Visiting Scientists

Dr. Thivanka Ariyarathna  is a biogeochemist, particularly interested in both oceanic and freshwater aquatic systems. Dr. Ariyarathna received her PhD from Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, USA and her Bachelor’s degree is from Department of Geosciences, University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.  She is mainly interested in environmental organic contaminants including their fate and transport in the aquatic environments. For her PhD research, Dr. Ariyarathna evaluated fate of explosive compounds (nitrogen containing aromatic compounds), specially, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-trazine (RDX) in coastal marine habitats using stable nitrogen isotopes. Sediments play an important role on ultimate fate of explosives in coastal ecosystems. Moreover, her research interests include sediment and hydro-geochemistry, stable isotope geochemistry, biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem processes and paleoclimatology. Dr. Ariyarathna’s instrumental expertise includes GC, GC-MS, HPLC-MS, GC-IRMS and EA-IRMS. Currently, she is working on a project to develop and validate a method to reconstruct past temperatures based on a group of organic compounds called branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in Sebago Lake, Maine. Find out more about Dr. Ariyarathna’s  research here: https://blogs.umass.edu/thivankaa/

Dr. Sivajini Gilchrist is a Visiting Scientist in the UMass Biogeochem Lab during summers. She has worked with MSc student Rebecca Smith and contributed to research aimed at better understanding the sea surface temperature history of the NW Australian Shelf. Her research background in Environmental Geochemistry and heavy metal contamination. Read more about Dr. Gilchrist’s research here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sivajini_Gilchrist