Dr Awantha Dissanayake

Dr Awantha Dissanayake


School of Biological and Marine Sciences (NC) (Faculty of Science and Engineering (NC))


I am an experienced researcher with a background in marine biology, including a PhD in marine biology (crustacean ecophysiology) and also, including over ten years experience of developing and employing ecophysiological approaches to environmental monitoring using multiple species in both laboratory and field scenarios. 

My research interests and experience lies in fundamentally outlining organism physiological functioning and associated effects upon behaviour. In order to better understand aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning at local and regional scales, my interests encompass both organism-level theory and ecology-level processes. Using abiotic and biotic stressors, as examples to achieve my research goals, I have demonstrated effects on organism physiological ecology for various applications, e.g. environmental monitoring programmes (DEFRA/EA), climate change impacts (Australian & Japanese Governments), educational outreach programmes (Singapore), conservation in Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s: Thailand), and additionally, capacity-building and knowledge-transfer programmes (India, Vietnam, and Thailand). 

I have contributed to the understanding of how ecosystem changes, either natural or anthropogenic, may affect organism function, as evidenced by a proven strong research track record, which includes 22 scientific peer-reviewed publications, including book chapters; h Index of 13 (> 700 citations).

I am also a reviewer for the following journals:

- Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology
- Marine Environmental Research 
- Journal of Evolutionary Biology
- Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology
- Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology
- Invertebrate Reproduction And Development
- Sciencia Marina
- Aquatic Biology
- Marine Biology Research
- Marine Biology
- Naturwissenschaften
- Science of the Total Environment
- Deep Sea Research II
- ICES Journal of Marine Science

Publications (since 2004)                     

1.    1.   Dissanayake A.  (2014). Ocean acidification and warming effects on Crustacea: possible future scenarios. In: The Mediterranean Sea: Its History and Present Challenges. Goffredo, S. and Dubinsky, Z. (eds) Springer, Netherlands. XV, 678 pp. http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-94-007-6704-1/page/2

2.     Höher, N., Regoli, F., Dissanayake, A., Nagel, M., Kriews, M., Köhler, A., Broeg, K. (2013). Immunomodulating effects of environmentally realistic copper concentrations in Mytilus edulis adapted to naturally low salinities.  Aquatic. Toxicology (2013). 140-141, 185-195.

3.     Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T.S. and Jones, M.B.  (2011). Seasonal differences in the physiology of Carcinus maenas (Crustacea: Decapoda) from estuaries with varying contamination.  Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science. 93, 320-327. 

4.     Dissanayake A, Ishimatsu A (2011). Osmoregulatory ability and salinity tolerance in several crustacean species of the East China Sea (Crustacea: Decapoda: Natantia). Plankton Benthos Research. 6(3), 135-140.

5.     Dissanayake, A and A. Ishimatsu.  (2011). Synergistic effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on the metabolic scope and activity in a shallow-water coastal decapod (Metapenaeus joyneri) (Crustacea: Decapoda).  ICES. Journal of Marine Science. 68, 6, 1147-1154.

6.     Dissanayake A, Clough R, Spicer JI, Jones MB (2010). Effects of hypercapnia exposure on acid-base balance and osmo-/iono- regulation in the prawns Palaemon elegans (Rathke) and P. serratus (Pennant) (Decapoda: Palaemonidae). Aquatic Biology. 1, 27-36.

7.     Dissanayake A, Piggott C, Baldwin C, Sloman KA (2010).  Elucidating cellular and behavioural effects of contaminant impact (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs) in both laboratory-exposed and field-collected shore crabs, Carcinus maenas (Crustacea: Decapoda). Marine Environmental Research 70, 368-373.

8.     Dissanayake A, Bamber SD (2010). Detecting polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure in the Bay of Gibraltar, using fluorescence spectrophotometry as a biomonitoring tool of environmental contamination. Marine Environmental Research.  70, 65-72.

9.     Hagger, J.A., Lowe, D.M., Dissanayake, A., Jones, M.B. and Galloway, T.S., 2010. The influence of seasonality on biomarker responses in Mytilus edulis. Ecotoxicology.  19, 953-962.

10.  Ishimatsu A, Dissanayake A (2010).  Life threatened in Acidic Coastal Waters In: Ishimatsu A, Lie HJ (eds) Coastal Environmental and Ecosystem Issues of the East China Sea. TERRAPUB. p283-303.

11.  Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T.S. and Jones, M.B., 2009.  Physiological condition affects intraspecific agonistic behaviour in Carcinus maenas (Crustacea: Decapoda).  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology. 375, 57-63.

12.  Scarlett A, Dissanayake A, Rowland SJ, Galloway TS. 2009. Behavioural, physiological and cellular responses following trophic transfer of toxic monoaromatic hydrocarbons. Environ mental Toxicology & Chemistry. 28, 2 381-387,

13.  Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T.S. and Jones, M.B.  2008b. Physiological responses of juvenile and adult shore crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda) to pyrene exposure. Marine Environmental Research. 66, 445-450. (Science Direct: TOP 25 Hottest articles: October – December 2008).

14.  Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T.S. and Jones, M.B., 2008a. Nutritional status of Carcinus maenas (Crustacea: Decapoda) influences susceptibility to contaminant exposure. Aquatic Toxicology, 89, 40-46.

15.  Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T.S., Lowe, D.M. and Thompson, R.C., 2008. Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatory system of the mussel, Mytilus edulis (L.)  Environmental Science and Technology.  42, 5026-5031.

16.  Dissanayake, A. and Galloway, T.S., 2004. Evaluation of fixed wavelength fluorescence and synchronous fluorescence spectrophotometry as a biomonitoring tool of environmental contamination. Marine Environmental Research, 58(2-5), 281-285.

17.  Galloway, T.S., Brown, R.J., Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Lowe, D., Depledge, M.H. and Jones, M.B., 2006. The ECOMAN project: A novel approach to defining sustainable ecosystem function. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 53(1-4), 186-194.

18.  Galloway, T.S., Brown, R.J., Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Lowe, D., Jones, M.B. and Depledge, M.H., 2004. Ecosystem management bioindicators: the ECOMAN project - a multi-biomarker approach to ecosystem management. Marine Environmental Research, 58(2-5), 233-237.

19.  Galloway, T.S., Brown, R.J., Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Lowe, D., Jones, M.B. and Depledge, M.H., 2004. A multibiomarker approach to environmental assessment. Environmental Science & Technology, 38(6), 1723-1731.

20.  O'Neill, A.J., Galloway, T.S., Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A. and Depledge, M.H., 2004. Evaluation of toxicity in tributaries of the Mersey estuary using the isopod Asellus aquaticus (L.). Marine Environmental Research, 58(2-5), 327-331.

21.  Bonacci, S., Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Hagger, J.A., Corsi, I., Focardi, S. and Galloway, T.S., 2004. Esterase activities in the bivalve mollusc Adamussium colbecki as a biomarker for pollution monitoring in the Antarctic marine environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 49(5-6), 445-455.

22.  Brown, R.J., Galloway, T.S., Lowe, D., Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Jones, M.B. and Depledge, M.H., 2004. Differential sensitivity of three marine invertebrates to copper assessed using multiple biomarkers. Aquatic Toxicology, 66(3), 267-278.



23.  Dissanayake, A., Jittanoon, C., Kamwachirapitak, P. and Kendall, M..  (2007).  TSUNAMI IMPACTS IN LAEM SON: Workshop on Biomarker as Tools for Coastal Environmental Assessment.  

24.  Goh, B.P.L., Dissanayake, A., & Lai, C.H. (2012). Pollution Experiments using Ecotoxicology Biomarkers for Secondary Schools. Workshop Manual, 30th October - 2nd November 2012, NSSE, NIE/NTU . Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University.