Southern Insect Management Research Unit
141 Experiment Station Road
P.O. Box 346
Stoneville, MS 38776
Ph: (662) 686-5248
Fax: (662) 686-5421
via ARIS system
- Ph.D. University of Florida, Major Entomology, 1991 to 1993
- M.S. University of Florida, Major Entomology, 1989 to 1991
- B.S. University of Sri Jayawardenepura (Sri Lanka), Major Entomology, 1979 to 1985
- 2004 to present, Southern Insect Management Research Unit, USDA, ARS, Stoneville, MS, Research Entomologist
- 2003 to 2004, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Research Assistant Professor
- 1995 to 2003, USDA-ARS, CMAVE, Gainesville, FL, Postdoctoral Research Associate
- 1999 to 2002, Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Visiting Lecturer in Genetics
- 2000 to 2003, Division of Information Technology Education, Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL, Instructor in Computer Programming (2000-2003)
- 1994 to 1995, Department of Dairy Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Postdoctoral Research Associate
- 1989 to 1993, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Graduate Research Assistant
- 1985 to 1988, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, Assistant Lecturer
Participation in Scientific Meetings
- Beltwide Cotton Conference (2005 to present). Attended 5 meetings and made 5 presentations.
- Mississippi Entomological Association (2007 to present). Attended 2 meetings and made 1 presentation.
- Entomological Society of America, Southeastern Branch (2007 to present). Attended 2 meetings and made 2 presentations.
- SERA-IEG 23 (2008 to present). Attended 2 meetings and made 2 presentations.
- Society for Invertebrate Pathology (2005-present). Attended 5 meetings and made 6 presentations.
Honors, Awards, Achievements and Recognition
- Chair, Ethics and Rules Committee, Entomological Society of America, 2010-2011.
- Member, Ethics and Rules Committee, Entomological Society of America, 2009 to present.
- Member, IAEA/FAO Coordinated Research Project on tsetse fly genetics, 1999-2003.
- International Atomic Energy Agency Research Fellowship, 1988-1989.
Dr. Perera's research program currently focuses on studying population genetics of three major pests of cotton in the Mid-South, namely Helicoverpa zea(bollworm/corn earworm), Heliothis virescens(tobacco budworm), and Lygus lineolaris(Tarnished plant bug). He has developed molecular markers based on simple sequence repeats (SSRs or microsatellites), inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSRs), and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for all three species and has conducted population genetic studies. He has developed bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries for corn earworm and tarnished plant bug and is developing physical maps of these two species. He has also initiated transcriptome sequencing of all three species to identify SNP markers suitable for population genetic and genetic mapping studies.
Transcriptome data are also being used to develop microarrays to profile gene expression under various experimental conditions. Dr. Perera has used a microarray developed for tobacco budworm to profile gene expression in tobacco budworm larvae fed on Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt) toxins.
Dr. Perera’s goal is to develop baseline data on genetic characteristics of cotton pest populations to assist effective implementation of resistance management practices. His collaborative research efforts include studies on migratory patterns of bollworm [Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and Mississippi State University (MSU)], population genetics of tarnished plant bug (PSU & MSU), and gene expression in response to Bt toxin ingestion [University of Tennessee].