Purdue University: Shepson Atmospheric Chemistry Group: Thilina Jayarathne

Thilina Jayarathne

Thilina Jayarathne

Thilina joined the Shepson Lab for Atmospheric Chemistry in June 2017. His work in the Shepson lab focuses on better understanding the chemistry of biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) oxidation by nitrate radicals, and aerosol formation in forested environments.

Dr. Jayarathne pursued his graduate studies at the University of Iowa under the direction of Dr. Betsy Stone. His graduate work focused on chemical characterization of biomass burning and sea spray aerosol. His qualifications include extensive experience in chemical characterization of complex environmental samples. During his graduate studies, he has applied advanced analytical techniques such as GC-MS to measure organic tracer compounds in atmospheric aerosol samples. He has also developed methodology using HPLC-PAD to quantify trace levels of carbohydrates in seawater and sea spray aerosol samples. Furthermore, his analytical experiences includes quantification of water-soluble ions by ion chromatography, and trace metal analysis using ICP-MS. He also has experiences in microscopic techniques, and has used SEM-EDX to image and prepare elemental maps of particles.

His qualifications also include extensive experience in sample collection in national and international field campaigns and laboratory experiments. These experiments include Fire Laboratory at Missoula Experiment - 4 (FLAME-4) in Montana, USA (2012), Southeast Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS) in Alabama, USA (2013), Investigation into Marine Particle Chemistry and Transfer Science (IMPACTS) Experiment in California, USA (2014), The Nepal Ambient Monitoring and Source Testing Experiment (NAMaSTE) in Katmandu, Nepal (2015) and Peat Burning Aerosol Sampling in Kalimantan, Indonesia (2015).

In graduate school, Dr. Jayarathne received highly competitive research awards, such as:

  • Lynn Anderson award for research excellence (2017)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Leadership and Outreach Award (2016) by the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE)
  • Ballard Seashore Graduate Dissertation Fellowship (2016)
  • T. Anne Cleary International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2014)

Dr. Jayarathne has contributed to 25 peer-reviewed publications, and has mentored 2 undergraduate honors students.

Before joining graduate school, he worked for Peterson Control Union world group (2009-2011) as an international lead auditor for forest stewardship council (FSC) certification systems. He obtained his B. Sc. from University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka in Forestry and Environmental Science.

Email: kjayarat@purdue.edu

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