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Eric Wikramanayake, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Eric Wikramanayake has over 30 years of experience in biodiversity conservation. Eric is currently a Senior Rewilding Specialist with the NEOM giga-project in Saudi Arabia. Previously he was based in Hong Kong as Director, Wildlife and Wetlands at WWF and oversaw the implementation of Bankable Nature Solutions for WWF’s Freshwater Asian Flyways Initiative. Before this, he was a Senior Conservation Scientist with the Conservation Science Program at WWF-US, providing technical assistance to WWF’s Asia ecoregion and species programs. He has been integral in conservation planning throughout Asia across a variety of scales.

Eric is the lead author on a conservation assessment of the Indo-Pacific, gap analysis and biological vision of the Himalayas, and was one of the lead investigators of the seminal range-wide tiger conservation assessment published in 1997 that contributed to a paradigm shift in large mammal conservation in Asia. He has extensive field experience and familiarity in a number of countries, including Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, with broad familiarity of conservation issues in other parts of Asia and the Pacific through regional and global analyses for environmental management, conservation planning, and climate-change related adaptation, resilience-building and mitigation using nature-based solutions.

Eric received his PhD. from University of California, Davis in 1988 on the ecological structure and conservation of fish assemblages in tropical wet-zone streams of Sri Lanka, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals on a wide range of topics including ecology and behavior of wildlife species, landscape ecology in conservation, illegal wildlife trade and implications for OneHealth, to climate change impact analyses and Nature-based Solutions for resilience-building and adaptation. He is also the lead author of Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a conservation assessment, published by Island Press.