Himali Udeshinie Ratnayake

Postdoctoral researcher, The University of Melbourne


Many women have proven it is possible, and you can do it too!

What do you do?

I study how extreme heatwaves affect Australian flying-foxes by looking at their physiology, morphology and behaviour, and try to predict under what conditions they would undergo heat stress.

Why did you choose this field?

I chose Zoology because during my undergraduate degree I enjoyed those lectures the most. I found it fascinating to understand how and why some animals are a certain way and others are not. One of my first year lecturers also inspired me to pursue this subject further.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I recieved the gold medal for being the "Most Outstanding Science Student of the Faculty", the higest achievement of the Faculty of Science at graduation.

Why do you love working in STEM?

My knowledge, expertise and skill will have a positive impact on the welfare of thousands of animals and numerous ecosystems.

Best advice for next generation?

Don't doubt yourself and don't listen to negative comments by others who assume girls find it difficult to do field research. Many women have proven it is possible, and you can do it too!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

If not now, then when? If not me, then who?

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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