Amila Bandara

Ph.D. Candidate
ANNU 152

Amila completed her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Tina Widowski and Dr. Stephanie Torrey investigating on-farm euthanasia of poultry. She focused on the efficacy of different on-farm euthanasia techniques across North America, toward establishing science-based recommendations for best practices to ensure that euthanasia devices are humane, effective, and pose minimal threat to the operators. As a part of her Ph.D. research, Amila had the great opportunity to work with Dr. Suzanne Millman in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostics and Production Animals, Iowa State University in the fall of 2017. She joined Dr. Millman’s welfare lab as a visiting scholar and investigated CO2 gas as a possible on-farm euthanasia technique for poultry. In this project, she studied "conditioned place preference" and "approach-avoidance" paradigms to explore turkeys' and layer chickens' exposure to and experience of the induction of insensibility to different concentrations of CO2 gas.

Amila completed her B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences (Specialization in Livestock Production) at Sabaragamuwa University of in Sri Lanka. As a result of her academic excellence, she was fortunate to immediately start a career in academia as a staff member at the same university, where she became more involved in research, particularly regarding poultry and dairy cattle production. While she completed her Master's degree (M.Phil in Animal Science) at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, she focused on weaning stress in rabbits, a project that incorporated behaviour and stress physiology. During this time, she developed a passion for the study of pain and distress in animals, finally discovering the perfect way to pursue her interests in the neurophysiology of pain viaq he most recent work.

After my Ph.D., I hope to pursue my research interests in an academic setting where I can investigate basic research questions that may have implications for industry and policy. I enjoy traveling and have been blessed to travel to ten countries on four continents, seeing historical sites and exploring the diversity of cultures. Travel as a hobby is for the adventurous who have a natural curiosity to go where they haven't gone before. I always believe "Travel makes you brave".