Prof. K.W.L.K. Weerasinghe

+94-(0)71-4462995 | +94-81-2395125 |

Academic and Professional Qualifications


PhD in Crop Eco-physiology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (2013)

M.Phil. in Crop Science, Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (2008)

B.Sc. (Agriculture), University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (2003) 

Research Interests:

Plantation Agriculture, Eco-physiology

Publications – Peer Review Index Journals

1. Ellsworth, D. S., Crous, K. Y., De Kauwe, M. G., Verryckt, L. T., Goll, D., Zaehle, S., ... Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K. & Wright, I. J. (2022). Convergence in phosphorus constraints to photosynthesis in forests around the world. Nature communications, 13(1), 5005.
2. Wijayaraja, I., Piyarathne, M., Alahakoon, T., Devasinghe, U., Weerasinghe, L., Kumarathunge, D., ... & Geekiyanage, N. (2022). Acclimation of Ecophysiological and Agronomic Traits to Increasing Growth Temperature in Three Cowpea Genotypes Grown in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. International Journal of Agronomy, 2022.
3. Zhu, L., Bloomfield, K.J., Asao, S., Tjoelker, M.G., Egerton, J.J., Hayes, L., Weerasinghe, L.K., Creek, D., Griffin, K.L., Hurry, V. and Liddell, M., & Atkin, O. K. (2021). Acclimation of leaf respiration temperature responses across thermally contrasting biomes. New Phytologist, 229(3), 1312-1325.
4. Falster, D., Gallagher, R., Wenk, E. H., Wright, I. J., Indiarto, D., Andrew, S. C., O’Sullivan, O. S., ..Weerasinghe, L.K., & Ziemi?ska, K. (2021). AusTraits, a curated plant trait database for the Australian flora. Scientific Data, 8(1), 1-20.
5. Guilherme Pereira, C., Hayes, P. E., O'Sullivan, O. S., Weerasinghe, L. K., Clode, P. L., Atkin, O. K., & Lambers, H. (2019). Trait convergence in photosynthetic nutrient?use efficiency along a 2?million year dune chronosequence in a global biodiversity hotspot. Journal of Ecology, 107(4), 2006-2023.
6. Smith, N. G., Keenan, T. F., Colin Prentice, I., Wang, H., Wright, I. J.,. Weerasinghe, L. K., (2019). Global photosynthetic capacity is optimized to the environment. Ecology letters, 22(3), 506-517.
7. Zhu, L., Bloomfield, K. J., Hocart, C. H., Egerton, J. J., O'Sullivan, O. S., Penillard, A., Weerasinghe, L. K. & Atkin, O. K. (2018). Plasticity of photosynthetic heat tolerance in plants adapted to thermally contrasting biomes. Plant, Cell & Environment, 41 (6), 1251-1262.
8. Liang, L, Arcus V, Heskel MA, O’Sullivan O, Weerasinghe L.K, Creek D, Egerton J., Tjoelker M., Atkin O.K., Schipper L. (2018). Macromolecular rate theory (MMRT) provides a thermodynamics rationale to underpin the convergent temperature response in plant leaf respiration. Global Change Biology, 24 (4), 1538-1547.
9. Togashi, H. F., Atkin, O. K., Bloomfield, K. J., Bradford, M., Cao, K., Weerasinghe, L. K. & Liddell, M. J. (2018). Functional trait variation related to gap dynamics in tropical moist forests: A vegetation modelling perspective. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 35, 52-64.
10. Fyllas, N. M., Bentley, L. P., Shenkin, A., Asner, G. P., Atkin, O. K., & Weerasinghe, L. K. (2017). Solar radiation and functional traits explain the decline of forest primary productivity along a tropical elevation gradient. Ecology Letters, 20(6), 730–740.
11. Bahar, N. H., Ishida, F. Y., Weerasinghe, L. K., Guerrieri, R., O'Sullivan, O. S., Bloomfield, K. J., & Phillips, O. L. (2017). Leaf?level photosynthetic capacity in lowland Amazonian and high?elevation Andean tropical moist forests of Peru. New Phytologist, 214(3), 1002-1018.
12. O'sullivan, O. S., Heskel, M. A., Reich, P. B., Tjoelker, M. G., Weerasinghe, L. K., Penillard, A., .& Bahar, N. H. (2017). Thermal limits of leaf metabolism across biomes. Global Change Biology, 23(1), 209-223.
13. Scafaro, A. P., Xiang, S., Long, B. M., Bahar, N. H., Weerasinghe, L. K., Creek, D., & Atkin, O. K. (2017). Strong thermal acclimation of photosynthesis in tropical and temperate wet?forest tree species: the importance of altered Rubisco content. Global Change Biology, 23(7), 2783-2800.
14. Raveendra, S.A.S.T., Atapattu A.A.J., Senarathne, S.H.S., Ranasinghe, C.S. & Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K. (2017). Evaluation of the carbon sequestration potential of intercropping systems under coconut in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Geology, Earth & Environmental Sciences. 7(1), 1-7.
15. Heskel, M. A., O’Sullivan, O. S., Reich, P. B., Tjoelker, M. G., Weerasinghe, L. K., Penillard, A., . & Sinca, F. (2016). Convergence in the temperature response of leaf respiration across biomes and plant functional types. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(14), 3832-3837.

16. Heskel, M. A., Atkin, O. K., O’Sullivan, O. S., Reich, P., Tjoelker, M. G., Weerasinghe, L. K., . & Xiang, J. (2016). Reply to Adams et al.: Empirical versus process-based approaches to modeling temperature responses of leaf respiration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113 (41) E5996-E5997. 17. De Kauwe, M. G., Lin, Y. S., Wright, I. J., Medlyn, B. E., Crous, K. Y., Ellsworth, D. S., Weerasinghe, L. K.,. & Domingues, T. F. (2015). A test of the ‘one?point method for estimating maximum carboxylation capacity from field?measured, light?saturated photosynthesis. New Phytologist, 210 (3), 1130-1144.

18. Atkin, O. K., Bloomfield, K. J., Reich, P. B., Tjoelker, M. G., Asner, G. P., Bonal, D., Weerasinghe, L. K. ..& Zaragoza?Castells, J. (2015). Global variability in leaf respiration in relation to climate, plant functional types and leaf traits. New Phytologist, 206(2), 614-636.

19. Weerasinghe, L. K., Creek, D., Crous, K. Y., Xiang, S., Liddell, M. J., Turnbull, M. H., & Atkin, O. K. (2014). Canopy position affects the relationships between leaf respiration and associated traits in a tropical rainforest in Far North Queensland. Tree Physiology, 34(6), 564-584.

20. Gauthier, P. P., Crous, K. Y., Ayub, G., Duan, H., Weerasinghe, L. K., Ellsworth, D. S., . & Atkin, O. K. (2014). Drought increases heat tolerance of leaf respiration in Eucalyptus globulus saplings grown under both ambient and elevated atmospheric [CO2] and temperature. Journal of Experimental Botany, 65 (22), 6471-6485.

21. O'sullivan, O. S., Weerasinghe, K. W. L. K., Evans, J. R., Egerton, J. J., Tjoelker, M. G., & Atkin, O. K. (2013). High?resolution temperature responses of leaf respiration in snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) reveal high?temperature limits to respiratory function. Plant, Cell & Environment, 36(7), 1268-1284.

22. Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Suriyagoda, L.D.B., Weerakkody, W.A.P. (2011). Combined and individual effects of forced-air ventilation, thermal covering and misting on greenhouse environment control. Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Science 48, 18-28.

23. Abeykoon, A.M.K.C.K., Fonseka, R.M., Paththinige, S., Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K. (2010). Fertilizer requirement for densely planted Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.). Sri Lanka Journal of Tropical Agriculture Research 21: 275-283.
24. Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Wijeratne, M.A, Sangakkara, U.R. (2007). Growth of nursery plants in tea (Camellia sinensis L.) as affected by type of cutting and planting media. Sri Lanka Journal of Tropical Agriculture Research 19: 170-180.

25. Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Wijeratne, M.A, Sangakkara, U.R. (2007). Impact of type of nursery plant and planting method on early growth of field established tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Sri Lanka Journal of Agricultural Science 44: 25-37.

26. Weerakkody, W.A.P., Chandima, T.M., Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Wahundeniya, K.B. (2007). Growth and yield performances of salad cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under greenhouse conditions. Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Science 44: 75-87.

Publications: Book Chapters

Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Geekiyanage N. and Kumarathunge M.D.P. (2020). Response of crops to heat stress in a warming world: Adaptation measures under Sri Lankan context. In: Adapting to Climate Change: A Sri Lankan perspective. H.I.U. Caldera and S.A.C.N. Perera (Eds.), Institute of Biology Sri Lanka, Colombo. pp. 51-72.

Peer Review Presentations (Full paper publications)

Karunarathne, C.L.S.M., Chamindika, B.G.L., Weerakkody, W.A.P., Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K. and Hettiarachchi, H.A.N.S. (2015). Influence of supplemental lighting on reducing pre-mature fruit drop and increasing fruit yield of greenhouse gherkins. Proceeding of the 2nd International Conference on Agriculture and Forestry, Vol. 1, 2015, pp. 82-89.

Conference proceedings (published as extended abstracts/abstracts)

1. Alahakoon, A.M.T.M., Wijayaraja, I., Piyarathne, M., Devasinghe, D.A.U.D., Weerasinghe, L.K., Kumarathunge, D.P., Dissanayake, D.M.D., Sanjeewa, T.A.B. D., Egodawatta, W.C.P., Duminda D.M.S., Rathnayake R.A.A.S., Malawiarachchi, W., Amarathunge, S., De Costa W.A.J.M., Geekiyanage, N. (2020). Seasonal variation of yield and physiological traits of cowpea cultivated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the National Conference on Multidisciplinary Research, Young Scientists’ Association, National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka. p 12.
2. Wijayaraja, I., Devasinghe, D.A.U.D., Weerasinghe, L.K., Kumarathunge, M.D.P., Dissanayake, D.M.D., Herath, U.S., Sanjeewa, T.A.B.D., Egodawatta, W.C.P., Weerasinghe, P.A., De Costa, W.A.J.M., Geekiyanage, N. (2020). Yield determining physiological and agronomic parameters of three cowpea varieties grown in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Proceedings of Annual Sessions, Young Scientist Forum of National Science and Technology Commission, Sri Lanka. p 217- 222.
3. Weerasinghe, L.K., Ishida, Y., Guerrieri, R., O’Sullivan, O.S., Asner G.P., Cosio, E.G., Domingues, T.F., Lloyd, J., Malhi, Y., Martin, R.E., Patrick Meir, P., Phillips, O.L., Salinas, N. and Atkin, O.K. (2019). Leaf respiration in tropical forests along a phosphorus and elevation gradient in the Amazon and Andes. ATBC-Asia Pacific Chapter Meeting, Sri Lanka. p.151-152.
4. Wijayaraja, I., Kumarathunge, D.P., Weerasinghe, L.K., Goodale, U.M., Wijesundara, S., Iqbal, M.C.M., and Geekiyanage, N. (2019). Future of leaf photosynthesis in tropical warm climates: A case study from a tropical dry forest in Sri Lanka. Proceedings of Research Symposium on Dry Zone Forests, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka. p.15
5. Gunaratne, L. H. P., Hemachandra, K.S., Kumudumali, Y.M.K., Manawasinghe, N.K.G.K.R., Sathischandra, H. G. A.S., Soorasena, J. M., Thelasinghe, T. H. M. U. M., Upali, W. S. P. Y., Weerakkody, W. A. P., Weerasinghe, K. W. L. K. and Weerawarna, S. B. A. (2019). Comparative assessment of vegetable crop performances and ecological indicators during transition from conventional to ecological agriculture. Proceedings of the Peradeniya University International Research Sessions (iPURSE). University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. p.36
6. Togashi, H.F., Prentice, I.C., Atkin, O.K., Bloomfield, K.J., Bradford, M., Weerasinghe, L.K., Harrison, S.P., Evans, B.J., Liddell, M.J., Wang, H., Cao K.F., and Fan, Z. "Plant functional types are more efficient than climate in predicting spectrums of trait variation in evergreen angiosperm trees of tropical Australia and China." 2015 AGU Fall Meeting. 14-18 December 2015, San Francisco, USA.
7. Heskel, M., Atkin, O.K., O'Sullivan, O.S., Reich, P.B., Tjoelker, M.G., Weerasinghe, L.K., Penillard, A., Egerton, J.J.G., Creek, D., Bloomfield, K.J., Xiang, J., Sinca, F., Stangl, Z., la Torre, A.M., Griffin, K.G., Huntingford, C., Hurry, V., Meir, P. and Turnbull, M. (2015) "Global Patterns in Leaf Respiration and its Temperature Response." AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.
8. Atkin, O.K. and the GlobResp Team (2015). Global variability in leaf respiration in relation to climate and leaf traits. European Geosciences Union - General Assembly Center, 12-17 April, 2015, Vienna, Austria.
9. Bahar, N.H., Weerasinghe, L., O’Sullivan, O., Guerrieri, R., Ishida, Y., Salinas, N., Cosio, E., Domingues, T., Meir, P., Lloyd, J., Malhi, Y., Asner, G., Martin, R., Evans, J. and Atkin, O. (2013). The influence of nutrient gradients on the photosynthesis-leaf nitrogen relationship in Peruvian Andes tropical forests. 98th Annual Meeting Ecological Society of America, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. PS 84-142.
10. Weerasinghe, L., Creek, D., Crous, K., Xiang, S. and Atkin, O. Assessing the contribution of leaf respiration to the carbon economy of tropical rainforest tree species. European Geosciences Union - General Assembly Center April 7-12, 2013, Vienna, Austria.
11. Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Creek, D., Crous, K.Y., Xiang, S., Egerton, J.J.G., Ng, D. and Atkin. O.K. (2012). Assessing the impact of latitudinal variations in growth temperature on the carbon economy and associated leaf traits of tropical and temperate tree species. ComBio-2012 Adelaide, Australia. SYM-42-05.
12. Gauthier, P.G., Bahar, A.N., Gauthier, J., Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Tjoelker, M.G., Evans J.R. and Atkin, O.K. (2012). Exploring the impacts of drought on leaf gas exchange of 20 evergreen broadleaved tree species: lessons from climate models. ComBio-2012, Adelaide, Australia. SYM-48-02.
13. Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Bloomfield, K., Lloyd, L., Meir, P, Atkin, O.K. Response of leaf respiration and photosynthesis of seven tropical tree species to phosphorus deficiency. (2010). IUFRO Canopy Processes Conference - Canopy Processes in a Changing Climate. Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. P 141.
14. Weerakkody, W.A.P., Chandima, T.M., Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Wahundeniya, K.B. (2006). Growth and yield of Salad Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). 10th Anniversary International Symposium of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, p 20.
15. Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Mohotti K.M., Herath, C.N.P., Hitinayake, H.M.G.S.B. (2005). Biological and chemical properties of “Vermiwash”, a natural plant growth supplement for Tea, Coconut and Horticultural Crops. 10th Annual Forestry and Environment Symposium, Thulhiriya, Sri Lanka, p 70.
16. Mohotti, K.M., Herath, C.N, Weerasinghe, K.W.L.K., Navaratne, N. (2004). Nematicidal properties of “Vermiwash”: A case study with root lesion and root knot nematodes. Africa Asia and South America Regional Symposium on Natural Products, Kandy, Sri Lanka, p 28.


Scholarships and Awards

  • Research Excellence Award under tier 4* category in 2020; awarded by the University of Peradeniya under the criteria developed by the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Annual Research Excellence Award 2018 and 2019 (Senior Lecturer Category) Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya.
  • Sri Lanka President’s Award for Highly Rated Scientific Publications – 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016.
  • Journal of Tree Physiology Award (Oxford Journal) for the Best Graduate Student Paper 2014.
  • Australian Leadership Award 2009 for PhD studies (2010-2013) at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

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