D e p a r t m e n t   o f

Zoology

Name

Dr. N. P. S. Kumburegama

Senior Lecturer

B.Sc. (Perad.), Ph.D. (Hawaii, USA)

Academic Staff Home  

About Me

I am a graduate of University of Peradeniya with a B.Sc. Special Degree in Zoology (First Class Honors) in 2001 and joined the University in 2002. At present I am a Senior Lecturer with a Ph.D. in Zoology from University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA. My expertise are in Developmental Biology and Malacology and I conduct research related to topics in biodiversity conservation, taxonomy and phylogeny, and developmental biology.

Positions Held

Senior Lecturer Grade I – Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya - (November 2015 to date)

Senior Lecturer Grade II – Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya - (November 2009 to November 2015)

Secretary – Board of Study in Zoological Sciences, Postgraduate Institute of Science - (2014-2017)

Coordinator – M.Sc. in Applied Epidemiology, Postgraduate Institute of Science - (2012 to 2013 and 2016 to date)

Lecturer – Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya - (October 2002 to October 2009)

Ongoing Research and Projects

Distribution of terrestrial gastropod pests, their seasonal abundance and degree of damage to crops in agricultural lands in the Nuwara Eliya District

Some of the terrestrial snails and slugs are serious pests of agriculture and horticulture in many countries of the world. Often these pests are exotic, invasive species introduced through trade and commerce. These pest species also have the potential to displace native mollusks as well as invade natural habitats resulting in alterations in the community structure of flora and fauna in these habitats. This study aimed to determine the number of pest gastropod species, their distribution, abundance and the degree of damage caused by them to agricultural crops in the NuwaraEliya district. In addition, the study also aimed to assess the potential invasiveness of these exotic gastropods into natural and semi-natural environments. Funded by National Science Foundation (Grant Number: RG/2017/EB/05).

Embryonic development in freshwater fishes of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is home to a relatively large number of freshwater fish. Even though the biology, ecology, and behavior of many of these species have been studied, little or no attention has been given to their embryonic development. An understanding of their embryonic development has many implications for aquaculture, ex situ and in situ conservation as well as our understanding of many aspects of biology including neurobiology and development. At present we are conducting a comparative analysis of embryonic development in different native and exotic fish species.

Freshwater gastropod diversity

Sri Lankan freshwater snails are scarcely studied, understated group of animals. There is considerable uncertainty in their taxonomy due to synonymy, and gastropod shell plasticity. Furthermore, their ecology and biology are mostly unknown. These invertebrates may have a huge potential as environmental indicators or biomonitering tools through assessment of their community composition. On the contrary, they also act as intermediate hosts of several helminth parasites where humans or their livestock act as primary hosts. At present we are evaluating the morphological and molecular diversity of this group of animals. 

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Sri Lanka

Invasive alien species are animals or plants that are introduced accidentally or deliberately to a new environment where they were not recorded previously. Such introductions can lead to extreme negative impacts on the environment. In fact invasive species are the second largest threat after loss of habitat to biodiversity in a particular region or environment. We are involved in research studying the impacts of such flora and fauna to our biodiversity.      

Memberships & Awards

Membership-Award

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Biology, University of Miami, USA (May 2014 – July 2014)

Membership-Award

Best Overall Award for poster presentation at the John A. Burns School of Medicine Biomedical Symposium, 2007

Membership-Award

Commendable presentation – Annual Research Session 2002, University of Peradeniya.

Membership-Award

Member – Board of Study in Zoological Sciences, Postgraduate Institute of Science (2014 to date)

Membership-Award

University Scholarship 2001 for best results in Zoology