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Dr. Thilina D. Surasinghe

Dr. Thilina Surasinghe sitting at his office desk with bookshelves in background
Professor of Biological Sciences
Science and Mathematics Center, Room 371
BS, University of Colombo
PhD, Clemson University

Dr. Thilina Surasinghe is a biodiversity & conservation scientist as well as a landscape ecologist with a PhD (Fisheries & Wildlife Biology, Clemson University) with research focus on the impacts of current and historical land uses on stream ecosystems. His current research focuses on biotic homogenization along urban-rural gradients; species responses to local and landscapes-scale environmental predictors; conservation planning; biodiversity conservation potential outside state protected areas; biodiversity shifts in wetlands and freshwater ecosystems; use of GIS applications and Remote Sensing in conservation. A significant part of his research takes place in Sri Lanka where he explores tropical biodiversity particularly on amphibians, reptiles, birds, and bats, including new species discoveries.

He recently joined forces with MA Division of Ecological Restoration, Mass Audubon, and Tidmarsh Living Observatory to monitor biological responses to wetland and stream restoration at retired cranberry farms and developed long-term ecological research that documents temporal changes in biological communities and ecosystem/habitat structure. He has partnered with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) for research on macrosystems ecology. He has also engaged in NSF-funded Research Coordination Networks, dedicated to nurturing undergraduate ecologists, including initiatives like Training Undergraduate Biologists through Urban Agriculture, Urban Wildlife Information Network (based on automated cameras), Ecological Research for Education, and Macrosystems Ecology For All.

His expertise extends to applied statistics encompassing multivariate and non-parametric techniques, as well as mixed-effects modeling, coupled with proficient data wrangling skills. He is proficient in R for data wrangling as well as geospatial and statistical analyses. He has authored over 60 articles in peer-reviewed, indexed scientific journals.

Area of Expertise
biodiversity & conservation science, landscape ecology, wetland & stream restoration, urban biodiversity, long-term ecological monitoring, environmental and ecological statistics, geospatial sciences (GIS)