Dr. Tilak Hewawasam
Senior Lecturer I

Office Address: 

Department of Geography,
University of Peradeniya,
Sri Lanka.


tilak@pdn.ac.lk hewawasamtilak@gmail.com


0094(0)812392676 / 0094(0)714453418

Personal Website: 


  • Tilak Hewawasam, a senior lecturer in Geomorphology and Surface Geochemistry, received his primary and secondary education at Dharmaraja College Kandy from 1974 to 1987. Subsequently, he completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Peradeniya, graduating with a BSc (special) degree in Geology with a Second Class (upper) in 1994 and an MPhil degree in 1997. Then, he joined the Faculty of Applied Sciences of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka as a Lecturer in the Department of Natural Resources. In 1999, he was awarded a Swiss Federal Scholarship for a period of four years to pursue his PhD at the University of Berne in Switzerland. Upon completion of his PhD in 2003, Hewawasam was promoted to the grade of Senior Lecturer. In 2006, he successfully completed a postgraduate diploma on Study and Management of Geological Hazards at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. During the period from 2010 to 2011, Hewawasam spent his sabbatical periods at University of Glasgow in the UK on a Commonwealth academic staff fellowship and at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) on a DAAD research fellowship as a postdoctoral scientist. In August 2013, he joined to the University of Peradeniya as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography.
Educational Qualifications:
  • PGCert in Management of Geological Risks - University of Geneva, Switzerland - 2006
  • Ph.D. in Geology - University of Berne, Switzerland – 2003
  • M.Phil. in Geology - University of Peradeniya - 1996
  • B.Sc. Special (Hons) in Geology - University of Peradeniya - 1994
  • Appointments (Selected) :
    • Senior Lecturer I – Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya, 2013 August to date
    • Lecturer and Senior Lecturer II/I – Faculty of Applied Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka (SUSL), 1997 June - 2013 August
    • Head – Department of Natural Resources, SUSL, 2007-2009 and 2012-2013
    • Junior Researcher - Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS), Kandy, 1994 April - 1997 June
    Memberships & Awards :
  • President’s Award for Scientific Publication – 2015, 2014, 2010
  • NRC Merit Award for Scientific Publication - 2014
  • University (Peradeniya) Research Grant - 2013
  • University (SUSL) Award for Excellence in Research - 2012
  • DAAD Research Fellowship - 2011
  • Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship - 2010
  • SCOPUS Young Scientist Award – 2008
  • VLIR Fellowship, Belgium - 2007
  • University (SUSL) Research Grant – 2007
  • NSF Research Grant, Sri Lanka - 2006
  • Swiss Federal Scholarship – 1999 to 2003
  • GSSL Award for the Young Geoscientist in Sri Lanka - 1996
  • Research Intersests:
    • Dr. Tilak Hewawasam's primary research interests lie in the areas of earth surface processes, surface geochemistry, fluvial geomorphology, landscape evolution, plaeo-environment and geological hazards. He has been using a combination of traditional and very modern tools in hydrology and geochemistry to understand earth surface processes in the tropics. He has also been working on age-dating, and interpreting the history of various sedimentary deposits and landforms in order to understand the fluvial response to climate and sea level changes. Further, he is interested and involved in the application of low-temperature thermochronology to unravel the landscape and tectonic evolution in Sri Lanka and its relation to Gondwana break-up.
    Research Publications :

      Research publications in indexed journals (only selected)

    • Diyabalanage Saranga, K. K. Samarakoon, S. B. Adikari and Tilak Hewawasam, Quantifying Effectiveness of Soil and Water Management Practices Adopted in a Tropical Watershed in the Central Sri Lanka, 2016, Applied Geography (under review).
    • Hewawasam Tilak and Illangasinghe Sadun, Quantifying sheet erosion in agricultural highlands of Sri Lanka by tracking grain-size distributions, Anthropocene, 2015, (in press).
    • Behrens Ricarda, Julien Bouchez, Jan Schüssler, Stefan Dultz, Hewawasam Tilak and Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, Mineralogical transformations set slow weathering rates in low-porosity metamorphic bedrock on mountain slopes in a tropical climate, 2015, Chemical Geology, 2015, 411, 283–298, doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.07.008.
    • Hewawasam Tilak, Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, Julien Bouchez, Jean Dixon, Jan Schüssler and Ricarda Behrens, Slow advance of the weathering front during deep, supply-limited saprolite formation in the tropical Highlands of Sri Lanka, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2013, 1: 202–230, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2013.05.006.
    • Illangasinghe Sadun and Tilak Hewawasam, Introducing surface sampling threshold factor for suspended sediment transport: Model development using Sri Lankan tropical highland river basins, 2015, Hydrology Research, 2015, 46 (1) 136-155; DOI: 10.2166/nh.2013.116.
    • Hewawasam Tilak, Rohan Fernando and Danushka Priyashantha, Geo-vegetation Mapping and Soil Geochemical Characteristics of the Indikolapelessa Serpentinite Outcrop, Southern Sri Lanka, 2014, Journal of Earth Science, doi: 10.1007/s12583-014-0409-7, 25(1):152-168.
    • Emmel, B., F. Lisker, and T. Hewawasam, Thermochronological dating of brittle structures in basement rocks – A case study from the onshore passive margin of SW Sri Lanka, 2012, Journal of Geophysical Research (Solid Earth), doi:10.1029/2012JB009136.
    • Hewawasam Tilak, Effects of land use on erosion, landslides and siltation in hydropower reservoirs: a review for the Upper Mahaweli Catchment, Sri Lanka, 2010, Journal of National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 38(1):3-14.
    • Vanacker V., F. von Blanckenburg, T. Hewawasam and P.W. Kubik, Constraining landscape development of the Sri Lankan escarpment with cosmogenic nuclides in river sediment, 2007, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 253, 402-414.
    • Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, Tilak Hewawasam and Peter Kubik; Cosmogenic nuclide evidence for low weathering and denudation in wet tropical Highlands of Sri Lanka, 2004, Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, F03008, doi: 10.1029/2003JF000049.
    • Hewawasam Tilak, Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, Mirjam Schaller and Peter Kubik; Increase of human over natural erosion rates in tropical Highlands constrained by cosmogenic nuclides, 2003, Geology, 31, 597-600.
    Other Credentials :

      Membership of professional/scholarly societies

    • President – Geological Society of Sri Lanka - 2016
    • Treasurer/Member of the 2nd Council of the Institute of Geology (Incorporated by the Act No. 03 of 2014 of the Parliament of Sri Lanka), Sri Lanka (IGSL) - from 2014 to 2017
    • Member of the 1st Council of the IGSL - from 2009 to 2014
    • Editor - Geological Society of Sri Lanka -2013, 2014
    • Life Member of the Soil Science Society of Sri Lanka (317) - from 2014
    • Founder Member of the IGSL - from 2009
    • Vice President - Geological Society of Sri Lanka -2008, 2009
    • Executive Committee Member - SLAAS (Section D) - 2006
    • The Secretary - SLAAS (Section D) - 2005
    • The Secretary- Geological Society of Sri Lanka - 2004
    • The Treasure - Geological Society of Sri Lanka -1997 and 1998
    • Member - Executive Committee of the Geological Society of Sri Lanka – 1996, 2003
    • Life Member - Geological Society of Sri Lanka (LM 057) - from 1994
    • Life Member (5581/D] – SLAAS (Section D)- from 1994

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