University of Colombo Awards for Excellence in Research 2011
Awarded at the Postgraduate Convocation of the University of Colombo held in 2012
Faculty of Science: Professor W.D. Ratnasooriya
Professor Ratnasooriya has his primary and secondary education at Royal College, Colombo. He graduated with Zoology Honours degree from the University of Ceylon in 1972. He joined the Department of Zoology as an Assistant Lecturer in 1973 and earned his PhD from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK in 1978. In his meteoric rise as a University Academic, he has the rare distinction of having received two merit promotions, firstly directly from Lecturer to Associate Professor, and subsequently from Professor to Senior Professor. He holds the Chair in Zoology since 1988. Professor Ratnasooriya reached the pinnacle of his distinguished and outstanding career as a scientist by earning a Doctor of Science, DSc in 2008.
Professor Ratnasooriya’s research is of a multifaceted nature where the thrust of his pioneering research is based on four major disciplines, namely, Mammalian Reproduction, the Biology of Sri Lankan elephants and bats, Bioactivity of herbs used in Sri Lankan traditional medicine, and potential health benefits of Sri Lankan Black Tea. A remarkable feature in his research career is that more than 90% of his research work was carried out with limited facilities in Sri Lanka, funded by local funding agencies.
He has to his credit 306 research publications in peer reviewed prestigious local and international journals, many of which are indexed in international data bases such as Science Citation Index and Current Contents. In addition, he has 165 research communications presented at national and international conferences.
He was elected a fellow of the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS) in 2005 and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka and Fellow and Charted Biologist, Institute of Biology, Sri Lanka.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements as a researcher and scientist, he has received many awards. These include the Presidential Research Awards for International Scientific Publications cited in the Science Citation Index in 1999,2000,2002,2006 and 2007; the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors excellence award (CVCD award) for the most outstanding researcher in Biological Science in 2006; The Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, General Research Committee Award for outstanding contribution to scientific research in Sri Lanka in 2005; the Research Achievement Award from the University Grants Commission for Excellence in research based on publication in indexed journals in 2004; merit awards three times from the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka, in 1988, 1991, and 1993.
Since the introduction of Annual Research Award for the best research scientist in the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo in 2011, Professor Ratnasooriya has won this award during the past ten consecutive years, from 2001 – 2011.