Max Planck Gesellschaft

Kasun Gayantha

Ph.D. Student

Molecular Biogeochemistry

phone:+49 3641 57 6149
address:Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Hans-Knöll-Straße 10
07745 Jena

Research Interests

Indian Ocean Monsoon plays a critical role not only in global climate but also in socio-economic conditions in the Indian subcontinent. Migration of Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over the equatorial region is responsible for the occurrence of monsoons. Lying directly in the path of the ITCZ, Sri Lanka is strongly impacted by the SW (summer) and NE (winter) monsoons, which play a key role in controlling the majority of hydrological and agro-ecological differences in the island. Despite this distinctive geographical location in the ITCZ and morphological conditions, very limited number of efforts have been taken to reconstruct climate history of the island applying a palaeoclimate approach. Therefore, significant knowledge gap is present towards the understanding the evolution of atmospheric circulation pattern/monsoons of the South Asian region when moving towards the equator from higher latitudes.

In this Ph.D. project I mainly analyse various biomarkers (alkane, sterols, GDGT, LCA etc.) together with compound specific isotope analyses focusing on understanding the evolution of Indian Ocean monsoon system and related climate conditions in lower latitudes in the South Asian region and their teleconnection with other atmospheric circulation systems (eg; westerlies) during the Holocene.

Academic Carrier

Since 04/2017Ph.D. Student in the research group of Molecular Biogeochemistry at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
2014-2016M.Phil. Earth Sciences at Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
 Thesis Title: Late Holocene monsoon variability, related climate and environmental evolution; Bolgoda catchment, Sri Lanka
 Exchange Graduate Student: Department of Thematic Studies-Environmental Change, Linköping University, Sweden
2009-2014B.Sc(sp). Geology at Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
 Thesis Title: Lichens and Moss as bioindicators and bioaccumulators in atmospheric metal pollution monitoring: A study from Sri Lanka


Gayantha K, Routh J, Chandrajith R: A multi-proxy reconstruction of the late Holocene climate evolution in Lake Bolgoda, Sri Lanka. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology (2017); 473:16-25.,

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