New subject editor: Shyamala Ratnayeke

Submitted by editor on 13 April 2021.

My love for field research in wildlife ecology began with a study on wild primates in south central Asia for my master’s degree. Since then, after starting doctoral work in the USA, I learned lab and field techniques for studying fundamental questions about genetic relatedness and spatial relationships in carnivores. Later, while conducting a pioneering research project on wild sloth bears in Sri Lanka, I got more interested in applied problems such as those of declining wildlife populations from habitat loss, overexploitation, and human-wildlife conflict.

Few environments in the world experience as much pressure from growing human populations and rapid economic development as tropical Asia. My current research on sun bears and otters in Malaysia uses non-invasive methods to investigate ecological questions, such as those related to distribution, habitat selection, and responses to different forms of human disturbance.

In my current position as an Associate Professor, I enjoy teaching and spending time with research students and colleagues. I like long hikes in the wilderness, and learning about plants, birds and fungi. And at the end of the day, nothing beats a bottle of wine, a good meal, and the company of friends.