Researcher biography

I am a PhD Candidate at The University of Queensland, with a strong interest in Sri Lankan wildlife and in particular the ecology and conservation of urban mesocarnivores. In 2017, I co-founded the non-profit Small Cat Advocacy & Research and founded the Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project in 2013, through which I study the ecology and behaviour of the world’s only known hyper-urban population of fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), found in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

My research focuses on understanding how this species is adapting to rapid urbanisation and wetland modification, while raising the its profile amongst stakeholders and the public.

My team and I work closely with the Department of Wildlife Conservation, the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, and the Urban Development Authority to uncover the secret life of this endangered species, and understand how we can better protect it, along with its urban habitats.

Apart from my research, I am a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission: Cat Specialist Group, Wildlife Conservation Network Scholar, Re:wild Associate Scientist, and a member of the Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance which is a collective of experts working on the species across its global range in South and Southeast Asia.