Nalaka Ranasinghe photo

Pradeep Nalaka Ranasinghe, Ph.D.

Visiting assistant professor

Email:[email protected]

Location: 329 Dennis Hall,
801 West National Road, Richmond, IN 47374

About me

I started my career as a Geochemist and later transformed into a Field geologist at the Geological Survey of Sri Lanka. My Ph.D. studies at Kent State University and postdoctoral research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) helped me to become a Marine Geologist. After contributing to develop marine geology education at the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka, I joined Earlham in 2022. At Earlham, I teach Climate, Oceanography, and Geochemistry classes and conduct summer research to investigate environmental and climate change in Indiana.

As a Guest Scientist of WHOI, I mainly engage in paleoceanography and paleoclimatology research employing sedimentological, geochemical, biogeochemical, and micropaleontological proxies. My research mainly focuses on the Indian Ocean and the Indian Monsoon system.

I am always willing to help Earlhmites expand their earth science knowledge through research and education.


  • Ph.D. Kent State University
  • M.Phil in Geochemistry University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
  • B.Sc (Hons) in Geology – University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka
  • Postgraduate Dip in Archaeology- University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka

Professional memberships

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Research projects

  • Reconstructing Indian summer and winter monsoon rainfall variability during the late Pleistocene and Holocene.
  • Studying past ocean temperature and rainfall variability in Sri Lanka using coral chemistry.
  • Reconstructing tsunami history of the Indian Ocean
  • Modelling Indian Ocean warm pool and Indian Ocean dipole changes during the late Pleistocene and Holocene.
  • Studying the geochemistry of Indiana Peatlands and their paleoenvironment

Scholarly interest

Paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, coastal hazards

Published works


Ranasinghe, P.N., Donnelly, J.P., Evans, R.L., Nanayakkara, N.U., Rodysill, J.R.,  van Hengstum,P.J., Hawkes, A.D.,  Sullivan, R., Toomey, M.R., (2021) Complex sedimentary processes in large coastal embayments and their potential for paleo tropical cyclone studies:  A case study from Choctawhatchee Bay Western Florida, U.S.A., Marine Geology.

 Funkey, C.P., Waduge, V.A., Ranasinghe, N.P., Dasanayaka, H.S. and Tolosa, I., 2021. Using stable isotopes and chemical markers to understand the history of Negombo Lagoon, Sri Lanka. Organic Geochemistry, p.104314.

 Jinadasa, S.U.P., Pathirana, G., Ranasinghe, P.N., Centurioni, L. and Hormann, V., (2020).  Monsoonal impact on circulation pathways in the Indian Ocean. Acta Oceanologica Sinica39, pp.103-112.

Rajapaksha R.P.S.K., Ranasinghe P.N, Wijesundara D.T.D.S. Amarasinghe C. and Hewawasam A.L.T (2014) Paleo-coastal evolution of southwest Sri Lanka during the Holocene from lagoonal sedimentary records,  Journal of Geological Society of Sri Lanka Vol. 16 (2014), 127-138

Ranasinghe, P.N., Ortiz, J.D., Moore, A.L., McAdoo, B., Wells, N., Siriwardana, C.H.E.R., Wijesundara D.T.D.S.,(2013)  Mid –Late Holocene coastal environmental changes in southeastern Sri Lanka: New evidence for sea-level variations in southern Bay of Bengal, Quaternary International. 298, 20-36.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Ortiz, J.D., Smith, A.J., Siriwardana, C.H.E.R., De Silva, S.N., Wijesundara, D.T.D.S.,(2013) Holocene Indian winter monsoon variability from terrestrial records in eastern and southeastern coastal environments of Sri Lanka, The Holocene  DOI: 10.1177/0959683612475141.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Fernando, G.W.A.R., Wimalasena, M.D.N.R, Ekanayake, S.P. Siriwardana, Y.P.S (2009) Elevated Pb and Al levels in Hakgala Tropical  Montane Forests in Sri Lanka and Possible  Impacts on Forest Health, Journal of Geological Society of Sri Lanka Vol. 13, 23-46.

Ranasinghe, P.N., 2009.  Deformation of the Indo – Australian plate in the equatorial Indian Ocean – new perspectives, Journal of Geological Society of Sri Lanka Vol. 13, 65-70.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Fernando, G.W.A.R., Dissanayake, C.B., Rupasinghe, M.S., Witter D.L. 2009. Statistical Evaluation of Stream Sediment Geochemistry in Interpreting the River Catchment of High-Grade Metamorphic Terrains, J. Geochem. Explor. 103,  97- 114.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Fernando, G.W.A.R., Dissanayake, C.B., Rupasinghe, M.S., 2008. Stream Sediment Geochemistry of the Upper Mahaweli River Basin of Sri Lanka – Geological and Environmental Significance, J. Geochem. Explor. 99, 1-28.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Siriwardana, Y.P.S., Wanasinghe, V.R., 2007.  Heavy metal pollution in the drainage network of Colombo city and Suburbs of Sri Lanka, Journal of Geological Society of Sri Lanka, Vol. 12, 36-52.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Dissanayake, C.B Samarasinghe D.V.N., Galappatti., R., 2007. The Relationship between Soil Geochemistry and Die-back of Montane Forests in Sri Lanka. – A Case Study, Environmental Geology, vol51.  no 6

Ranasinghe, P.N., Dissanayake, C.B.,  Rupasinghe, M.S., 2005. Application of Geochemical Ratios for Delineating Gem Bearing Areas in High-Grade Metamorphic Terrains, Applied Geochemistry, vol20, Issue 8, pp 1489-1495

Ranasinghe, P.N., Chandrajith, R.L.R., Dissanayake, C.B.,  Rupasinghe, M.S., 2002. Importance of Grain Size Factor in Distribution of Trace Elements in Stream Sediments of  Tropical High-Grade Terrains: A Case Study  from Sri Lanka, Chemie der Erde, 62, pp 243-253

Ranasinghe, P.N., and Jagath, A.S., 2001.  A Rare Titanium Rich Dumortierite from Sri Lanka.  Journal of the Geological Society of Sri Lanka

Books and Other Scientific Publications

Ranasinghe, P.N. Siriwardana, Y.P.S., Amarasinghe, C., 2017. Geochemical Atlas of Sri Lanka Environmental Series – Soil; Sheet 20-Rakwana-Tangalla, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Sri Lanka.

Ratnayake, A.M.M., Ranasinghe, P.N., Prema, M.M.J.P, Jayakody, A.S., 2009. Vavuniya-Trincomalee, 100,000 Geology map, Geological Survey & Mines Bureau Sri Lanka.

Ranasinghe, P.N., 2002.  Geotourist map of Sri Lanka, Geological Survey & Mines Bureau Sri Lanka

Prema, M.M.J.P., Ranasinghe, P.N., Siriwardahana, C.H.E.R., Jayakody, A.S., 2001. Monaragala – Panama, 100,000 Geology map, Geological Survey & Mines Bureau Sri Lanka.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Illeperuma, D., 2001., Flora of Dombagaskanda, Young Zoologists’ Association of Sri Lanka., pp. 61

Ranasinghe, P.N., Ratnayake, A., 1992. Flora & Fauna of Dombagaskanda Forest Reserve, Young Zoologists’ Association of Sri Lanka.  pp 33

Conference papers (Recent)

Ranasinghe P.N., Ranasinghe, S.M., Hewawasam A.L.T. 2022. Indian Ocean Warm Pool Variability during the Last 100 ka and Its Impact on Summer Monsoon Rainfall over Sri Lanka, PP42C-03 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Chicago, IL, USA.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Ortiz, J.D., Moore, A.L., Abillapitiya, T., 2022. Pre-2004 history of Indian Ocean trans basin tsunamis inferred from sedimentary records in Sri Lanka, NH25B-04, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Chicago, IL, USA.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Nanayakkara, N.U., Hewawasam, A.L.T., Mahanama, R., Kodithuwakku, S., Siriwardana, S., 2020. A biomarker record of vegetation change in the Indian Summer Monsoon dominant southwestern Sri Lanka during the last deglaciation. PP14-02, AGU Fall meeting  San Francisco

Ranasinghe, P.N. Ranasinghe, S.M.,  Kumari,  T.V.K.L.N., Hughen, K.A..,. Pathirana, U.P.G., Wijesundara, D.T.D.S., 2019. Mid Holocene paleoceanographic conditions at the Palk Strait – Evidence from onshore fossil corals from Analaitivu island Sri Lanka, AGU Fall meeting 2019  San Francisco

Ranasinghe, P.N.,  Rathnayake, K.M., Nanayakkara, N.U., Galappatti, R, 2017.  Comparison of  Indian summer and winter monsoon variability during the last 25ka based on the terrestrial sedimentary record from Sri Lanka,. International workshop on tropical-subtropical weather climate and the Ocean, Guangzhou, China

Ranasinghe, P.N., Embillapitiya., T., Siriwardana,  C.H.E.R., Hewawasam, A.L.T.,  Jayaratne Y.N. 2017.  A coral-based Quaternary sea-level variability record from the Palk Strait of the Indian Ocean Summer monsoon driven terrestrial rainfall record from Sri Lanka, G.S.A. Annual meeting 2017  Seattle, U.S.A.

Ranasinghe, P.N., Nanayakkara, NU., Kodithuwakku, S., Siriwardana, S., Luo, C., Fenghua, Z., 2016.,
Changes in the Indian summer monsoon variability in Sri Lanka during the last 30ky – A multiproxy record from a marine sediment core. AGU Fall meeting 2016  San Francisco

Ranasinghe, P.N., J.P. Donnelly, T. Embillapitiya, B.S.M.C.K Senevirathne, R.P.S.K Rajapaksha, ., Signatures of pre-2004 Indian Ocean  tsunami events from Sri Lanka, G.S.A. Annual meeting 2015  Baltimore, U.S.A.