Malinda Thilakarathna, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept

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Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept
(780) 492-9966
4-10F Agriculture/Forestry Centre
9011 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2P5



PhD (Biology), Dalhousie University

PDF (Plant Microbial Interactions, Agronomy), University of Guelph


Agronomy and Plant-Microbial Interactions 

A wide range microorganism colonizes the plant and plant-root interface, and these microorganisms can establish beneficial, neutral, or detrimental with their host plant. My current research program is focused on technologies that reduce the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizers to grow crops by replacing them with more natural, biological resources. I employ both basic and applied research in my research program. Currently, I have three major focus areas: 1) assessment of beneficial microbes (probiotics) for improving nitrogen fixation in legumes and non-legumes; 2) evaluating beneficial microbes that can alleviate abiotic stress in plants; 3) discovering the physiological mechanisms and factors that influence nitrogen fixation and belowground nitrogen transfer from legumes to non-legumes. 


AFNS 601 - Seminar

Covers specialized topics of current interest to graduate students in AFNS. Presentations by students, faculty and invited speakers. Students register in one of four sections - Animal Science, Plant Science, Food Science or Human Nutrition. Attendance is required of all graduate students throughout their program. MSc students normally register for one term in year 2, and are required to present one seminar; PhD students normally register for one term in each of year 1 and 3, and are required to present one seminar per term.

PL SC 100 - Plants in our Lives

Issues related to the importance of plants in our lives, including global food security, interactions between agriculture and the environment, the role of crops in human and animal nutrition, and the potential development of biofuels, biofibers, biopharmaceutical, and bioindustrial crops. Not available to students with 60 units in Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. This course does not substitute for PL SC 221 in the program core. Prerequisite: Biology 30 recommended.

PL SC 499 - Cropping Systems

This course is intended as the capstone course for crop science, and other majors, and provides an opportunity for students to integrate their knowledge about various aspects of crop management, and environmental and economic sustainability. The course centers on the completion of a group project. Lecture time will be divided between traditional lectures and guest lectures to facilitate interactions with agricultural professionals, and project management to engage students with real-world agricultural challenges. Prerequisites: PL SC 355, REN R 210, and 6 units from: PL SC 310, PL SC 324, PL SC 352, PL SC 380.

Browse more courses taught by Malinda Thilakarathna

Featured Publications

Dollete D, Lumactud RA, Carlyle C, Szczyglowski K, Hill B. and Thilakarathna MS

Plant and Soil. 2023 October;

Rathor P, Gorim LY, Thilakarathna MS

Plant and Soil. 2023 August; 492

Liyanage DK, Torkamaneh D, Belzile F, Balasubramanian P, Hill B, Thilakarathna MS

Plants . 2023 February; 12

Lumactud RA, Dollete D, Liyanage DK, Szczyglowski K, Hill B. and Thilakarathna MS

Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 2023 January;

Lumactud R, Gorim LU, Thilakarathna MS

Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 2022 November;

Ampong K, Thilakarathna MS, Gorim LY

Frontiers in Agronomy. 2022 March;

Liiyanage DK, Chathuranga I, Mori B, Thilakarathna MS

Agronomy. 2022 January;

Thilakarathna, M.S., Torkamaneh, D., Bruce, R.W., Rajcan, I., Chu, G., Grainger, C.M., Szczyglowski, K., Hill, B. and Raizada, M.N.

Frontiers in Agronomy. 2021 September; 3

Thilakarathna MS and Cope K

Journal of Experimental Botany . 2021 March;

Reduction of T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins by atmospheric cold plasma and its impact on quality changes and germination of wheat grains.

Iqdiam BM, Feizollahi E, Arif MF, Jeganathan B, Vasanthan T, Thilakarathna MS, Roopesh MS.

Journal of Food Science. 2021 January;

Effects of atmospheric-pressure cold plasma treatment on deoxynivalenol degradation, quality parameters, and germination of barley grains

Feizollahi E, Iqdiam B, Vasanthan T, Thilakarathna MS, Roopesh MS.

applied sciences . 2020 January; 10

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