Himali Ratnayake

I love being able to explain the complex phenomena we see in an intricate yet simple way, with the ultimate goal of conserving species for the future.

I've always been fascinated by how biological processes work. During my undergraduate studies this was reconfirmed as I became passionate about learning how animals respond to changing environments. I love being able to explain the complex phenomena we see in an intricate yet simple way, with the ultimate goal of conserving species for the future.

While going through the list of qualified and highly cited supervisors at the University of Melbourne, the work by my principal supervisor, A/Prof Michael Kearney, struck out and I knew that this was the place for me. The pinnacle of my career so far was getting accepted to pursue my PhD at the University of Melbourne. It was a dream-come-true when I received the acceptance and scholarship letters, and my life thereon changed for the better!

There have been many highlights of my studies, including winning student grants, being able to understand complicated mechanistic models, going to my field sites and observing huge colonies of bats. The most significant highlight for me was to present my work at the annual meeting of the Australia New Zealand Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry in front of pioneers of the field, and winning an award for the best speed talk.

Himali received the Margaret Catto Scholarship.