• The University of Western Australia (M084), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


I received my BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Biology from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and PhD in Plant Physiology and Phytochemistry from the University of Bayreuth, Germany in 2005. 

I have previously held fellowships at the University of Waterloo, Canada (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2006), University of Bonn, Germany (prestigious Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship and Research Associate, 2007-2011), and University of Guelph, Canada (Research Aassociate, 2012-2016).

In 2016, I moved to the University of Western Australia, and currently working on fascinating research projects to understand the efficient phosphorus acquiring and utilising mechanisms of iconic Australian native plants (specially, Proteaceae) which thrive on phosphorus-impoverished, weathered soils. In June 2017, I was awarded a prestigious ARC Future fellowship to continue my research on Australian native plants. Currently, I work as a Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences.


Roles and responsibilities

1) Postgraduate student supervision

2) Honours supervision

3) Seminar coordinator - School of Biological Sciences

4) Editorial Service:

- Subject Editor, Journal of Plant Physiology (Elsevier)

- Review Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science

- Editor, Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection

- Reviewer for Journal of Experimental Botany, Planta, Plant Physiology, Physiologia Plantarum, Annals of Botany, Frontiers in Plant Science, Plant and Soil, Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection.


- Plant Stress Physiology (abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought, waterlogging, osmotic stress, heavy metals, nutrient stress; biotic stresses such as pathogens)

- Plant Ecophysiology
- Plant Anatomy and Histochemistry
- Plant Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry

Funding overview

My research is currently funded by (1) Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship, (2) ARC Discovery Grant, (3) German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD), and (4) UWA Internal Funding Scheme of Fellowship Support Grant.

In the past, my research was funded by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation and DAAD in Germany, and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).  

Current projects

1) Phosphorus-efficient Australian plants: applications for crop improvement. 

2) Functional roles of different types of component roots in water and nutrient uptake of rice. 

Teaching overview

BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (Semester 1)

PLNT2201 Plants in Action (Semester 2)

PLNT2204 Plant Diversity and Evolution (Semester 2)

PLNT3301 Plant Physiological Ecology (Semester 1)


  1. Understanding the significance of root fine structural, biochemical, molecular genetic and proteomic traits of Proteaceae with a highly-efficient phosphorus (P)-acquisition mechanism from soils with very low P availability.
  2. Determining the mechanisms underlying a fundamental trade-off between efficient P acquisition and mycorrhiza involvement in defence against oomycete pathogens in using plant ecophysiology and mineral nutrition, plant functional ecology, plant pathology, and plant anatomy and phytochemistry
  3. Deciphering physiological, biochemical, anatomical and molecular mechanisms underpinning silicon-mediated salt tolerance of crops: an eco-friendly sustainable method to combat crop salinity.
  4. Investigation of the effect of suberin on water and nutrient uptake in plant roots (rice, corn and barley) employing different suberin mutants.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research expertise keywords

  • Plant physiology
  • Analytical biochemistry
  • Plant molecular biology
  • Plant anatomy and histochemistry
  • Stress physiology


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