Dr. (Mrs.) D.K. Hettiarachchi

Lecturer (Probationary)

dilanikh@as.rjt.ac.lk | dilanikasundara@gmail.com
+94252266384 | +94718347998


Education

  • PhD in Applied Ecology
    Lincoln University, New Zealand (2019)
  • M.Sc. in Biodiversity, Ecotourism and Environmental Management
    University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (2013)
  • B.Sc Special (Honours) in Biodiversity Conservation
    Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (2008)

Professional Qualifications

  • Certificate course in Teaching in Higher Education, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
  • Hands on training workshop on terrestrial mammals, University of Sri Jayawardhanapura
  • 4th National Workshop on Scientific Writing, Postgraduate Institute of Science, Peradeniya
  • 4th National Workshop on Scientific Writing, Postgraduate Institute of Science, Peradeniya
  • Introduction of sampling and basic principles of sample selection with special reference to S & T research, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS)
  • Softskill Development of Undergraduates, workshop held by Mr.Sanath Gamage at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (2012)

Awards

  • New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship    2015     
  • Gold Medal for achieving the Highest Cumulative G.P.A. (Special Degree) in Applied Biology at the General Convocation held on 27th November 2008.
  • Travel award by Council of Australian Weed Societies (CAWS), (http://caws.org.au/), 2017
  • Award for best photograph in the category of “Grassland Invertebrates” during ACGIE, Sydney, Australia,  April 2016 (http://www.grassbugs.com.au/)
  • Certificate of commendation awarded at the Pre-service English medium teacher training programme at Polgolla teacher training centre, 2010

Research Interests

  • Insect – plant interactions
  • Insect Pests
  • Weed Ecology
  • Chemical Ecology
  • Biological Control

Teaching Subjects

  • ZOO 1202 – Invertebrate Diversity
  • ZOO 2201 – Animal Histology and Physiology
  • BDC 4207 – Costal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation
  • ZOO 2202 – General Entomology
  • ZOO 3203 – Economic Entomology

Positions Held

  • Coordinator of the Internal Quality Assurance cell (From 2020- up to date)
  • Member of the Self Evaluation Report writing team of the Program Review, 2020 (Criteria 6 Coordinator) 
  • Student Counselor (March 2013 to February 2014 and March 2014 to February 2015)
  • Member, Orientation Committee, 2019
  • Member, Applied Science Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2019
  • Member, Rajarata International Research Symposium, 2019
  • Secretory to the Soft-skill Development Committee at Faculty of Applied Sciences (from 2013 to 2015)
  • Member of the proposal writing team AHEAD Operations for enhancement of the learning environment through expansion of library services, December, 2019

Memberships of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Member of Health and Safety committee – BPRC
  • Member of International Society for Chemical
  • Member of Asia Pacific Association of Chemical Ecologist
  • Member of International Organization for Biological Control
  • Vice president, Lincoln University Postgraduate Society (2016 – 2017)
  • Member of Bio-Protection Postgrad/postdoc committee (2016 – 2018)
  • Toastmaster (Lincoln, New Zealand club from 2017 to 2018)

Publications

Journal articles

  • Hettiarachchi, D.K., Cripps, M., Jackman, S., van Koten, C., Sullivan, J. & Rostás, M. (2018) Impact of the biocontrol beetle, Cassida rubiginosa, on the secondary weed target, marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre). New Zealand Plant Protection, 71.
  • Chirino-Valle I, Kandula D, Littlejohn C, Hill R, Walker M, Shields M, Cummings N, Hettiarachchi D, Wratten S 2016. Potential of the beneficial fungus Trichoderma to enhance ecosystem-service provision in the biofuel grass Miscanthus x giganteus in agriculture. Scientific reports 6: 25109.
  • Hettiarachchi D.K., Wellapuliarachchi S.M., Nathanael E.S., de Silva A., Goonesekara M.M., Bauer A.M. and Rudge J. (2010). Mihintale Sanctuary: A Hotspot for the Endangered Dwaf Day Gecko Cnemespis podihuna, Deraniyagala, 1944 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Gekko , The Journal of Global Gecko Association. 6(1): 61 – 64.
  • Hettiarachchi D.K., Wellapuliarachchi S.M., Nathanael E.S., de Silva A., Goonesekara M.M., Bauer A.M. and Rudge J. (2010). The Gecko Diversity of the Mihintale Sanctuary, Sri Lanka. The Biological Diversity of Mihintale: With Special Reference to its Herptofauna, Lyriocephalus Special Issue 7(1 and 2): 27-32.
  • Hettiarachchi D.K., Wellapuliarachchi S.M., Nathanael E.S., de Silva A., Goonesekara M.M., Bauer A.M. and Rudge J. (2010). Notes on the Biology and the Ecology of the Endemic Gecko Hemidactylus depressus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) in the Mihintale Sanctuary, Sri Lanka. The Biological Diversity of Mihintale: With Special Reference to its Herptofauna, Lyriocephalus Special Issue 7(1 and 2): 43 – 47.
  • Hettiarachchi D.K., Wellapuliarachchi S.M., Nathanael E.S., de Silva A. and Goonesekara (2010). Knowledge, Attitude and Traditional Beleifs on Geckoes at Mihintale. The Biological Diversity of Mihintale: With Special Reference to its Herptofauna, Lyriocephalus Special Issue 7(1 and 2): 105 – 109.

Extended abstracts

  • Hettiarachi, D.K., Cripps, M.G., Cruikshank, R.H. & Rostás, M. (2017) A phylogenetic approach to assessing olfactory host selection in Cassida rubiginosa (Chrysomelidae). In Invertebrate Ecology of Australasian Grasslands. Proceedings of the Ninth ACGIE (ed S.N. Johnson), pp. 59-61. Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury, NSW, Australia. doi: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4910033.v1

International Conferences

  • The role of thistle phylogeny on long-range and short-range host selection behaviour of the biocontrol agent Cassida rubiginosa. (2018). International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds (ISBCW). Hotel Bellevue-Terminus, Engelberg, Switzerland. 26-31 August 2018 – Oral presentation
  • Tripartite interactions between Cassida rubiginosa and two fungal biocontrol agents on Cirsium arvense: plant volatile perspective. (2018). The 34th annual meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE), Novelty Budapest hotel, Budapest, Hungary. 12-18 August 2017 – Poster presentation
  • Thistle phylogeny determines volatile-mediated host plant recognition in the weed biocontrol agent Cassida rubiginosa (Poster). Presented at the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE) Conference, Kyoto, Japan. August 2017.
  • Wake up and smell the thistles! Using plant volatiles to assess the host suitability in an oligophagous biocontrol beetle (Poster). Presented at the Ninth Australasian Conference on Grassland Invertebrate Ecology (ACGIE) Sydney, Australia. April 2016.
  • Follow the smell! “Volatiles” for locating host plants. (2016). Lincoln University Postgraduate Conference, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand. 24 and 25August 2016 – Oral presentation
  • Potential of maintaining rural tanks and the diversity of aquatic plants through sustainable utilization- A case study in Anuradhapura District (Oral). Presented at International Conference on Conserving Biodiversity for Sustainable Development (INCCBSD), Rourkela, India. August 2013.

National Conferences

  • Diversity and utilization of aquatic plants in three tanks in the Anuradhapura district (Oral). Presented at the Peradeniya University International Research Session, Sri Lanka. July 2014.
  • Observation on Hemidactylus depressus, an endemic gecko in the Mihinthale Sanctuary (Oral). Presented at the Annual Research Session, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. August 2009.
  • A behavioural study of the Toque monkey Macaca sinica sinica with special reference to its feeding habits (Oral). Presented at the Annual Research Session, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. August 2007.