ATBC-AP 2019, Bridging The Elements Of Biodiversity Conservation: Save, Study, Use


The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) founded in 1963, is the world’s largest and oldest academic society dedicated to the study and conservation of tropical ecosystems with over 65 countries partnering in its activities. The Asia-Pacific Chapter of ATBC specifically assists in the conservation of biodiversity in the region by promoting scientific activities and providing training to address region-specific issues about conservation. This year, Sri Lanka will be the proud host of the Asia-Pacific Chapter conference (ATBC-AP 2019) scheduled for 10th-13th September 2019, at MAS Athena, Thulhiriya.

The programme will comprise of the customary plenary talks, technical sessions and discussions. In addition, the programme will also include a diverse range of field and laboratory workshops led by local and international experts on the broad areas of saving, using and studying biodiversity. A majority of the workshops will take place at the conference venue in Thulhiriya.

Introduction to Biogeography and Biogeographical Analysis

This workshop will be led by Dr.Aniruddha Datta Roy (National Institute of Science Education & Research, India) and Maitreya Sil and Chinta Sidharthan (Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science). Bio geography is a field of science that attempts to understand patterns of the spatial and temporal distribution of biological diversity. This half-day workshop (10th September 2019) will provide participants with hands-on experience on different bio geographical methods of analyses and encourages participants to work on their own data sets.

An Introduction to Molecular Phylogenetics and Its Applications

Kunal Arekar (Wildlife Institute of India) with Ananya Jana (Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science) and Sanjaya Weerakkody(University of Colombo, Sri Lanka) will be conducting this workshop. This two-day workshop (9th-10th September 2019) will provide practical knowledge on initiating a molecular phylogenetic study, the different tree-building methods and the applications of molecular phylogenetics using software such as MEGA, Partition Finder, RAxML, MrBayes, BEAST and *BEAST.

Spatial Analysis of Ecological Data in R

While ecological modelling aids in studying species interactions with biotic and abiotic parameters, a major drawback for many researchers is the access of proprietary platforms for data analysis. In this background, Nilanjan Chatterjee (Wildlife Institute of India) will be organizing this workshop that is based on an open-source platform for data analysis.This one day workshop (9th September 2019) to be held at MAS Athena will cover concepts and R programming that can be used to analyze spatial data arising from various fields of ecology.

Identification of Non-lichenized Fungi and Mushrooms

The program includes two workshops sponsored by Dilmah Conservation of Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, the Department of National Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya and the National Institute of Fundamental Studies Popham Arboretum.Thisworkshop is led by Dr. Samantha Karunarathna (Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science) assisted by scientists from several Chinese scientific institutes. The workshop will cover basic field collecting techniques, laboratory techniques and advances in mycology.This two-day workshop will be held at Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya from 14th-15th September 2019.

Lichens in the Asia Pacific Region – Their Components, Diversity and Conservation

This second workshop sponsored by Dilmah Conservation and the Department of National Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya is organized by Dr.Gothamie Weerakoon and Patricia Wolseley (The Natural History Museum, London, UK), Prof. Siril Wijesundara (National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka) and Dr. Udeni Jayalal (Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka). This five-day workshop (16th– 20th September 2019) will be held at Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya and includes a field trip to the Dilmah Climate Change Research Centre at Nawalapitiya. Participants will be introduced to the collection and preservation of lichens, their identification and chemistry.

Tell Your Story Right: DOs, Don’ts and (FREE) Tools in Science Communication for Researchers

Dr. Ruchira Somaweera (CSIRO, Australia) and Arun Dayanandan (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada) will be jointly organizing this interesting workshop. It will focus on intensive and highly interactive discussion on strategies for developing and delivering effective visual, written and oral science communications engagingly. This one day workshop will be held at MAS Athena on 9th September 2019.

Boot Camp on Ecological Data Analysis

This boot camp will be held from 29th August – 9th September 2019. This intensive 10-day workshop will enable biologists to formulate good research questions, design fieldwork to collect appropriate data, and to analyze their data to produce useful information for the management of wildlife populations.Organized by Prof.Mike Meredith (BCSS and WCS Malaysia), Dr. Shyamala Ratnayake (Sunway University, Malaysia) and Voon Mu Feng (Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Malaysia) this workshop will focus on Bayesian analysis, modelling and model selection.

Plastic Debris and Marine Fauna: Media, Education and Social Change in Coastal Communities

Prof. Rupika Rajakaruna (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) and Dr. Lesley Henderson (Institute for the Environment, Health and Societies, Brunel University London) will conduct this timely workshop on 10th September. This half day workshop will explore issues of marine conservation with a special focus on marine turtles, address public awareness of plastic waste and develop effective local and culturally appropriate solutions to minimize plastic usage.

Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity: Valuing, Protecting, and Restoring Nature

This workshop will be organised by Dr. Sahan Dissanayake (Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University), Prof. Prasanthi Gunawardena (University of Sri Jayawardhanapura) and Dr. Shamen Vidanage (IUCN Sri Lanka). During this one day workshop (one half day each from 9-10th September 2019) participants will be introduced to international frameworks to study ecosystem services and biodiversity, followed by methods used to value ecosystem services and guide and incentivize restoration and protection of ecosystem services at the landscape level.

Further details on the above workshops and the closing date for applications are available at Please write to for any clarifications.