member, Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)
  • Member, Sri Lankan Academy of Young Scientists
  • Life Member, Sri Lanka Association for Advancement of Science

Editorial and review work:

  • Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment
  • International Journal in Multidisciplinary Approaches (ICMA), Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
  • Peradeniya University International Research Sessions (iPURSE)
  • International Conference in Multidisciplinary Approaches
  • Forestry and Environment Symposium

(Last updated- 27th November, 2022)