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Dr. Ari Nissanka

Staff Scientist

Chemical & Physical Ecology Program

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans


Dr. Nissanka has been with the Laboratory since 1992. She is knowledgeable with the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) and Quality Assurance requirements and maintains laboratory systems to support the Program s NELAC certification. Since joining the laboratory, Dr. Nissanka has contributed in various capacities on multidisciplinary studies involving water, storm water, sediments, seagrass, light requirements, and atmospheric deposition. Prior to joining the laboratory, Dr. Nissanka has taught at Manatee Community College in Venice, Florida and University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.


D.Sc. in Biology, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
M.Sc. in Biology, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan 
B.Sc.(Honors) in Botany minor: Chemistry, University of Ceylon Colombo, Sri Lanka

Current Publications

Emily R. Hall, L. Kellie Dixon, Gary Kirkpatrick, Ari Nissanka, Brad Pederson (2023). Phytoplankton communities of the west coast of Florida – multiyear and seasonal responses to nutrient enrichment. Harmful Algae, 130, 102547.

Additional Publications

Nissanka, A, Dixon, L. K. 2011 Water Quality Analyses in Conjunction with Evaluation of Pilot and Commercial Wastewater Systems Associated with Inland Production of High-Value Marine Fish: Progress Report: Florida Sea Grant R/LR-A-48. Mote Marine Laboratory Technical Report No. 1575

Dixon L Kellie, Ari Nissanka, K. Lansdowne, P. Minotti, J. Perry. 2005 Sarasota County Ambient Monitoring Program: Summary Report, 1998-2005. Submitted to Sarasota County Water Resources. Mote Marine Laboratory Technical Report No. 1019

Nissanka A, L. K. Dixon. 2003. Water and Sediment Sample Collection and Analyses, July 1999-July 2002 Pre- and Post- restoration Comparison. Hog Creek, Sarasota FL and Palma Sola Creek, Bradenton FL. Mote Marine Laboratory Technical Report No. 854

Dixon L Kellie, Ari Nissanka. 1997. Data Inventory, Trend Analysis, and Recommended Monitoring: Florida Springs Coast. Volume II. Data Summaries. Submitted to Southwest Florida Water Management District, Surface Water Improvement and Management. Mote Marine Laboratory Technical Report No. 547

Amara, B., W.G.A. Nissanka, K. Abeyanayake. 1992. Biological treatment of distillery waste. J. Nat. Sci. Coun. Sri Lanka 20(2): 237-250. Abeynayake, K., W. G. A. Nissanka. 1989. Environmental profile of the Kalutara District. Prepared for Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka.

Suzuki, T., W.G.A. Nissanka, Y. Kurihara. 1988. Amplification of total dry mater, nitrogen and phosphorus removal from stands of Phragmites australis by harvesting and reharvesting regenerated shoots. In Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: Municipal, Industrial and Agricultural (Hammer, D.A., ed.), Lewis Publ., Inc., pp. 530-555.

Wathugala , A.G., T. Suzuki, Y. Kurihara. 1987. Removal of nitrogen, phosphorus and COD from waste water using sand filtration systems with Phragmites australis. Water Research, 21(10: 1217-1224.