Thilina Surasinghe

Faculty

Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology

I did my PhD in Wildlife Biology at Clemson University, SC. I am an ecologist; my academic training encompasses different aspects of biology and environmental sciences including vertebrate biology, conservation biology, biodiversity, wildlife ecology, evolutionary biology, aquatic ecology, landscape ecology, and natural resources management.

I am experienced in teaching undergraduates (from freshmen to seniors) majored in biology, environmental sciences, and social sciences (biology and environmental sciences for non-science majors). I have taught courses that are lab-oriented, field-oriented, and lecture-oriented. I have always succeeded in involving undergraduates in ecological and biodiversity research via Clemson-unique “Creative Inquiry” program and the directed research program. 

My PhD research addressed ecology of stream salamanders in the SE US and their responses to human-induced disturbances. I study distribution of salamanders with respect to land-uses, stream hydrology, and riparian characteristics. This project supplements the DNR project on bio-assessment of streams of SC. 
I take part in projects on landscape-scale biodiversity assessments, Redlist assessments, conservation planning, and GIS-based threat analyses. I am knowledged on EPA field protocols, water quality and soil analyses, and wildlife parasitology. 

 

Publications 

  • Surasinghe, T.D. and Courter J.R. (2012). Using eBird to integrate citizen science into an undergraduate ecology field laboratory. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching 38:16-20.
  • Asela, M.D.C., Ukuwela, K.D.B., Bandra, I.N., Kandambi, H.K.D., Surasinghe, T.D., and Karunarathna, D.M.S.S. (2012). Natural history and current distribution patterns of Calotes liolepis Boulenger, 1885 (Reptilia: Agamidae: Draconinae) in Sri Lanka. Herpetotropicos 8:39-47.
  • Johnston, G., Lee, M., and Surasinghe, T. (2012). Morphology and allometry suggest multiple origins of rostral appendages in Sri Lankan agamid lizards. Journal of Zoology, (currently available online only, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2012.00962.x.
  • Surasinghe, T.D., Couter, J.R., Baldwin, R.F., and Johnson, R.J. (2012). Use of threat-analysis to assess the effects of land development on biodiversity in a Blue Ridge-Piedmont landscape. Journal of Conservation Planning 8:1-11.
  • Surasinghe, T.D., (2012). Major issues in threat analysis and resolving such problems: an addendum to the GAP analysis. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4: 2545-2550.
  • Jayaratne, R. L. and Surasinghe, T. D. (2011). General ecology and habitat selectivity of freshwater fishes of the Rawan Oya, Kandy, Sri Lanka, Journal of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. and De Alwis, C. (2010). Birds of Sabaragamuwa University campus, Buttala, Sri Lanka, Journalof Threatened Taxa 2:876-888.  
  • Surasinghe, T.D. (2010). The effects of climate change on global wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Taprobanica 2:30-47.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. (2009). Loss of biodiversity in the face of global warming induced climate change. Zoosprint Journal 24:13-15.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. (2009). Conservation and distribution status of amphibian fauna of Sri Lanka. International Journal Biodiversity 10:3-17.
  • Surasinghe, T. D., (2007)Conservation overview of herpetofauna of Sinharaja man and biosphere reserve of Sri Lanka. Zoos Print Journal 22:2535 – 2538. 
  • Bahir, M. M. and Surasinghe, T. D., (2005). A conservation assessment of the Sri Lankan Agamidae (reptilia: sauria). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 12:407-412.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. andKudavidanage, E. (2006). Freshwater fish diversity of a suburban lake in Sri Lanka. Loris, Journal of the Wildlife and Nature Protection society 26:25-29.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. and Jayeratne, R. L. (2006). Diversity, threats and conservation of herpetofauna in and around the Eastern Sinharaja. Journal of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka 6: 3-12.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. and Wijesinghe M. R., (2005). Influences of habitat disturbances on agamid lizards. Evidence from studying along a disturbance gradient in Sinharaja. Lyriocephalus 06:291-302.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. and Jayasinghe, K. (2005). Amphibian diversity in the Kithulgala forest reserve. Loris, Journal of the Wildlife and Nature Protection society 24:12-17.

Conferences

  • Surasinghe, T. D., Baldwin, R. F., and Scott, M. (2013). Riparian and Channel Geomorphological Predictors of Community Composition of Stream Salamanders in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Ecoregions. Annual Symposium of the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, Austin, TX. 
  • Surasinghe, T. D., Baldwin, R. F., and Scott, M. (2013). Terrestrial land use drives aquatic amphibian species assembly: Evidence from Blue Ridge and Piedmont. The 36th Annual Herpetology Conference, University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL.
  • Surasinghe, T. D., Reinstein, Z., andBaldwin, R. F. (2012). Community composition of stream salamanders as a function of riparian land-use. The International Student Conference of Conservation Science, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY.  
  • Surasinghe, T. D., Baldwin, R. F., Scott, M. (2012). Diversity & distribution of salamanders in stream ecosystems along a riparian land-use gradient. The Annual meeting of the North American congress of the Society of Conservation Biology, Society of Conservation Biology, Oakland, CA.
  • ·Surasinghe, T. D., McAlister, M., and Baldwin, R. F. (2012). Exploitative competition among stream salamanders along a land-use gradient. The Annual meeting of the Southeastern Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Pikesville, TN.
  • ·Hulbert, M., McAlister, M., Miranda, M., Green, L., Walters, D., Lever, M., Adcock, R., Carmony, A., Tench, T., Nelson, R., Adams, J., Surasinghe, T., and Baldwin, R. (2012). Competition for microhabitat refugia among Plethodontid salamanders along a riparian land-use gradient. Focus on Creative Inquiry Poster Forum, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.   
  • ·Reynolds, J., LeMaster, R., Robertson, V., Stokes, C., Jacobs, D., Vatrano, S., Cisa, F., Wunderlich, J., Forbes, J., Plaskon, J., Surasinghe, T., andBaldwin, R. (2012). Spatial distribution of stream salamanders in response to a riparian land-use gradient. Focus on Creative Inquiry Poster Forum, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.  
  • Crisp, J., Surasinghe, T. D. and Tonkyn, D. (2012). Diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates in montane streams of Carolinas. Southeastern Ecology and Evolution Conference, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
  • Reinstein, Z., Albright, K., Enright, R., Surasinghe, T., and Baldwin, R. (2012). Riparian land-use as a predictor of salamander diversity in stream ecosystems in Upstate SC. Southeastern Ecology and Evolution Conference, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. and Baldwin, R. F. (2012). Microhabitat association of Plethodontid salamanders in stream ecosystems along a riparian land-cover gradient. Southeastern Ecology and Evolution Conference, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. and Courter, J. R. (2011). Use of citizen science in teaching ecology. Southeast Ecology and Evolution Conference 2010, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.   
  • Crisp, J., Surasinghe, T. D., and Tonkyn, D. W. (2011). Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in the Blue-Ridge streams of the Carolinas. Southeast Ecology and Evolution Conference 2010, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.     
  • Surasinghe, T. D., and Baldwin, R. F. (2011). Diversity and distribution of stream-dwelling Plethodontids along a land-use gradient in Piedmont & Blue Ridge ecoregions, USA, The Annual meeting of the Southeastern Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Louisville, MS.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. and Courter, J. R. (2011). Use of citizen science in teaching ecology. Southeast Ecology and Evolution Conference 2010, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.   
  • Crisp, J., Surasinghe, T. D., and Tonkyn, D. W. (2011). Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in the Blue-Ridge streams of the Carolinas. Southeast Ecology and Evolution Conference 2010, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.     
  • Surasinghe, T. D., and Baldwin, R. F. (2010). The ecological responses of stream salamanders to land use activities in the watershed areas in Piedmont and Blue Ridge ecoregions, USA: An ongoing project. Sixteenth Annual Tennessee Herpetology Conference, Cumberland Plateau Wildlife Management Area, TN.  
  • Courter, J. R., Surasinghe, T. D., Baldwin, R. F. And Johnson, R. J. (2010). The Impacts of Housing Development on Birds and Amphibians in Upstate South Carolina. Immerging issues along urban rural interfaces, Atlanta, GA.
  • Johnston, G.and Surasinghe, T. D. (2009). Evolution of rostral append-ages among the Sri Lankan agamid genus Ceratophora: evidence for multiple origins, 32nd Annual Herpetology Conference, Gainesville, University of Florida, USA.  
  • De Alwis, C. and Surasinghe, T. D. (2008). Diversity of butterflies in the premises of Sabaragamuwa University, Buttala, Sri Lanka. International Forestry & Environment Symposium on Managing natural resources towards sustainable development. Eleventh Annual Symposium Proceedings of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.
  • Surasinghe, T. D., Jayasinghe, K., and Kudavidanage., E. (2006). Amphibian richness in lowland forests of kitulgala forest reserve, Sri Lanka.International Symposiumon Issues and Challenges of the 21st Century, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya.
  • De alwis, C., Surasinghe, T. D., andKudavidanage, E. (2006). Diversity of birds in the premises of Sabaragamuwa University, Butthala, Sri Lanka. International Symposiumon Issues and Challenges of the 21st Century, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. (2006). Amphibians in humid tropical ecosystems of Sri Lanka: Threats and needs for Conservation. Changes, Challenges, Opportunities. Organized and hosted by the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka and National MAB Committee in collaboration with the International Man and Biosphere Reserve Secretariat, UNESCO, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
  • Surasinghe, T. D. (2006). Impacts of climate change on tropical humid vegetation. Proceedings of the International Conference on Humid Tropical Ecosystems. Changes, Challenges, Opportunities. Organized and hosted by the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka and National MAB Committee in collaboration with the International Man and Biosphere Reserve Secretariat, UNESCO, Kandy, Sri Lanka.  

Previous Professional Experience

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, the Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University, USA, May 2008 - Present.
  • Graduate Instructor of Record, the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Clemson University, USA, August 2010 - Present.
  • Undergraduate Research Co-instructor in Wildlife Biology, Ecology of stream salamandersin Southern Appalachian Mountains, ClemsonUniversity, Clemson, SC, May 2010 - Present. 
  • Undergraduate Mentor in Creative Inquiry – a research based teaching program for undergraduates majoring in Biological Science, Wildlife Biology, and Natural Resources, ClemsonUniversity, Clemson, SC, May 2010 - Present.
  • Research Collaborator with SC Dept. of Natural Resources, South CarolinaStreamBiological Assessment, A collaborative state-funded research project, September 2009 - Present.      
  • Reviewer for the scientific international journals: Journal of Conservation Planning, Diversity, and Taprobanica January 2010 - Present. 
  • Task Group Personnel intheReintroduction, Repatriation and Translocation Task team of the Southeastern United States. February 2010 – Present.
  • Information Authenticator and Media Donor, Arkive Biodiversity Information Database, January 2005 - present.
  • Lecturer (Probationary)for the Department of Zoology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, October 2006 – May 2008.
  • Lecturer (Temporary) for the Department of Biological Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, March 2006 – October 2006.
  • Visiting Lecturer in Environmental Science, Basic Ecology and Environmental Biology for the Environmental Management Honors program in the Dept. of Social Sconces, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, since March 2006.
  • Visiting Lecturer in Nature tourism, Ecotourism, Biodiversity and Renewable natural resources for the Travel and Tourism Management Honors program in the Dept. of Social Sconces, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, since March 2006.
  • Assistant Lecturer (temporary) for the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, (January 2005 – March 2006).
  • Laboratory Instructor (Demonstrator) in the Department of Zoology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (October 2004 – January 2005). 

Education

PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology (Clemson University, SC); BS in Zoology (University of Colombo)

Interests

Hiking, Camping, and Photography


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Courses Taught

Current

BIO-102 (Organismal Biology), BIO-102 (Organismal Biology Lab), BIO-242 (Vertebrate Zoology), and BIO-242 (Vertebrate Zoology Lab)

Past
Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
BIO-100Bio Expl Diversity Lab22013/FA
BIO-100Bio Explor:Diversity12013/FA
BIO-101Principles Lab12013/FA
BIO-101Principles of Biology12013/FA