Pushpa Kumara Dissanayake (1974, Onegama, Sri Lanka) obtained his primary education in Hingurakgoda and studied civil engineering at the University of Peradeniya. He was research engineer for Lanka Hydraulic Institute (2000-2003) mainly engaged in numerical modelling of coastal projects. In 2003 he did a post-graduate scholarship at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, which was funded by the Netherlands Fellowship Programme. He studied in Coastal Engineering and obtained MSc in 2005. His thesis project, undertaken at WL|Delft Hydraulics (presently Deltares), investigated the effect of bed roughness formulations on morphodynamics of the Western Scheldt Estuary, the Netherlands. After graduation, he returned to Sri Lanka and worked for Lanka Hydraulic Institute as a senior modelling engineer.
In February 2006, he started his PhD research at UNESCO-IHE on the responding morphodynamic evolution of large tidal inlet/basin systems to sea level rise, which was funded by Delft Cluster Research Programme. In January 2010, he moved to Norderney, Germany where he completed the final preparation of his thesis while working with his present employer NLWKN- Forschungsstelle Kuste where he works on climate change adaptation strategies on the Lower Saxony Coast, East Frisian Wadden Sea.