Samadhi Wimalagunasekara

I joined Dr. Dassanayake’s lab in 2021 Fall as a Ph.D. student. I am studying the convergent evolution of the halophytes using molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques. We have a highly diverse halophyte community, and these plants are phylogenetically distinct in a considerable way. However, all these halophytes share a common adaptive trait of being tolerant to high salt concentrations and can survive under extreme environmental conditions. Currently, I am trying to see whether there is a genomic level convergent evolution between these salt-tolerant plants and if so, what are the responsible positively selected genes, as well as what are the evolutionary mechanisms behind those selections. I achieved my undergraduate degree in Bioinformatics from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2020.

Samadhi Wimalagunasekara