Dr Akila Wijerathna Yapa

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability
Faculty of Science


I am an interdisciplinary researcher and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). With a strong background in Agricultural Biotechnology, Molecular Plant Physiology, Biochemistry, Omics (Proteomics, Metabolomics, Transcriptomics), and Statistical data analysis, I am dedicated to advancing knowledge and finding practical solutions in the field of crop production.

My current research focuses on studying axillary bud outgrowth and axillary meristem arrest, a variable trait that holds significant importance in crop production. By delving into the intricate mechanisms governing axillary branching, I aim to unravel the underlying molecular and physiological processes that contribute to the regulation of this trait. Understanding the factors influencing axillary branching has the potential to revolutionize crop yield and quality by optimizing plant architecture and resource allocation.


  • Associate Fellow, The University of Western Australia Academy Fellowship Scheme, The University of Western Australia Academy Fellowship Scheme
  • Fellow, The Higher Education Academy (UKPSF), The Higher Education Academy (UKPSF)
  • Doctor of Philosophy of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Masters (Research) of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Agricultural Biotechnology, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka


  • Wijerathna‐Yapa, Akila, Henry, Robert J., Dunn, Matt and Beveridge, Christine A. (2023). Science and opinion in decision making: A case study of the food security collapse in Sri Lanka. Modern Agriculture, 1 (2), 142-151. doi: 10.1002/moda.18

  • Pri‐Tal, Oded, Sun, Yufei, Dadras, Armin, Fürst‐Jansen, Janine M. R., Zimran, Gil, Michaeli, Daphna, Wijerathna‐Yapa, Akila, Shpilman, Michal, Merilo, Ebe, Yarmolinsky, Dmitry, Efroni, Idan, de Vries, Jan, Kollist, Hannes and Mosquna, Assaf (2023). Constitutive activation of ABA receptors in Arabidopsis reveals unique regulatory circuitries. New Phytologist, 241 (2), 703-714. doi: 10.1111/nph.19363

  • Wijerathna-Yapa, Akila, Bishnoi, Ruchi, Ranawaka, Buddhini, Maya Magar, Manu, Ur Rehman, Hafeez, Bharad, Swati G., Lorenc, Michal T., Ramtekey, Vinita, Gohar, Sasha, Lata, Charu, Harun-Or-Rashid, Md., Razzaq, Maryam, Sajjad, Muhammad and Basnet, Bhoja R. (2023). Rice–wheat comparative genomics: Gains and gaps. The Crop Journal. doi: 10.1016/j.cj.2023.10.008

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