DR Januka Attanayake

DR Januka Attanayake


  • Geophysics (Seismology)



  • I earned my PhD at the University of Connecticut, USA specializing in global seismology. My work led to the proposal of a new structural configuration in the Earth's solid inner core that favours a hypothesis, in which the inner core growth is coupled to thermal heterogeneities near the core-mantle boundary by convection in the liquid outer core. Later I joined Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal and used seismic surface waves to construct one of the first countrywide shear wave velocity models of the crust to better constrain tectonics and seismic hazard. Also, I started working on the physics of intraplate earthquakes in the African continent there. During this time, I was also an Honorary Research Associate at University College London. Following this assignment, I worked at the University of Münster in Germany, and conducted research on the fine-scale seismic structure near the inner core boundary. My work there led to the proposal of a non-linear growth mechanism, consistent with results of metallurgical experiments. At present, I am a Research Fellow in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where I am developing computational tools to analyze seismicity in Victoria with an emphasis on Gippsland Basin.   


Member of

  • Europian Geosciences Union. Ordinary Member 2013 -
  • American Geophysical Union. Ordinary Member 2005 -
  • Geological Society of Sri Lanka. Life Member 2005 -


Selected publications


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Connecticut 2012

Awards and honors

  • Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP), 2017, Junior Chamber International, Sri Lanka, 2017
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher, Center for Integrative Geosciences, University of Connecticut, 2010
  • University Award for Academic Excellence, University of Peradeniya, 2005



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • My research interests are in solid Earth geophysics. In the past, I have worked on constraining seismic structure of the interior of the Earth, based on which present-day geodynamics can be inferred. At present, I am developing new computational tools to analyze microseismic events occurring in Victoria. These tools will be used to quantitatively understand the origin and characteristics of seismic events.