Renowned Sri Lankan Naturalist, Researcher, Publisher, Taxonomist and Scientist Mr. Kelum N Manamendra-Arachchi was awarded with the Honorary Doctorate (PhD) from the University of Sr Jayewardenepura, based on the approval of the University Senate and the Council. This was awarded on 23rd of October 2022 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Colombo by Senior Professor Sudantha Liyanage, Vice Chancellor of University of Sri Jayewardenepura at the 48th of Convocation.
Dr Manamendra-Arachchi is a specialist on Biodiversity Conservation, Taxonomy, Biogeography, Zooarchaeology, Paleontology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, and Osteology. He has published over 110 publications in most influential journals of the world and with over 2000 citations so far. Dr Manamendra-Arachchi is a visiting lecture of the Postgraduate Institute of Archeology of University of Kelaniya, and he is an Amphibian Specialist of IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group since 1996.
As a veteran of the filed, he has described more than 70 new species of amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fishes, and mammals in Sri Lanka. Dr Manamenda-Archchi has received many national and international grants for his research project he conducted for last two decades. He has done many international collaborations including National History Museum of London, National History Museum of Paris, Base Museum of Switzerland, Chicago Field Museum of USA, Zoological Survey of India (Chennai & Calcutta), Chulalongkorn University of Thailand and Raffles Museum and National University of Singapore during last quarter century. Dr. Manamendra-Arachchi has been awarded from the International Institute for Species Exploration, Arizona State University, and he has received Top Ten Award for the discovery of the remarkable new species in 2008. He has been awarded Presidential Awards for Taxonomy and Zoo-Archaeology for the years, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2009. Dr Manamendra-Arachchi is an alumnus of University of Kelaniya. Two species – Puntius kelumi and Calotes manamendrai has been named (patronymic) as honoring to his service to the Taxonomy and Biodiversity Conservation of Sri Lanka over last 30 years.
The honorary doctorate is awarded by the university to those who showcase exceptional talent and expertise in their respective fields. With the knowledge and competence gained through this achievement he will be able to contribute more towards the conservation of the environment in Sri Lanka.