Department of Geography

University of Peradeniya


Prof. K.W.G. Rekha Nianthi

BA Hons, First Class in Geography, University of Peradeniya., MSc (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand., PhD (NEHU), India., PostDoc (University of Minho), Portugal.

+94 71 4933025


K.W.G. Rekha Nianthi is a Professor in Geography at the University of Peradeniya. She received her B.A. (Hons) first class in Geography from the University of Peradeniya, M.Sc from AIT, Thailand, Ph.D. from NEHU-India, and the Postdoctoral qualification from the University of Minho, Portugal. She was a visiting scholar in the International Environment and Disaster Management Laboratory, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Japan. Prof. Nianthi has been awarded a Presidential Scholarship by the Sri Lanka Government for researching at the Mainz University, Germany in 2005. Her research interests include Climate Change and Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction. She authored many research papers which are published in local and international publications. She also serves as the consultant for various National and International Projects. She worked as a consultant for various projects under PLAN Sri Lanka. She was appointed as the project leader of the Building Resilience to Tsunami in the Indian Ocean: A joint project of ADRRN (Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network) and Kyoto University, Supported by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and EU, in 2007. She is a member of the Asian University Network of Environment and Disaster Management (AUEDM) and a member of the editorial board of the Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM). She has delivered a keynote on the exchange of Doppler weather radar data in SA countries for accurate flood forecast, on the 6th International Conference on Climate Change and Sustainable Water Resources Management Innovative Geospatial Solution, 9-11th November 2017, Bangalore University, India. She has participated as one of the Guests of Honours on the Post Century Diamond Jubilee, International conference on Urban Agriculture, 14-15th February 2018, Madras University, India. She was the conference chairperson of the 7th International Conference on Climate Change Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development through Geospatial Technologies (CDSGeo-2018), conducted by the Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya and Bangalore University, 24-25th November 2018, Sri Lanka. She received an “Excellency Awards” for outstanding research in the field of Geography from the UGIT in 2018. The Impact and Policy Research Institute, CDECS, and the State of economic development in South Asia have invited to deliver a special talk (#webPolicy talk) on the Nationally determined contribution to climate change in Sri Lanka, October 23rd, 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYx-lto7r5w). Prof. Nianthi is the Peradeniya representative of the Board of Directors of the South Asian Alliance of Disaster Resilience Institute (SAADRI), Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation, and Management-Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. She is the Peradeniya University Coordinator of the Project on University Network for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Indian Ocean Rim (UN4DRR), Co-Funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union (EU). Currently, Prof. Rekha Nianthi is the Head of the Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya.


  • BA Hons, First Class in Geography, University of Peradeniya.
  • MSc (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand.
  • PhD (NEHU), India.
  • PostDoc (University of Minho), Portugal.


  • Chairperson: Board of Study of Social Science, CDCE, University of Peradeniya, 2009-12.
  • Project Leader ISDR: Addressing the building resilience to tsunami in the Indian Ocean: ADRRN, UN-ISDR and EU Kyoto University, CES, University of Peradeniya, 2008-09.
  • Project Leader: An assessment of the demand for the Telecommunication services in Kandy District, TRC, 2007-08.
  • Warden: Sangamitta Hall: 2012 and the Warden : Sarasavi Uyana Hostel: 2018

Research Interests

  • Climate change, adaptation and Disaster Management.

Research Publications: (Selected since 2009)

  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG. and Mohapatra, A.C. (2009), Perceptions of the paddy communities` towards climate change in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM), Focusing on Pro-active Risk Reduction in Asia, (eds) Rajib Shaw and Krishnamurthy, Research Publishing Service, Volume: I, Singapore, pp.167-181.
  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG. and Rajib Shaw, (2009), Climate Change Research in Sri Lanka, Interdisciplinary essays in honour of Professor Madduma Bandara, In Traversing no man`s land, (eds) N. Hennayake, Rekha Nianthi, S. Nawfhal, R. Alagan, K. Kumarihamy, Managing editor, S. Madduma Bandara, Godage International Publishers (PVT) LTD, pp.81-108.
  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG. and Rajib Shaw, (2009), Meteorological Disasters on Agriculture, In Disaster Management, Global Challenges and Local Solution, In Rajib Shaw and Krishnamurthy R., (eds), University Press, India, pp.488-505.
  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG. and P.B. Dharmasena, (2009), Indigenous knowledge of farming practices and water management in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, In Indigenous Knowledge and Disaster Risk Reduction, From Practice to Policy , Edited by Rajib Shaw, Anshu Sharma, and Yukiko Takeuchi, Nova Science Publisher, inc, New York, pp. 329-348.
  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG. & Shantha Jayakumara, (2010), Progress of Research on Cascade Irrigation Systems of Sri Lanka, Water Communities, Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Volume 02, (eds), Rajib and Danai, Emerald, UK, pp 109-137.
  • Rekha Nianthi, K.W.G. (2010), Climate Change adaptation and Agro forestry in Sri Lanka, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, in An Asian Perspective: Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management Rajib, Pulhin, Joy Pereira, (eds), Volume 5, Emerald, United Kingdom, ISBN:978-0-85724-485-7, pp 285-305.
  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG. (2011), Carbon sequestration in plants of reforestations in tank cascades of the dry zone of Sri Lanka, Disasters, reduction, mitigation and management, Geological Society of Sri Lanka, Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS), Kandy, p18.
  • Rekha Nianthi, K.W.G, (2011), Overview of Droughts and Drought Risk Reduction in the Dry zone of Sri Lanka, in Droughts in Asian Monsoon Region, in Rajib Shaw and Nguyen Huy (eds), Emerald Publishing Group, UK, ISBN: 978-0-85724-863-3, pp 97-120.
  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG. (2012) Climatological Research in Sri Lanka, Godage International Publication, S. Godage and Brothers (Pvt) Ltd, ISBN: 978-955-30-2975-1.
  • Rekha Nianthi, KWG, M. Rambukkange, Wickramagamage, P. (2015), Soil moisture response to convectional rainfall, Proceedings of the iPURSE-2015, Volume 19, University of Peradeniya, ISBN: 978-955-589-201-8, p26.
  • Madduma Bandara, C.M, Ginigaddara G.A.S, & Rekha Nianthi KWG. (2015), Some Experiences in Re-Forestation of Village Tank Catchments in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, International Journal of Biological Sciences and Engineering, Volume 06, No: 02, pp.63-72.
  • Alwis, KGSP and Rekha Nianthi, KWG, (2016), Spatial and temporal variations of thunder days: lightning strikes in Sri Lanka, Proceedings of the Wayamba international conference (WinC 2016), Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-4709-53-9, p229.
  • Laranjeira, M.M, Rekha Nianthi KWG, and A. Pinheiro (2016), The relationship between Land Surface Temperature and land use: A Remote Sensing Analysis of Colombo, International Journal of Research in Social Science, Vol.6, Is. 5, ISSN2249-2496, pp. 614-625.
  • Meegahakotuwa U, Rekha Nianthi and P. Rambukkange, (2016), Inter-seasonal and Intra-seasonal Trends in the Rainfall of Kandy, International Conference on the Humanities and the Social Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya.
  • Muditha P, Rekha Nianthi KWG, and CM Madduma Bandara, (2016), Agro well development and its impact on groundwater table depletion in tank cascades in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, International Journal of Arts and Commerce, Vol 5, No: 5, July 2016, ISSN 1929-7106.
  • Samarakoon WMTTK. and Rekha Nianthi, (2017), Rainfall Variation on Hydro Power Generation in the Victoria Reservoir, In National Energy Symposium, Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, Colombo, ISSN-2420-7462.
  • Meegahakotuw, U and Rekha Nianthi, (2018), Spatial and Temporal Variation of Temperature Trends in Last Century of Sri Lanka, IRSUWA- Uwa-Wellassa University.
  • N.W. Srimalee Nanayakkara and K.W.G. Rekha Nianthi, (2018), Analysis of Human Heat Stress in Sri Lanka: Using Temperature Humidity Index (THI), International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 8, Issue 9, 624 ISSN 2250-3153.
  • U.S. Meegahakotuwa and K.W.G. Rekha Nianthi, (2018), Variation of Annual and Seasonal Rainfall Patterns in Kandy District of Sri Lanka, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 8, Issue 9, September 2018, 725 ISSN 2250-3153.
  • Nimal Sri Rajarathna W.A. and Rekha Nianthi K.W.G, (2018) Special coastal management area concept: Experience in Sri Lanka in Coastal Management: Global Challenges and Innovations, (eds). R. R. Krishnamurthy, Elsevier, Academic Press, 9780128104736.
  • A.J.M.K.K. Aviruppola and K.W.G. Rekha Nianthi, (2018), Adaptive Policy Responses in Managing Urban Water Crisis in Sri Lanka, Urban Drought, Emerging Water Challenges in Asia, Editors: Ray, Bhaswati, Shaw, Rajib (Eds.) Springer, ISBN 978-981-10-8947-3.

Memberships (Selected) and Awards

  • NORAD Scholarship for (AIT) Thailand, 1998.
  • START-UP Grant, IEDML, Kyoto University: GSGES, Japan. 2006.
  • Presidential Scholarship: University of Mainz, Germany, 2006.
  • Member of the AUEDM, Kyoto University, Since 2008.
  • Ex-co member, AAUP, 2009.
  • Editorial board member, Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management.
  • Erasmus Mundus Post-doctoral Scholarship, University of Minho, Portugal, 2012-13.

Other Credentials (Selected)

  • Participated: International workshop on Indigenous Knowledge and DRR, Japan, Kyoto University, 22-25 July 2008, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Participated: Forum on Inter-linkages of Environment and Disaster Management, Kyoto University, 17th February, 2006, Japan.
  • Participated: AUEDM, Focusing on Higher Education: DRR and Climate Change Adaptation: 28th-29th July, 2008, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Participated: International Action Research and Practice on Building Resilience to Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, A joint project of Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network and Kyoto University, UN-ISDR, EU, 7th-8th February, Madras University, Chennai, 2008, India.
  • Participated: Transferable Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Reduction: Action workshop on Transferable Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia, SEED, UN-ISDR, Anandgram, 11th-12th February 2008, New Delhi, India.
  • Participated: Higher Education on Disaster Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: Asian University Network of Environment and Disaster Management: BRAC University, 4th-6th, June, 2009, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Participated: International Workshop on Natural Hazards and Coastal Zone Management, Centre for Ocean and Coastal Studies, 20th-21st February, 2009, University of Madras, India.
  • Participated: International Conference on DRR investment for a safer future, University of Madras, 23th-25th February, 2009, New Delhi, India.
  • Participated: Asian University Network of Environment and Disaster Management: Focusing on Higher Education on Disaster Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Chulalongkorn University, 22nd to 24th of February 2010, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Participated: EXPERTS SUSTAIN, University of Oxford, 20-21st April 2015, England.
  • Participated: EXPERT III, Consortium meeting, 30th June - 1st July 2016, Georgg-August Universitat Gottingen, Germany.
  • Participated: Experts4Asia, Experts Regional Workshop, Bogor Agricultural University, 28-30th March, 2017, Indonesia.
  • Delivered a key note: Exchange of Doppler weather Radar data in South Asian Countries for Accurate Flood Forecast, on the 6th international conference on climate change and sustainable water resources management innovative geospatial solution, 9-11th November, 2017, Bangalore University, India
  • Participated: South Asia regional workshop on 'Future Earth', Indian Institute of Science (IISc), 20-21 July 2017, Bangalore, India.
  • Participated as a Guest of Honour and a member of plenary session: Post Century Diamond Jubilee, International Conference on Urban Agriculture, 14-15th February, 2018, Madras University, India.