Udara Amarathunga

BSc (Honours) Degree in Geology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
PhD Candidate

During my first year as an undergraduate at the University of Peradeniya, I followed Geology, Chemistry and Physics and was selected to the Honours Degree programs in Geology and Chemistry. I decided to choose Geology for specialization due to extreme interest in Earth Sciences. I completed my Bachelors Degree in December 2017, with First Class Honours. Afterwards I worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Geology of UoP, and extracted knowledge on paleoenvironmental studies at the geochemistry laboratory until December 2018.

I started my work as a PhD candidate at the Research School of Earth Sciences in March 2019. One of the main objectives of my research project aims at investigating the Mediterranean oceanography & African monsoon variability, and on the reconstruction of "Green Sahara Periods" over the Pliocene. Specifically this study will be focused on the time span between 3-5.3 Ma, using sediment records from ODP site 967 in the eastern Mediterranean. Furthermore, evolution of Mediterranean oceanography immediately after the Zanclean megaflood will be investigated.

Research interests

Climate change; The past, present and the future


Physical Oceanography

Paleoenvironmental and Paleoclimatic reconstruction

Sea-level change


My publications can be accessed through Google Scholar


Katharine M Grant, Udara Amarathunga, Jessica D Amies, Pengxiang Hu, Yao Qian, Tiah Penny, Laura Rodriguez-Sanz, Xiang Zhao, David Heslop, Diederik Liebrand, Rick Hennekam, Thomas Westerhold, Stewart Gilmore, Lucas J Lourens, Andrew P Roberts, Eelco J Rohling. (2022). Organic carbon burial in Mediterranean sapropels intensified during Green Sahara Periods since 3.2 Myr ago. Communications Earth & Environment, 3, 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00339-9


Amarathunga, U., Diyabalanage, S., Bandara, U., & Chandrajith, R. (2019). Environmental factors controlling arsenic mobilization from sandy shallow coastal aquifer sediments in the Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Applied Geochemistry, 100, 152-159. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2018.11.011


Amarathunga, A.V.U.P., Chandrajith, R.L.R. (2018). Geochemical Behavior of Arsenic in Coastal Aquifer Systems of Mannar Island, Sri Lanka [Abstract]. 34th Technical Sessions of the Geological Society of Sri Lanka.