Chanaka Roshan Abeyratne

Chanaka R Abeyratne

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Computational Systems Biology

As a computational and systems biologist working at ORNL, Chanaka's main endeavor is to understand and decipher the complex genetic control of biomass, productivity, biotic and abiotic stress resistance in plant species such as black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and pennycress (Thlaspi arvensis). These are mission critical feedstock species identified by The US Department of Energy (US-DOE) for renewable bioenergy production aligned with anticipated future global climate change. 

A large amount of multi-omic and climate data are generated by collaborative research efforts pertinent to these species and their potential breeding zones.  Using this data, Chanaka aims to use and advance computational techniques to dissect the genetic architecture that control feedstock critical traits. Similarly Chanaka's work involves developing and deploying cutting edge predictive and simulation models using the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing facility infrastructure. These models along with the understanding of genetic architecture, will enable biotechnological modification and prediction of feedstock critical traits, expediting the domestication of these species in the future. This approach is aligned with the overarching goals of the US-DOE for bioenergy and addressing global climate change.

Ph.D., Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 2023

M.Sc. Genetics and Developmental Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 2017

M.Sc. Industrial and Labor Relations, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 2012

B.B.A., Management, Northwood University, Midland, MI 2009