Person smiling, wearing a gray and white checkered button down shirt standing in front of chemistry images.

Dulan Edirisinghe

Tell us where you are from

I'm from a town called Veyangoda in Western Province, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, which was also known as Ceylon, is a tropical island a with summer-like climate year-round. The Western Province is probably the most boring region of the island which mainly consists of urban and suburban regions. But there are lots of other attractions to visit in the island including wildlife, historical sites (some older than 2500 years!), lots of waterfalls, golden beaches, beautiful mountains, and more waterfalls.

Tell us about your work at UB Chemistry

I am a 3rd year PhD student co-advised by Dr. Luis Colón and Dr. Diana Aga. I'm primarily working on developing and evaluating silica based stationary phases for chromatographic separations. My current project involves developing superficially porous organo-silica particles with radially oriented pores for efficient analytical septations.  I'm also working on investigating different analytical techniques to quantify emerging contaminants in complex matrices, such as pyrolytic byproducts.

Tell us more about yourself and your story

Since childhood, I always wanted to be a scientist, but did not have much of an idea what discipline of science to follow. However, my interests were always leaned towards natural sciences. After high school, I was lucky enough to get selected to one of the best universities on the island, University of Peradeniya (UoP), which is also known as the garden university of Sri Lanka.

University of Peradeniya is a residential university where most students stay in on-campus housing until they graduate. Since Sri Lanka is a multicultural country, students of many ethnicities and religions were studying together at UoP. We had active student societies who organized many charity events to support the education of underprivileged school children. Despite cultural differences, students worked together to raise funds and organize different events, including building libraries, classrooms, and computer labs for rural schools.

In 2019, I spearheaded the University Wushu-Sanda team as the team captain, which gave me a chance to work with students speaking different languages and with different cultural backgrounds. That's one place where I learned that language or culture is not a barrier to success if everyone has mutual respect and is working towards a common goal. I was also able to contribute to the wellbeing of the environment as the secretary of the University Environmental Science Society of UoP.

At UB Chemistry, I have been able to contribute to many community activities such as Chemistry Graduate Student Symposiums (GSS), Visitation Weekends, and others. I’m enjoying my time in Buffalo as a graduate student inside the lab and also outside the lab doing things I love.