Outdoor Laboratory

Department of Botany

Faculty of Science | University of Peradeniya

Sri Lanka

“ From poetry writing to the study of ecosystems, the outdoor is a vibrant resource for learning ”

Sinharaja Forest Model: The Outdoor Laboratory

The Sinharaja Forest Model is located at the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. The elevation of the area is about 500 m a.s.l. and the mean annual temperature is 24.6 °C | 76.4 °F. and the mean annual rainfall is about 2132 mm.

The area presents a variety of plant species growing in the tropical lowland rainforests in Sri Lanka. This model is used as an outdoor laboratory for education and research by the Department of Botany, Department of Zoology, and Department of Psychology of the University of Peradeniya. Outreach activities conducted using the forest model includes ecology programs for school children and teachers.

This forest model is maintained by the members of the Peradeniya University Botanical Society (BOTSOC) with the help of the academic staff and the academic support staff members of the Department of Botany. While the members of the BOTSOC regularly monitor and maintain the flora present in the Sinharaja Forest Model, the members of the Zoologists’ Association of the University of Peradeniya (ZAUP) lend their hand to monitor and identify the fauna present in the premises. You can also become a volunteer and help us look after the Sinharaja Forest Model for the next generation.

Our Aim

Promote the understanding of ecology, biodiversity, and ecosystem services provided by tropical rainforests in order to develop an appreciation of the natural world

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Prof. Savithri Gunatilleke and Prof. Nimal Gunatilleke (Emeritus Professors attached to the Department of Botany, University of Peradeniya) established the Sinharaja Forest Model in the premises of the Department of Botany in 1982. Seedlings of forest species collected from the Sinharaja Forest Reserve were transplanted to the plot with the aim of enabling students to learn, understand, and inspire them to conserve tropical lowland wet evergreen rainforests in the world. The second transplantation of forest species took place in 1992 for the exhibition organized by the Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya. Mr. M.A. Gunadasa, Mr. S. Gamage, and Mr. D.G. William assisted the establishment of this plot. In 2017, the enrichment of the plot was done using 20 rainforest species.

Prof. Savithri Gunatilleke and Prof. Nimal Gunatilleke