Janaka Bamunawala has obtained his 1st class honours degree of Bachelor of the Science of Engineering and a research based degree of Master of Science in Coastal Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2008 and 2014 respectively. Prior to commence his PhD in 2015, Janaka was affiliated to the Department of Civil Engineering at his alma mater as a lecturer for more than 6 years.
Apart from his expertise in Coastal Engineering, Hydraulics and Hydrology, Janaka has contributed as a resource person in regional and international training and capacity building programmes on Coastal Risk Assessment and Disaster Risk Reduction, organized by the Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG) for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS) of UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
TopicA Holistic, Generic Modelling Approach To Simulate Catchment-Estuary-Coastal System Behaviour At Macro Time Scales
Most of the global population is settled near coasts and estuaries, resulting in most of the world's largest cities in their vicinity. These numbers keep mounting due to ever increasing population and urbanization. On the other hand, coastal and estuary systems are among the most dynamic natural systems, which are affected by a large variety of climate change driven oceanic processes like sea level rise and terrestrial processes such as runoff, fluvial sedimentation, and rainfall. Furthermore, anthropogenic forcing such as large scale river flow diversions, de/re forestation, damming, and dredging/sand mining are becoming very prominent factors, affecting coastal and estuary systems. Due to the interactions of the above mentioned multiple factors (climate change and anthropogenic driven) and their various scales of geomorphic changes, ranging in time from days to centuries, the quantification of climate change and anthropogenic impacts on coasts and estuaries is certainly a non-trivial challenging task. Although it is known that the coasts and estuaries are affected by both the oceanic and terrestrial processes, most of the studies carried out to date are heavily biased towards a fragmented scrutinization of oceanic processes, resulting in an inadequate understanding of these systems in a holistic a manner.
Continued population pressure on the world's coastal zone and predicted climate change in the 21st century and beyond is almost certain to result in such significant human perturbation and climate driven system changes and associated myriad socio-economic impacts. Therefore, modelling methods and tools that can accurately assess the physical response of the catchment-estuary-coastal system to any substantial variations in anthropogenic and environmental forcing are essentially required. Due to the large uncertainty inherent in both anthropogenic and climate change projections, such models should also capable of rapid multiple simulations, enabling the quantification of uncertainty in model predictions as required by contemporary risk based catchment/coastal zone management and planning frameworks.
This PhD research aims to substantially fulfil this knowledge gap via developing rapidly deployable reduced complexity modelling technique that enables the holistic assessment of catchment - estuary - coastal systems under the influences of climate change and anthropogenic driven forcing at macro (50 - 100 year) time scales.