Dr. Saumya Wanniarachchi

Research Fellow

Saumya is an Ecologist who completed her PhD in fire Ecology at the University of Melbourne in 2023. Her thesis examined the response of ground dwelling small mammals with respect to fire for two different resource components: diets and habitat structure, at both the larger landscape scale and a smaller patch scale to understand the resource selection in different post fire environments using molecular techniques such as e DNA metabarcoding and field-based techniques such as radiotracking. Saumya is currently carrying out field surveys of plants and vegetation structure to examining the effects of bushfires and planned burns on ecosystem resilience. She is interested in examining changing environments due to disturbances and how the resource changes are impacting the species persistence and resilience. Saumya is originally from the tropical island of Sri Lanka and before moving to Australia for her PhD she worked as an ornithologist researching on migratory birds and bird vocalization in Sri Lanka. Outside of work Saumya is a passionate wildlife and landscape photographer and spends her free time bushwalking, baking and watercolour painting.