Lahiru Wijedasa


What do you do?

I am doing my PhD in the Department of Biological Sciences at NUS. I’ve worked on landuse change, taxonomy and conservation issues in the region for the past 9 years, first as a botanist/arborist at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and now at the National University of Singapore. I collected and documented species in the field in various parts of the region and have grown plants on the verge of extinction. My work focuses on Southeast Asian land use change and conservation in the past present and future, with a particular interest in plants and peat swamp forest.

Where are you originally from?

Sri Lanka



What inspires you?

Contributing in the fight to save the remaining forests. I have seen firsthand the destruction of forests I have once walked in and realized that in order to save the forest a different broader landscape approach is needed. In my free time, I taught myself remote sensing methods and tracked the deforestation of peat swamps and limestone hills in the region communicating and providing data to conservationists on the ground and policy makers. I strongly believe  in changing mindsets through education and awareness.