Marine biologist, oceanographer, cetologist, student
The University of Western Australia
Blue Whales in Sri lanka
Born and brought up on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka I left her shores at the age of 18 to pursue a degree in Marine and Environmental Biology at the University of St. Andrews. After graduation I decided I had had enough of theory and headed to New Zealand to become a tent living research assistant. Six months later I found myself cruising around the Maldives and Sri Lanka aboard the whale research vessel Odyssey as a deck hand and science intern. One day having seen 6 blue whales in a small area of the ocean on the southern coast of Sri Lanka I started to write my first proposal for research on this magnificent and intriguing population. I then headed to Oxford to pursue my Masters in the only course I could find that focussed on research skills and the practical side of biology. While the UK was lovely to live in, the grey weather encouraged me to move back home where I worked at IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) within the Marine Programme for 5 years while planning my escape and looking at ways to proceed with my own research. I soon quit and became friends with whale watch operators who would allow me on their boats and thereby also provided me with the opportunity to form solid questions in my mind. I enrolled for a PhD at the University of Western Australia along with my project, leaving my supervisor no choice but to allow me to go ahead with it :) The blue whales are a life long project as they are unique and need protecting. And yes - I do feel lucky.
Sri Lankan food is phenomenal and I have many favourites! Kotthu roti, hoppers, pol sambol, gotukola sambol, short eats....the list is endless - and it leaves me salivating on my key board!
A funny story about me:
Vesak is the full moon day in May when Lord Buddha is said to have been born and attained enlightenment. During this festival street stalls sell masks which used to be made of papier mache. When I was very young I bought one and the next day I put it on and headed off to scare my older brother. Unfortunately, on the way I looked at myself in a mirror by accident and scared myself so badly I ended up in bed with fever!