SUSL Staff Directory

Professor PMAS Karunaratne

Professor

ashas@agri.sab.ac.lk

Qualifications

PhD in Crop Modelling (Funded by Commonwealth Scholarship)

Thesis Title: Modelling the response of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterrranea (L.) Verdc.) for abitotic stress factors.

School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

 

M.Phil in Crop Physiology

Thesis Title: Effect of shade trees in minimizing the photoinhibition of photosynthesis in high grown tea (Camellia sinenesis L.) in Sri Lanka

Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

 

B.Sc Agriculture Honours (Second Class Upper division)

Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


Profile

Asha Karunaratne is a professor in Crop Production Systems and Modelling at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. Prof Asha attended the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka where she obtained BSc. Agriculture (Hons) and M.Phil degrees. In 2005, she was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship for PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK on developing a new dynamic crop simulation model for Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterrranea: BAMGRO) by means of agronomy and physiology approaches to simulate yield under variable climates. The work was a part of BAMLink (EU-Framework 7) project that involved three years of glasshouse experiments at Nottingham that consisted of various growth and developmental measurements and parallel field trials in Africa, India, and Denmark.

She has been working for more than 15 years on agronomy and quantitative crop physiology with a focus on yield responses to water scarcity, crop-climate modelling for future scenarios. She has postdoctoral research experience on crop-climate modelling and large area simulation of annual crop yields from the Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading and University of Nottingham, under the purview of Commonwealth Fellowship Plan in 2011 and 2014. She has trained at the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) India for Multiple Crop Model Training Program (DSSAT and APSIM models), STICS Model Training programme from NRA, France and GLAM model at the Walker Institute, University of Reading.

Prof Asha has extended her expertise to across wider international organisations. She has been consulting the UN-FAO Global Crop Modelling network, AquaCrop since 2008 and Bambara groundnut was incorporated as the first underutilised crop in the AquaCrop model leading to a chapter in FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 66 (http://www.fao.org/nr/water/docs/AquaCropNetwork.pdf). Asha’s expertise contribution to the development of CropBase (http://cropbase.org/ ), integrating quality and quantitative knowledge into decision support provides date - to-decision solutions for agriculture. In addition, she was the Co-investigator of Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement (www.agmip.org ), AgMIP-Sri Lanka project on assessing climate change impact on rice farming systems in Sri Lanka. Also Asha is a collaborative scientist of C3MP project with NASA Godard Space Institute.

Prof Asha has published her work in high impact journals and 4 book chapters with FAO and American Society of Agronomy (ASA) publishers. She has been awarded president’s award Sri Lanka for her meritorious publications in top 10% journals for the years 2010, 2011, and 2015.


Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS)

American Society of Agronomy

 

ACADEMIC MERITS, SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS

2017 : 4 President’s Awards for Publications in top 10% SCI Journals (for the publicatios in 2015)

2017  : Royal Society (UK) Travel Award for Commonwealth Science Conference

2014  : Commonwealth fellowship, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

2014  : 3 President’s Awards for publications in top 10% SCI Journals (for the publications in 2010, 2011)

2010  : Commonwealth fellowship, University of Reading, United Kingdom

2005  : Commonwealth Scholarship for PhD, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

1997  : Awarded at the convocation held in University of Peradeniya  on 13th December 1997

Most outstanding performance in core program B.Sc Agriculture           

           Golden Jubilee medal

            E.M.R.B Ekanayake Memorial Prize

S.H.F.Perera Memorial Prize

1995/96: Highest overall marks obtained in Third Examination in Agriculture

Prof.R.R.Appadorai Memorial Scholarship

Alumni Association, University of Peradeniya

Ananada Amarasinghe Memorial Scholarship

1994/95: Meritorious performance at the Second examination in Agriculture

University scholarship

1993/94: Meritorious performance at the first year farm Practice Course

           Christopher De Serum Weerasinghe Siriwardena Scholarship


Research Interests

  • Crop-climate modelling for current and future climate scenarios.
  • Application of crop models , i.e. APSIM, DSSAT, AquaCrop, GLAM etc for range of annual crops, i.e. rice, maize, proso millet
  • Development  of crop production system models and modular components using R software
  • Calibration and evaluation of models
  • Agronomy and quantitative crop physiology with a focus on yield responses to water scarcity,
  • Decesion support systems for Agricultural Production decesions
  • Use of sattelite and earth observation data for forecasting of crop yields, onset of seasons and water audting compliance

Current Research Projects

National Projects

2017 to 2019:  Co investigator- Value Chain Analysis of Ceylon Cinnamon

International Projects

2014 to Present:  Principle Investigator - Modelling the Climate sensitivity and assessing the genetic diversity of Proso Millet in Sri Lanka, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham – Malaysia Campus, Malaysia

2015 to Present:  Co Investigator -Value chain analysis of underutilised crops in Sri Lanka. Crops For the Future (www.cffresearch.org).

2012 - Present : Principle Investigator Crop-Climate Modelling- CropBASE project (www.cropbase.org )

Contribute to the development of Global web-based operational data base for underutilised crops named CropBase hosted at the International Centre for underutilised crops – Crops For the Future (www.cffresearch.org) as the principal investigator for crop-climate modelling in the multidisciplinary research team from Nottingham University of Nottingham, UK. 

2013 –Present:  Co Investigator -Ontology alignment of data base

Computer Science School, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Malaysia

2013 –Present : Co Investigator - Assessing the role and cultural value of underutilised crops in small holder systems in Sri Lanka. School of Politics History and International Relations, University of Nottingham – Malaysia Campus, Malaysia


Recent Publications

PUBLICATIONS

Nee Wong, Q. Tanzi, A.S., Wai Kuan Ho, Malla, S. Blythe, M., Karunaratne, A.S., Massawe, F. Mayes, S. (2017). Development of Gene-Based SSR Markers in Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC.) for Diversity Assessment. Communication, Genes 2017, 8(3), 100.

Daniel Wallach, Sarath P Nissanka, A. S. Karunaratne, WMW Weerakoon, Peter J Thorburn, Kenneth J Boote, James W Jones (2016). Accounting for both parameter and model structure uncertainty in crop model predictions of phenology: A case study on rice, European Journal Of Agronomy, Vol. 88: 53–62

Karunaratne, A.S., Walker, S. and A.C. Ruane (2015). Modelling Bambara groundnut in southern Africa towards climate resilient future, Climate Research, Climate Research, 65: 193–203

Nissanka, S.P., Karunaratne A.S., Perera, R., Weerakoon, W. M. W, Thorburn, P. J., Wallach,D. (2015). Calibration of the phenology sub-model of APSIM-Oryza: going beyond goodness of fit, Environmental Modelling and Software 70: 128–137.

Karunaratne, A.S. and Wheeler, T.R. (2015). The observed relationships between maize yield and climate in Sri Lanka, American Journal of Agronomy, 107:395–405.

Karunaratne, A.S., Walker, S. and Azam-Ali, S. N. (2014). Assessing the productivity and resource-use-efficiency of underutilised crops: towards an integrative system. Agricultural and Water Management, 147:129-134.

Karunaratne, A.S., Azam-Ali, S. N. and Crout, N. M. J. (2010). BAMGRO: A simple model to simulate the response of bambara groundnut to abiotic stress. Journal of Experimental Agriculture, Cambridge University Press, 47 (3), pp., 489–507.

Karunaratne, A.S., Azam-Ali, S. N., Izzi G. and Steduto P. 2011.Calibration and validation of FAO-AquaCrop model for irrigated and water deficient bambara groundnut. Journal of Experimental Agriculture, Cambridge University Press, v. 47 (3), pp., 509–527.

Karunaratne, A.S., Azam-Ali, S. N., Al-Shareef, I., Sesay, A., J. ørgensen S. T. and Crout, N. M. J. (2010). Modelling the canopy development of bambara groundnut, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, v. 150 (7-8): 1007-1015.

Malkanthi, S. H. P., Karunaratne, A. S., Amuwala, S. D, Ratnayaka, I. R. M. G. and Silva, P. (2014). Evaluation of opportunities and challenges in cultivating underutilized field crops in Moneragala district of Sri Lanka. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, 4(1): 96-105.

Malkanthi, S. H. P., Karunaratne, A S., Amuwala, S. D. and Silva, P. (2014). Assessment of importance of cultivating underutilized crops in Thanamalwila DS division of Monaragaladistrict of Sri Lanka. International Research Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, 1(1): 45-68.

Jayasinghe, H.A.S.L., Suriyagoda, L.D.B., Karunaratne, A.S., Wijeratne, M.A. (2013). Leaf Development and Expansion in Tea [Camelia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] and their relationship with Thermal Time: A Case Study. Tropical Agricultural Research Journal, Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 25(4):350-359.

Karunaratne, P.M.A.S., Mohotti J., Nissanka, S.P. and Gunasinghe, W.A.D.S. (2003). Effect of shade in minimizing the photoinhibition of photosynthesis of high grown tea (Camellia sinensis L. O. Kuntze) in Sri Lanka. Journal of Tropical Agricultural Research, 15: 133-143.

Karunaratne, P.M.A.S., Wijeratne, A.W. and.Kumara, J.B.D.A.B (2003). A linear estimation of girth as a covariate on yield parameters of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell.Arg.) in Journal of Agricultural Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka 1(1): .

Karunaratne, P.M.A.S., Wijeratne, M.A. and Sangakkara, U.R. (1999) Assessment on the drought resistant properties of newly released clones in Tea Bulletin (1999). v. 16(1-2): 2 1-6.

Karunaratne, P.M.A.S., Wijeratne, M.A. and Sangakkara, U.R. (1999) Osmotic adjustments and associated water relations of clonal tea (Camellia sinensis L. ), Sabaragamuwa University Journal, v. 2: 77-85.

 

BOOKS AND BOOK CHAPTERS

Karunaratne, A.S. (2015). Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.): Agronomy, Botany, Ecophysiology and Nutrition, pp, 90.

Karunaratne, A.S. (2015). Dynamic System Model for Rice (Oryza sativa L.), pp, 50.

Karunaratne, A.S. (2015). Agricultural Production System sIMulator: APSIM-ORYZA Calibration Manual, pp, 48.

Lareef Zubair1, Sarath P. Nissanka,W. M.W.Weerakoon, Dumindu I. Herath, Asha S. Karunaratne, A. S. M. Prabodha, M. B. Agalawatte1, Rasnayaka M. Herath, S. ZeenasYahiya, B. V. R. Punyawardhene, Janan Vishwanathan, Punya Delpitiya, A. Erandika N.Wijekoon, Janaka Gunaratna, Sewwandhi S. K., Chandrasekara, P.Wickramagamage, K. D. N.Weerasinghe, Champa M. Navaratne, Ruchika S. Perera, Asela I. Gunesekara, G. M. Pradeep Kumara, DanielWallach, Roberto O. Valdivia and Sonali McDermid (2015). Climate Change Impacts on Rice Farming Systems in Northwestern Sri Lanka, In: Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems: The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) integrated Crop and Economic Assessments. Joint publication with ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, (part 1), 315-352.

Sonali P. McDermid, Alexander C. Ruane, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Asha S. Karunaratne, et al. (2015). The AgMIP Coordinated Climate-Crop Modeling Project (C3MP): Methods and Protocols In: Handbook of Climate Change and Cgroecosystems: The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) integrated Crop and Economic Assessments. Joint publication with ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, (part 2), 191-220.

 

A.S. Karunaratne and Sayed N. Azam-Ali (2012). Bambara groundnut in Yield Responses to Water, Irrigation and Drainage paper 66, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (110-115).

Chief Editor

Improving Farm management strategies’ through AquaCrop: Worldwide collection of case studies. (2010). pp,167.FAO and UNW-DPC publication

Co-Editor

Capacity Development for Farm Management Strategies to Improve Crop-Water Productivity using AquaCrop: Lessons Learned. (2010).Publication of UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development.

 

ABSTRACTS PRESENTED AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES

Herath, H.M.U.N, Parfit, T., O’Reilly, Karunaratne, A.S. (2017). Role of Rural Organizations in Resource Mobilization, 6th International Conference of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, (6th ICSUSL 2017), 10-12 May, 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Wimalasiri, E.M., Ashfold, M.J., Walker, S., Nisssnaka,S.P., Karunaratne, A.S. (2017). On-farm spatial variability of Proso millet cultivation in Moneragala and Hambanthota districts of Sri Lanka, 6th International Conference of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, (6th ICSUSL 2017), 10-12 May, 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Karunaratne, A.S., Ekanayake, E.M.N.B., Walker, S. (2017). Land optimisation for sustainable production of green leafy vegetables. IV International Conference on Postharvest and Quality Management of Horticultural Products of interest for Tropical Regions- PQMHP 2017, 4-8 April, 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Hettiarachchi, I.C., De Silva D.A.M., Karunarathne, A.S. (2017). Black and white faces of banana value chain in Sri Lanka: A case study. IV International Conference on Postharvest and Quality Management of Horticultural Products of interest for Tropical Regions- PQMHP 2017, 4-8 April, 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Liyanagamage, T.M., De Silva, D.A.M., O'reilly, P.,, Nilmalgoda, H. Karunaratne, A.S.(2017.) Value chain analysis of underutilized crops of different farming systems in Sri Lanka. IV International Conference on Postharvest and Quality Management of Horticultural Products of interest for Tropical Regions- PQMHP 2017, 4-8 April, 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Nissanka, S. P., Karunaratne, A.S., Weerakoon, W.M.W. (2015). Climate change impact on rice cultivation in kurunegala, 5th Global Meeting-AgMIP, University of Florida, February 25 to 01 March 2015.

Nissanka, S.P., Karunaratne, A.S., Weerakoon, W.M.W., Delpitiya, P., Punyawardena, B.V.R. and Zubair, L. (2014). Modelling climate change impact and assessing adaptation strategies for rice based farming systems in Sri Lanka. Modelling climate change impacts on crop production for food security, 10-12 February 2014 Oslo, Norway: 27.

Malkanthi, S. H. P., Karunaratne, A. S., Amuwala, S. D., Gunathilaka, M. D., Ushmika, W. D., and Silva, P. (2014) . Importance of Cultivating of Underutilized Crops: A Case Study in Monaragala District of Sri Lanka. International conference of Agricultural Sciences of the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, 9-10 January 2014.

Nissanka, S.P., Karunaratne, A.S., Weerakoon, W.M.W., Herath, R.M., Delpitiya, P., Punyawardena, B.V.R. and Zubair, L. (2013). Climate change impact and assessing adaptation strategies for rice based farming systems in Sri Lanka. 4th Global Meeting-AgMIP, University of Columbia, New York, October 2013.

Malkanthi, S. H. P., Karunaratne, A. S., Udapamunuwa, M. H. H., Weerasinghe, W.M.D.K., and Silva, P. (2013). Opportunities and Challenges in Cultivation of underutilized field crops in Sri Lanka: The case of Moneragala District. Fourth International Symposium, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, 11-12 January 2013.

Walker, S., Karunaratne, A.S. and Bello Z. (2013). Potential for underutilised crops in adaptation to climate change: Example of Bambara groundnut and pearl millet. International Commission on irrigation and Drainage (ICID) Conference, September 29-3 October.

Walker, S. Karunaratne, A.S. and Bello Z. K. (2013). Production of Underutilised Crops under Climate Change Scenarios in Semi-arid Southern Africa, Neglected and underutilised crops, Ghana, September, 2013: 23.

Karunaratne A.S. and Azam-Ali S.N. (2010). AquaCrop application in Botswana: The FAO crop model to simulate yield response to water. InSym2010, Third International Symposium, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. August, 2010: 37.

Karunaratne A.S., Azam-Ali S.N., Sasey A., Adu-Dapaah H., Al-Shareef I., Mwale S.S. and Crout N.M.J (2008) BAMGRO: A crop simulation model for bambara groundnut (Vignasubterranea (L.) Verdc.). Proceedings of “Resource Capture by Crops-Integrated Approach”, Sutton Bonnington Campus, University of Nottingham. August 2008.

Basu S., Mayes S., Stadler F., Seshashayee M.S., Christiansen J.L., Adu-Dapaah H., Nautiyal P.C., Karunaratne A.S. and Azam-Ali S.N. (2008). Promoting indigenous crops a tool for tackling climate change and food security in semi-Arid Africa. Proceedings of International Symposium “4th EPSO Conference-Crops for life, Toulon, France.

FULL PAPERS PUBLISHED WITH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

Kumara P. R, Munasinghe E. S, Rodrigo V. H. L. and Karunaratna, A.S. (2016). Carbon footprint of rubber/sugarcane intercropping system in Sri Lanka: a case study. Procedia Food Science 6 (2016) 298 – 302.

Bandula, A., Jayaweera, C., De Silva, A., Oreilly, P., Karunaratne, A.S., Malkanthi, S.H.P. (2016). Role of underutilized crop value chains in rural food and income security in Sri Lanka. Procedia Food Science 6 (2016) 267 – 270.

Al-Azr, M., Leibovici, D., Karunaratne, A.S., Ray, R.V. (2015). Simulating Eyespot Disease Development and Yield Loss Using APSIM for UK Wheat. Procedia Environmental Sciences 29 (2015) 256 – 257.

Lawan, A., Rakib, A., Alechina, N., Karunaratne, A.S. ( 2014). Advancing Underutilized Crops Knowledge using SWRL-enabled Ontologies - A survey and early experiment. JIST Workshop.

Karunaratne, A.S. and Wheeler, T.R. (2014). Maize and climate change in Sri lanka: progress, trends, and challenges in simulating impacts. The 29th International Horticulture Congress-“Sustaining lives, Livelihood and Landscapes”, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia, 17-22, August 2014.

Karunaratne, A.S., Walker, S. and Ruane, A. (2014).Modelling the productivity of underutilised crops for climate resilience. The 29th International Horticulture Congress-“Sustaining lives, Livelihood and Landscapes”, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia, 17-22, August 2014.

Azam-Ali, S.N., Karunaratne, A.S. and Walker, S. (2013). Assessing the productivity and resource-use-efficiency of underutilised crops: towards an integrative system, Key note address, 1st CIGR Inter-Regional Conference on “Land and Water Challenges”, Bari (Italy), 10-14 September, 2013: 25-26

Azam-Ali, S.N., Karunaratne, A.S. and Walker, S. (2013) Crops for the future: resilience through crop and system diversity, International Symposium on Resilience to Climate Change in Southeast Asia. 16-18 April 2013; Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Karunaratne, A.S., Crout, N., Azam-Ali, S.N., Mayes , S., Steduto, P., Izzi, G. 2009) Modelling The Response Of Bambara Groundnut: A Key Underutilised Crop In Agricultural Systems.

ECMS, 841-847.

Karunaratne A.S. and Mayes S. (2009). Modelling the landrace structure of bambara groundnut. Proceedings of workshop on mathematics in plant sciences, CPIB, University of Nottingham, UK, January 2009.

Karunaratne A.S., Azam-Ali S.N., Mwala S.S and Crout N.M.J.(2007) Modelling growth and development of bambara groundnut (Vignasubterranea (L.)) for abiotic stress factors. Proceedings of “UK Agricultural Modellers’ Group Association”. Journal of Agricultural Science (Cambridge). 145: 635-650.