About Us

Urban Wetlands is a not for profit initiative with the broad aim of connecting scientists, activists, community stakeholders and managers of urban wetlands globally. It was launched in 2013 as a collaborative effort of several universities and research organizations in the Asia Pacific region. Our aim is to become the foremost media outlet for urban wetlands issues in the region.


Prof. Ajith de Alwis is a professor, at the University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka and currently the Director of Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation (COSTI), Ministiry of Science and Technolology, Sri Lanka. He was instrumental formulating many environmental policies and practices in Sri Lanka and has long experience as a researcher overseas.

Ms. Anita van Breda is the Senior Director for the Environment and Disaster Management Program of the World Wildlife Fund based in the United States. Anita is co-lead of the UN Emergency Shelter Cluster Environment Community of Practice. She has a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and conservation and development work experience in Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Prof. Tiffany Morrison is Research Leader (Social Science), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia. She holds a Doctoral degree from the University of Queensland, Australia in political geography. She has held previous academic and research positions at the University of Queensland, Flinders University, University of Kyoto, University of Wisconsin-Madison and CSIRO – Australia.

Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh is a renowned wetland scientist and activist for protection of urban wetlands and associated livelihoods. He is currently based in Kolkata, India and serves as a special adviser for IUCN, while actively engaged in empowering the fisher communities of the East Kolkata Wetlands. He is a UN Global 500 laureate and has authored many publications on adaptive ecosystem management.

Dr. Mary E. Kentula is a Wetlands Ecologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). From 1992 through 1996, she served as the national program leader for EPAs Wetland Research Program with her personal research focusing on wetland assessment and restoration primarily in urban areas. Mary’s current work involves large-scale assessments of the ecological condition of wetlands. Her team led the production of the field manual for the first National Wetland Condition Assessment in 2011.



Missaka 1 Dr. Missaka Hettiarachchi is a civil and environmental engineer by training and holds a doctoral degree in environmental planning and geography from the University of Queensland (Australia). Missaka has many years of experience as a researcher and a practitioner in environmental engineering and environmental management in number of reputed organization, including University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka), Worldwide Fund for Nature USA (WWF-US) and the University of Queensland (Australia). His doctoral thesis focused on managing urban wetlands in South Asian cities. Missaka has published many journal papers and book chapters on urban wetland governance and urban environmental management.

Deepthi Prof. Deepthi Wickramsinghe is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Zoology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Following her PhD in zoology as a split programme in the Dalhousie University, Canada and University of Colombo, she developed an interest in wetland management?and has paid a special attention to urban wetlands. Deepthi’s research interests include wetland biotic communities and their interactions with the habitat, water and soil quality variations, invasive species and ecoimmunotoxicology. She has held several key positions in professional scientific bodies in Sri Lanka, including President of the Institute of Biology, Sri Lank and Executive Secretary of the Sri Lanka Water Partnership. Deepthi has published several research papers and book chapters on wetlands.

Mr. Sashan Rodrigo is a consultant in water research focusing on water policy, turban water conservation, urban water education, and urban water governance. He consults with the International Water Management Institute and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature on various water projects internationally. Sashan is a graduate of the Masters of Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (MSSTEP) from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota,USA. Additionally, he holds a Master of Science in Public and Nonprofit Institutions from St. Cloud State University. For his undergraduate degree, Sashan obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His work experience includes research projects in the USA, and Sri Lanka. Sashan is also a freelance writer.

News Editor

Ms. Manasi Chathurika Somachandra is an honors student in Environment Science at University of Colombo, Sri-Lanka. Manasi has enthusiastically engaged in wetland research and activism from her high school days. She has volunteer experience since school as a member of the Environmental Pioneer Program conducted by the Central Environmental Authority, Sri-Lanka. She is currently studying urban wetlands and disaster risk reduction as part of her honors research project.

Past Editors 

Ms.Tegan Jux has many years experience working in the environmental field with both government and non-government organisations, research institutes and non-profit organisations. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Environment) from Griffith University (Australia) and is currently working towards a Master of Social Change and Development at the University of Newcastle (Australia). Tegan also has extensive volunteer experience with both community and environmental organisations. Her primary interest areas are natural resource use/management, livelihoods, community development and gender.