Charini Nanayakkara

Research Fellow


I am currently working as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University (ANU), where my research is partially funded by the University of Edinburgh for my contribution to the Scottish Historic Population Platform (SHiPP) project [1] as part of my employment. I obtained my PhD degree from the ANU in 2022, where the focus of my doctoral research work was on proposing Effective Record Linkage Techniques for Complex Population Data [2]. Record linkage is the task of identifying records in a dataset which relate to the same entity. It is an important step in cleaning datasets (for duplicate removal) and extensively used for tasks such as population reconstruction. In the absence of unique identifiers per records, a record linkage method must be used to identify whether two records relate to the same entity. This task is particularly complicated where population datasets (data about people) are concerned, due to the many mistakes introduced to them at the time of data entry and transcription, errors and variations in names, and the imbalance in name distributions (many people sharing common names and few very uncommon names), etc. My focus is on developing effective record linkage techniques using which high quality population record linkage can be achieved. For a comprehensive list of my publications, please see my Google Scholar profile [3].





  • PhD from the Australian National University (2022)
  • BSc. (Hons) Computer Science with first class from University of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka (2016).

Work Experience:

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian National University (Nov 2022 – Present)
  • Senior Research Officer at the Australian National University (Nov 2021 – Nov 2022)
  • Tutor at the Australian National University (Mar 2019 - Jun 2022)
  • Software Engineer at WSO2 (Jan 2016 - Jan 2018)
  • Software Engineering Intern, Google Summer of Code (Jun 2020 - Aug 2020)
  • Business Analyst Intern, Epic Lanka Pvt Ltd (Aug 2014 - Jan 2015)

Awards, Scholarships & Grants

  • Researching the Scottish Historical Population Platform (SHiPP)  - Grant funding of 330,004 AUD  from Economic and Social Research Council (2022)
  • ANU PhD Scholarship (International) (2018)
  • ANU HDR Merit Scholarship (2018)

Voluntary Contributions:

  • Voluntarily contributing my knowledge and expertise for the development of a curriculum in data science by the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) of Sri Lanka.
  • Provide mentorship for Sri Lankan students in the Sustainable Education Foundation (SEF) ScholarX 2022 program
  • Member of the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS) peer-review panel. 
  • Editor of the Computer Science Society - University of Colombo School of Computing (Jan 2012 - Dec 2012)
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