Dr. Herath is Senior Academic Programme Officer at the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP). He engages in research and education in water security, climate change and natural disaster risk reduction. His postgraduate teaching and research currently focuses on global change impacts on environmental processes, especially related to hydrological and atmospheric process with applications in urban hydrology, flood forecasting, damage estimation, sediment transport and water cycle change assessment using physically based distributed hydrological modeling aided by Remote Sensing and GIS.
He has developed specialized training modules on applying rainfall downscaling and flood risk assessment that are being used for training professionals and academics, especially in the developing countries. His current professional contributions include, Member of International Steering Committee for Global Mapping Project, Advisor, International Program on Landslides, International Consortium on Landslides, Member of International Flood Initiative Advisory Committee, Member of Capacity Development Expert Panel, Asia Pacific Network and Member of the Steering Committee on Water and Climate, Asian Development Bank and Asia Pacific Water Forum.
He also serves as Editor for Landslide Journal (Springer), Mountain Science Journal (CAS), Sustainable Science Journal (Springer) and Environment and Hydrology Journal. He has published over 150 scientific papers, authored numerous book chapters and edited publications on climate change, water and disaster risk reduction. Recent publications include, contributions to book chapters “Challenges for delta areas in coping with urban floods (2008, in Urban Water Francis and Taylor), Climate Change: Key Uncertainties and Robust Findings, and Urban Flood Risk Assessment (2010, in Urban Flood management, Francis and Taylor) and editing the series on Climate Change Adaptation (vol. 1-4, University Network on Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation Research, 2009-2010).
His previous positions include Associate Professor and Guest Foreign Professor at University of Tokyo (1991-2002), senior research engineer in industry, Tokyo (1988-1991), Research Associate in Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, (1983-1984) and civil and irrigation engineer in Sri Lanka (1980-1981). Dr. Herath holds Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tokyo.