Nelomie GalagedaraNelomie Galagedara

Graduate Student

Major Professor: Dr. Sara Thomas Sharma


2019-present: Graduate Research Assistant, Ph.D. student, Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University

2015-2018: M.S. in Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, North Dakota, USA.Thesis Title: ‘Genetic mapping of QTL for resistance to tan spot in Durum Wheat’ under the supervision of Dr. Zhaohui Liu, NDSU

2009-2013: B.Sc., Plant Biotechnology, University of Colombo (UOC), Colombo, Sri Lanka.Thesis Title: ‘Effect of Hypocrea virens inoculation on rice plant growth’ under the supervision of Dr. C.M. Nanayakkara, UOC.


My research aims to understand the seasonal dynamics of Cercospora Leaf Blight (CLB) on soybean in Louisiana. The project utilizes spore traps to capture fungal spores in soybean fields, uses next generation sequencing to understand community-level spore dynamics, and develops species-specific TaqMan probe assay to quantify air borne inoculum of CLB.


  • Dr. Neil Gudmestad’s Potato Pathology Lab, NDSU April 2018- June 2018
  • Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, NDSU December 2017-March 2018
  • Department of Plant Pathology, NDSU September 2015-July 2018

Graduate Research Assistant

  • Department of Plant Sciences, UOC, Sri Lanka
  • Teaching Assistant February 2014 – January 2015
  • Research Assistant November 2012 – October 2013


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Galagedara, N., Liu, Y., Fiedler, J. et al. Genome-wide association mapping of tan spot resistance in a worldwide collection of durum wheat. Theor Appl Genet 133, 2227–2237 (2020). 

Liu, Y., Salsman, E., Wang, R., Galagedara, N., Zhang, Q. et al. Meta-QTL analysis of tan spot resistance in wheat. Theor Appl Genet 133, 2363–2375 (2020). 

Published abstracts

Galagedara, N. N., Chao, S., Xu, S. S. and Liu, Z. Genome Wide Association mapping of resistance to tan spot in durum wheat. "2016 North Central Division Meeting Abstracts." (APS, 2016). 

Galagedara, N. N., Li, X., Chao, S., Xu, S. S., Faris, J. D. and Liu, Z. Genome wide association mapping of resistance to tan spot in durum wheat. “2017 APS Annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas.” (APS, 2017).

Poster presentations

Nelomie Nayanathara Galagedara, Vinson Doyle, Paul Price, Clark L. Robertson, and Sara Thomas-Sharma. Importance of air-borne conidia in the epidemiology of Cercospora Leaf Blight on soybean. “Plant Health 2020 online.” (APS, 2020).


  • Travel award for Plant Health 2020, Annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society (online) 2020 June
  • Travel award for North central American Phytopathological Society meeting 2016 June
  • Member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society for academic excellence