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Biosafety Expert
Record information and status
Record ID
115815
Status
Published
Date of creation
2020-11-25 13:01 UTC (sec@env.gov.lk)
Date of publication
2020-11-30 15:41 UTC (anastasia.beliaeva@cbd.int)

General information
Nominating Government
  • Sri Lanka
Profile of the Expert
Dr. Samanthi Kumari Wasala graduated from Faculty of Agriculture University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka  in 1990 and joined to the Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka as a Research Officer in 1991. She completed her MSc (Agriculture) in Saga University Japan and in 2007, and graduated with PhD (Genetics) from Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi, India with the specialization of genetics, biotechnology and plant genetic resources.
As a Research Officer, she was engaged with variety development of rice and legume crops using conventional methods. In 2009 she joined to the Plant Genetic Resources Centre (PGRC) and conducted research works related to the biotechnological applications for crop improvement. Later, she was appointed as a head biotechnology division. In 2019 she was appointed as a head of the PGRC.
She was engaged with biosafety activities since 2009. At present she is working as a steering committee member of implementation of the national biosafety framework, working group member of the strengthening policy, institutional and regulatory framework in biosafety of the biosafety project. Further, she is working as a member of risk assessment committee of biosafety in Department of Agriculture.
Personal Information
Coordinates
Dr. Samanthi Kumari Wasala
Plant Genetic resources Centre, Gannoruwa, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
kandy
Sri Lanka
Phone:+ 94 (0)81 238 8494
Fax:+94 (0)81 238 8490
Email:samanthiwasala@gmail.com
Gender
  • Female
Nationalities
  • Sri Lankan
Date of birth
1965
Place of birth
Sri Lanka
Current employment
Employer / Organization
Director General of Agriculture
Type of organization
  • Government agency
Department / Division / Unit
Department of Agriculture
Start date
2009
Main responsibilities
At present she is  working as a head of the Plant Genetic Resources Centre and responsible to technical activities related to crop genetic resource conservation and utilization, human resource management to fulfill the given targets and relevant administration activities.  At the same time she is working as a molecular breeder to utilize PGR for crop variety improvement. Involve with the activities of molecular characterization, marker aided selection, gene tagging etc.  Communicate with other relevant authorities (government offices, ministries, universities, farmer organizations) related to genetic resource activities, Agriculture Biotechnology   and biosafety activities. 
Previous employment
Employer / Organization
Director General of Agriculture
Type of organization
  • Government agency
Main areas of responsibility
Within that period she was responsible for development of new Mungbean and Blackgram varieties with high yield and pest disease resistance.
Previous employment
Employer / Organization
Director General of Agriculture
Type of organization
  • Government agency
Main areas of responsibility
She was responsible to develop 3⅟2 months age group rice varieties with high yield and major pest and disease resistance.
Formal education
First Degree or other academic distinction and subject
Example: B.Sc. in Microbiology
B.Sc. in Agriculture
Name of academic institution
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Start date
1985
Ending date
1990
Formal education
Second Degree or other academic distinction and the subject
Example: M.Sc. in Microbiology
M.Sc. in Agriculture
Name of academic institution
Saga University, Japan
Start date
1995
Ending date
1997
Formal education
Third Degree or other academic distinction and the subject
Example: Ph.D. in Microbiology
Ph.D.  in Genetics
Name of academic institution
Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi, India
Start date
2004
Ending date
2007
Other professional qualifications
List of other relevant professional qualifications
Master Class in Agricultural Research Leadership and Management" 4th -9th  November 2018, Penang, Malaysia
Plant Variety Protection at Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation (17th June 2013 to 28th June 2013)
Regional workshop in Biosafety, Bangkok, Thailand on Oct 30th -Nov 4th 2009 organized by FAO
Areas of Expertise
Main areas of expertise
  • Biotechnology policy
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk management
  • Botany, forestry and plant agricultural sciences
  • Biodiversity
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Molecular biology
  • Plant breeding
  • Population genetics
  • National biosafety legal systems
Publications
List most important publications related to the expert main field of expertise.
Wasala, S.K, S.I Senavirathne, D.M.J.B. Senanayake and A.M.A. Navodita. (2019). Genetic analysis of Okra Yellow Vain Mosaic Virus Resistance in Wild Relative of Okra Abelmoschus angulosus . Wall. Plant Genetic Resource. 1-6  doi:10.1017/S1479262119000078
Manatunga,M.M.S.L, Wasala,S.K.,Sumanasinghe,V.A.,Ubeysekara,N.M.Genetic diversity analysis of "murungakayan" rice accessions based on seed morphology and molecular characterization 2019. Tropical Agriculture Research Vol 30 (In press)
Wasala, S.K, Hennayake, H.M.K.N.K., Gunasena, P.G.S.D, Rebeira,  S.P, Kondasinghe K.M.C.L, Dhanwaththa, A.S.J. and Ubeysekara N.M. 2017. Assessment of genetic diversity among "Suwndel" rice accessions based on morphological, molecular and physiochemical characteristics. Tropical Agriculturist.165:113-130
List of other publications files
Awards and Professional Memberships
Awards received
Competitive grant award for Tagging of Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus (YVMV) resistant genes in wild okra species  Abelmoschus angulosus. National Research Council Sri Lanka -2013-2016
Best presentation of the Annual Symposium of Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka, 2016- Biotechnology session
Technical committees, expert panels or advisory bodies served
Chief Editor Tropical Agriculturist, The International Agriculture Journal of Sri Lanka
Chairperson of National committee on Plant Breeding and Agronomy   Council of Agriculture Research Policy  2019
Member of risk assessment committee on biosafety in Department of Agriculture
Language proficiency
"A" = Excellent, "B" = Good, "C" = Fair
Mother Tongue
  • Singhalese
Speaking / Level (A B C)
  • English
/B
Reading / Level (A B C)
  • English
/B
Writing / Level (A B C)
  • English
/B
References
References
Dr. W.M.W Weerakoon
Director General of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Peradeniya 20400
Kandy
Sri Lanka
Phone:+94 (0)71 533 7037
Email:weerakoonwmw@gmail.com
prof. D.K.N.G Pushpakumara
The Dean
Faculty of Agriculture
University of Perdeniya
Peradeniya 20400
kandy
Sri Lanka
Phone:+94 (0)71 493 3591
Email:ngpkumara63@gmail.com
Dr. Gamini Samarasinghe
Director
Horticulture Research and Development Institute
Gannoruwa,Peradeniya 20400
Kandy
Sri Lanka
Phone:+94 (0)71 821 7437
Email:gaminisam@yahoo.com