Dhanushka Hettiarachichi

Research Scientist

Dhanushka (Danny) has been with Wescorp since March 2007 and is predominantly responsible for maintaining and developing the Wescorp Laboratory. As Research Scientist, Danny involved in the research projects conducted within the Wescorp Group and in collaboration with other organisations. He’s also responsible for the quality assurance on sandalwood and sandalwood oil samples.


Major research projects Danny has undertaken for Wescorp include fixed oil extraction from Sandalwood seeds, developing a universally acceptable method to assess the quality of sandalwood timber and studying the different causes which alter the quality of sandalwood essential oil. He is a member of a research team with Curtin University and Sri Jayewardenepura University to conduct research on Sandalwood in Sri Lanka, which was recently awarded a National Research Council (Sri Lanka) Grant. Agarwood has brought new challenges to the Wescorp laboratory, which would be the next major research project in years to come.


Danny was awarded Doctor of Philosophy degree from Curtin University for his thesis titled Pharmaceutical Evaluation of Western Australian Sandalwood Seed Oil. He holds a Master of Pharmacy degree from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Sri Ramachandra University, India. He is a Member and Chartered Chemist of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and a Member of Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists. He is currently enrolled at Curtin University as a doctoral research candidate.


Danny has a research experience in chemistry and formulation aspects of natural products since 2003. He has contributed to international and national peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings. His research interests are focused mainly on extraction method development, quality assurance and oxidation of essential oils and plant lipids. In his spare time, Danny enjoys photography and playing Tabla.


    • D. S. Hettiarachchi: Antibacterial Compounds of Conkerberry. 06/2010; LAP Publishing., ISBN: 978-3-8383-8079-7

Book Chapters

    • S. M. C. U. P. Subasinghe, D. S. Hettiarachchi: Gyrinops walla: The Recently Discovered Agarwood-Producing Species in Sri Lanka. Agarwood, 01/2016; ISBN: 978-981-10-0832-0

Journal Publications

      1. Fang Cai, Jianying Li, Yandi Liu, Zunyi Zhang, D S Hettiarachchi, Duo Li: Effect of ximenynic acid on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis and COX-1 in HepG2 cells. Molecular Medicine Reports 11/2016; DOI:10.3892/mmr.2016.5920
      2. S.M.C.U.P. Subasinghe, S.C. Samarasekara, K.P. Millaniyage, D.S. Hettiarachchi: Heartwood assessment of natural Santalum album populations for agroforestry development in Sri Lanka. Agroforestry Systems 08/2016; DOI:10.1007/s10457-016-0001-5
      3. S.M.C.U.P. Subasinghe, D.S. Hettiarachchi: Characterisation of agarwood type resin of Gyrinops walla Gaertn growing in selected populations in Sri Lanka. Industrial Crops and Products 07/2015; 69. DOI:10.1016/j.indcrop.2015.01.060
      4. Upul Subasinghe, Manuri Gamage, D. S. Hettiarachchi: Essential oil content and composition of Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) in Sri Lanka. Journal of Forestry Research 08/2014; 24(1). DOI:10.1007/s11676-013-0331-3
      5. Dhanushka S. Hettiarachchi, Yandi Liu, Sonia Jose, Micheal R. Boddy, John E.D. Fox, Bruce Sunderland: Assessment of Western Australian Sandalwood Seeds for Seed Oil Production. Australian Forestry 04/2013; 75(4). DOI:10.1080/00049158.2012.10676409
      6. D. S. Hettiarachchi, Y. D. Liu, M. R. Boddy, J. E. D. Fox, V. B. Sunderland: Contents of Fatty Acids, Selected Lipids and Physicochemical Properties of Western Australian Sandalwood Seed Oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 02/2012; 90(2). DOI:10.1007/s11746-012-2162-3
      7. Dhanushka Hettiarachchi, Yandi Liu, John Fox, Bruce Sunderland: Western Australian sandalwood seed oil: New opportunities. Lipid Technology 02/2010; 22(2). DOI:10.1002/lite.200900071
      8. Upul Subasinghe, Dhanushka Hettiarachchi, Manuri Gamage: Oil Content Analysis of Sandalwood: A Novel Approach for Core Sample Analysis.
      9. Dhanushka S Hettiarachchi, Cornelia Locher, Robert B Longmore: Antibacterial compounds from the root of the indigenous Australian medicinal plant Carissa lanceolata R.Br. Natural product research 06/2009; 25(15). DOI:10.1080/14786410802267668

Conference Proceedings

    1. D.S. Hettiarachchi, A. Dowell, W. Jing, M.C. Boyce, S. Tomislav : Setting Benchmarks: Quality Assurance of Cultivated Agarwood. 2nd International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood, Putrajaya, Malaysia; 10/2016
    2. S.M.C.U.P. Subasinghe, K.P. Millaniyage, D.S. Hettiarachchi: Impact of different host species on the height growth of young Santalum album. 19th International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka; 10/2014
    3. S.M.C.U.P. Subasinghe, C.I. Deshapriya, D.S. Hettiarachchi: Variation of leaf oil content in six different Eucalyptus species of Wet and Intermediate zones of Sri Lanka. 19th International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka; 10/2014
    4. D. S. Hettiarachchi, T.D. Coakley: “Snakes encircling Sandalwood” – A Chemical investigation. Sandalwood: Current Trends and Future Prospects, IWST, Bangalore, India; 02/2014
    5. D.S. Hettiarachchi, T.D. Coakley and E. Vernon: Analysis of the agarwood from artificially induced cultivated Aquilaria crassna trees. International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood, Putrajaya, Malaysia; 09/2013
    6. S C Samarasekera, S M C U P Subasinghe, D S Hettiarachchi: Santalum album L. (Indian sandalwood) oil content variation of Welimada region, Sri Lanka. 17th International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Colombo, Sri Lanka; 11/2012
    7. S.M.C.U.P. Subasinghe, D S Hettiarachchi: Santalum album: Current status and research conducted in Sri Lanka. International Sandalwood Symposium Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; 10/2012
    8. D.S. Hettiarachchi: The good, the bad and the ugly: A review on sandalwood quality. International Sandalwood Symposium, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; 10/2012