I completed my B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences (Specialization in Livestock Production) at Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. As a result of my academic excellence, I was fortunate to start my career in academia as a staff member at the same university where I became more involved in research, particularly regarding poultry and dairy cattle production. While I completed my Master degree (M.Phil in Animal Science) at the university of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in focusing on weaning stress in rabbits and incorporating behaviour and stress physiology, I developed a passion for the study of pain and distress in animals.
I found the perfect way to pursue my interest in the neuro physiology of pain in my PhD in poultry welfare at the university of Guelph investigating on-farm euthanasia of poultry under the advisement of Dr. Tina Widowski and Dr. Stephanie Torrey. We are focusing on the efficacy of different on-farm euthanasia techniques across North America and establishing science based recommendations for best practices to ensure the euthanasia devices are humane, effective, and pose minimal threat to the operators.
As a part of my PhD research, I had the great opportunity to work with Dr. Suzanne Millman in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal, Iowa State University in the fall of 2017. I joined Dr. Millman’s welfare lab as a visiting scholar and investigated CO2 gas as a possible on-farm euthanasia technique for poultry. In this project, we studied conditioned place preference and approach avoidance paradigms to explore turkeys' and layer chickens' exposure to and induction of insensibility to different concentrations of CO2 gas.
After my Ph.D., I hope to pursue my research interests in an academic setting where I can investigate basic research that may have implications for industry and policy.
I enjoy travelling which I have been blessed to travel to ten countries seeing historical sites and exploring the diversity of cultures.