Director / Senior Research Professor

Saman Seneweera

Office of the Director
Plant Stress Biology and Molecular Genetics

Saman Seneweera


Professor Saman Seneweera is the Director of the National Institute of Fundamental Studies. He is also a Research Professor & Discipline Leader of Plant Biology at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia (2014 to date), Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Biology, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka (2013 to-date), and  Adjunct Associate Professor, MSLE, The Melbourne University, Australia, (2015- to date). Between 2006 and 2014 he worked as a Senior Research Fellow & Program Leader at The Melbourne University, Australia. He has also worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Western Sydney, Australia (2006-2008), an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA (2005 – 2006), a Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow at the Tohoku University, Japan (1999-2005), a Lecturer / Research Fellow of the Western Sydney University, Australia (1995-1999), a Teaching Assistant at the University of Western Sydney, Australia (1992-1995) and a Junior Research Associate, Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka (1990-1992). 

Prof Seneweera obtained his B.Sc in Agricultural Science from the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka (1990) and PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Western Sydney, Australia in 1996. Throughout his scientific career, he has published over 200 research articles (80 in SCI Journals), including publications in Nature and Science. Over 80% of Prof Seneweera's papers are published in top quartile (A/A*) journals. 

Professor Seneweera was the recipient of the best PhD student award from the University of Western Sydney (1996), Australia, the Research Excellence Award from the University of Melbourne (2011) and the Australian Prime Minister’s award in (1996) for his contribution to climate change research.  He has also received prestigious fellowships from the Science and Technology Fellow (Australian Academy of Science) and the Japanese Society of Promotion of Science, Japan and the Jack Loneragan Plant Nutrition Award from the Plant Nutrition Trust, Australia. (1997). Prof Seneweera is a member of the Australian Society of Plant Scientists, American Society of Plant Biologists, Japanese Society of Plant Physiologist and the Australian Society of Agronomy. 


Prof. Saman Seneweera

National Institute of Fundamental Studies
Hanthana Road, Kandy (20000)
Sri Lanka

Research Interest

Professor Seneweera ‘s main research focus is on the impact of climate change on crops and pastures and developing adaptation strategies to mitigate climate change. His current research topics include

1. Developing climate insensitive crops and pastures  

2. Nutrient management for sustainable food production 

3. Improving photosynthesis in crop plants  

4. Bio fortification of rice and wheat (Zinc and Iron) 

5. Arsenic homeostasis in rice and its mitigation from rice ecosystems  

6. Improvement of nitrogen use efficiency in plants.  

7. Ligno cellulose based biofuel production and other applications of nanotechnology.