Dr. Abdullah Al Mamun

About Abdullah

Research Associate/Community Coordinator

Born in a rural village in southern Bangladesh, Dr. Mamun (also called by native peoples of northern Saskatchewan as sisip which is a duck in Cree language as he is an immigrant here) has a passion for landbased activities including fishing and farming. Mamun has a passion for braiding traditional ecological knowledge and science in ecosystem, wildlife and water quality programs and helping disadvantaged communities including Indigenous youth training focusing on northern Canada. Outdoor activities including working in cold winter months (even minus 40C in northern Saskatchewan) did not bother him to support community-based ecosystem monitoring in lakes and rivers. Mamun brings his strength of interdisciplinarity in research as he has both natural science and resource management degrees. Mamun did his Ph.D. from the Joint University of Waterloo-Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Program in Geography with a focus on environmental management through community engagement. He received his Masters of Natural Resources Management degree from the University of Manitoba (local/Indigenous knowledge focused) and a M.Sc. in Zoology, Jahangirnagar University (wildlife biology and aquatic ecology). Mamun has expertise in the area of boreal ecology, wildfire, and chronic wasting disease, woodland caribou range plan/recovery, community-based monitoring, Indigenous protected area, and northern food systems. Engaging Indgenous youth to train them in science through ecological research is his present research focus. Before joining as a senior research associate at the McLoughlin lab, he worked for mapping and modeling of woodland caribou traditional ecological knowledge to support boreal caribou conservation/ range planning. He also looked at arctic wildfood harvests patterns in the context of climate change. He supported the caribou recovery and monitoring program managed by Prince Albert Model Forest Inc.
I have always been interested in habitat selection, especially how individual performance (e.g., survival and reproduction) can be influenced by an animal’s access to habitat resources and associated resource covariates, and demonstrating how these relationships might be modified by ecological processes (e.g., competition, predation, ecological succession, and cross-generational effects). I also dabble a bit on the molecular side of things, for example we are now hoping to quantify stress for individual horses of Sable Island (from cortisol in hair) and relate this to individual behaviour and performance. I also maintain an interest in population genetics; a very promising avenue to pursue concerning the Sable Island horses, where we are initiating brand-new research to establish the multi-generational pedigree of the horses and tackle questions about the micro-evolutionary processes that we believe are occurring (including sexual selection, horse colouration patterns) along a west-east gradient of habitat quality and density along the length of the island. We are all very excited about our work on genetics in the horses, which is seeing us expand our program to examine interesting questions of inbreeding and conservation genetics, and individual variation in gut microbial diversity and links with the island’s pedigree–even questions of antimicrobial resistance patterns in the Sable population (which is unique among populations considering its isolation and lack of history of modern veterinary care, including administration of antibiotics). The effects of density on individuals to affect population-level processes is particularly fascinating to me, and almost all of my projects touch on this to some extent. Some recent studies include effects of population density on interaction rates between individuals, which may influence the spread of wildlife disease, density-dependent habitat selection, and effects of density on dispersal, sex ratios, and intensity of mate competition and sexual selection. By examining individual responses (be it behaviour or morphology) to population-level phenomena like overcrowding or predation we may be able to identify opportunities for selection. My interests further include individual- and matrix-based models of populations with applications to theory, conservation, and management; scaling and sampling questions in ecology; population-level ecological genetics; and of course natural history. My questions have been primarily directed at the ecology of European and North American mammals, including populations of red deer, roe deer, caribou, moose, elk, feral horses, wolves, grizzly bears, polar bears, and seals.

I absolutely love Saskatchewan! It is a fantastic place to live and work. I reside in the town of Warman (just outside of the city of Saskatoon) with my wife and (now) four children.