Dr Shashi Goonetilleke

Wasala Adikari Shashiprabha Goonetilleke
Research Officer
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Faculty of Sciences

Connect with me

Dr Shashi Goonetilleke

I am passionate about incorporating DNA information into plant breeding. Before my PhD, my main focus was to develop molecular tools for cereal breeding. My research activities at this stage were primarily based on development of low to medium throughput molecular markers for detecting the nematode resistance and for other economically important traits in wheat and barley. When I embarked on a PhD project to develop molecular tools for almond, I became interested in applying molecular information in fruit and nut breeding to increase the selection efficiency.

I also have a passion for the self-incompatibility in plants. I am interested in exploring the self-incompatibility to develop genetic tools to increase the productivity in self-incompatible perennials and understanding the function and regulation of the self-incompatibility.


Date Position Institution name
2017 Research Officer University of Adelaide, Adelaide
2017 - 2017 Research Assistant Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation- Australia (Waite Campus)
2009 - 2013 Technical Officer University of Adelaide, Adelaide
2003 - 2009 Research Assistant Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka
2003 - 2003 Teaching Assistant University of Peradeniya, Kandy
2000 - 2001 Teaching Assistant University of Peradeniya, Kandy

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Amount
2017 Award Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence University of Adelaide
2016 Award Runner-up oral presentation, Workshop on Floral structure and Self-incompatibility International Society for Horticultural Science
2015 Award Best presentation, 3-Minute Thesis competition School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Australia
2013 - 2017 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award University of Adelaide
2007 Award Merit award for the Translation Centre for Policy Alternatives- Colombo, Sri Lanka
2006 Award Gold medal for the best presentation Tenth Anniversary International Symposium, University of Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka
2001 - 2003 Scholarship Asian Development Bank Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies Asian Development Bank

Language Competencies

Language Competency
English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Sinhala; Sinhalese Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Tamil Can read, write, speak and understand spoken


Date Institution name Country Title
2013 - 2017 University of Adelaide Australia PhD

Research Interests

Agriculture, Genetics, Horticultural Crop Improvement


Year Citation
2017 Goonetilleke, S., March, T., Wirthensohn, M., Walker, A. & Mather, D. (2017). Genotyping-by-sequencing in almond: SNP discovery, linkage mapping and marker design.. G3 : Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 8, 1, 1-25.
2009 Goonetilleke, W., Priyantha, P., Mewan, K. & Gunasekare, M. (2009). Assessment of genetic diversity of tea (Camellia sinensis L.O. Kuntze) as revealed by RAPD - PGR markers. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 37, 2, 147-150.
2008 Goonetilleke, W. N., Priynatha, P. G. & Mewan, K. M. (2008). An assessment of genetic relationships in VP teas and old seedling teas in Sri Lanka using RAPD Markers. Journal of Tea Science, 73, 1, 39-48.

Conference Papers

Year Citation
2016 Goonetilleke, S. N., Croxford, A. E., Wirthensohn, M. G., March, T. J. & Mather, D. E. (2016). Molecular markers for high-throughput detection of a self-fertility (Sf) allele in almond. Floral structure and Self-incompatibility. Murcia. Spain.
2009 Ariyaratne, P. N., Mewan, K. M., Goonetilleke, W. N. & Priyantha, P. G. (2009). Study of genetic relationships of tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) using SSR markers and pedigree analysis. Proceedings of 9th Agricultural Symposium. Sri Lanka.
2006 Goonetilleke, W. N., Priyantha, P. G., Mewan, K. M. & Gunasekare, M. T. (2006). Assessment of genetic diversity in Sri Lankan tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) as revealed by RAPD-PCR markers. Proceedings of the Tenth Anniversary International Symposium. Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka.
  • MiSeq Pilot the Possibilities Program, IIlumina, Australia, 2014, for resequencing the self-incompatibility locus (S locus) of almond, Goonetilleke, S and Mather, D

  • Co-supervised three visiting interns during my PhD.


Date Role Membership Country
2014 - 2016 Board Member Postgraduate Association for Waite Students, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, Waite Campus, University of Adelaide Australia
2014 - ongoing Member International Society for Horticultural Science
Research Officer
8313 7102
Plant Genomics Centre
Room Number
1 18
Org Unit
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine