Plant and Environmental Sciences Research Programme
Protecting the environment and human health through science
The major areas of focus of our project at the NIFS are:
(i) Environmental Remediation of pollutants using plants and plant biomass. This area of research focusses on the removal of pollutants and contaminants from water and soil. We are particularly interested in bioremediation, phytoremediation and biosorption. We conduct research to remove textile dyes, heavy metals, phosphates and nitrates from water bodies.
(ii) Restoration of degraded dry forests. Our main objective is to micro-propagate tree species for reforestation of dry forests.
(iii) Flora growing on serpentine soil. Our studies in this area provide an insight on how these plants adapt to harsh soil environments and their possible utilization for bioremediation of heavy metals.
(iv) Impact of climate and socioeconomic factors on the spread of dengue virus. Dengue outbreaks are a common occurrence in the past two decades in Sri Lanka. Our research is aimed at identifying knowledge, attitude and practices (KAPs) in dengue free and dengue affected communities, the role of climate and vector threshold indices to provide tools for vector control to the relevant authorities to manage disease outbreaks.
Why does this matter ?
Plants and our environment are necessary and vital components in our lives. We seek to address problems in our environment using plants and natural resources, to provide solutions. We believe improving the quality of the environment around us will ultimately improve our quality of life.