Doctor Kashif Mahmud

Kashif MahmudI joined the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment in February 2016 as a Research Fellow in the Climate and Forest Ecosystem Modelling Group. I consider myself a Modeller and a LiDAR expert, and I am interested to understand the terrestrial carbon cycle; especially when and how much photosynthate is allocated to plant growth vs. storage, which is a key to understand ecosystem tolerance to extreme events such as severe drought. The research findings will directly address the Strategic Research Priority of identifying vulnerabilities and boundaries to the adaptability of changing natural and human systems.

I received PhD from the school of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW Australia in November 2015. I have been also granted a three months Post-Doctoral Writing Fellowship from UNSW Faculty of Engineering. During three and a half years of research as a post graduate student at UNSW Australia, I have performed intensive research and analysed information about complex hydrogeological behaviour of aquifer including heterogeneity, uncertainty, connectivity, flow and transport processes. The main objectives of this research are two-fold: firstly to develop a Training Image (TI) based approach for stochastic simulations with the application in surface and subsurface processes, and secondly to present the first quantitative analysis of the morphology and spatial distribution of cave ceiling features based on LiDAR data to identify flow processes and estimate groundwater recharge through subsurface karst formations.

I am currently responsible for the hands-on implementation of the ARC Discovery project 'Modelling Optimal Plant Behaviour, or Do Plants Hedge Their Bets?' This project works in collaboration with Professor Belinda Medlyn (WSU), Dr Remko Duursma (WSU), Professor Roderick Dewar (ANU) and Professor Mat Williams (Edinburgh University) to develop the Data Assimilation (DA) framework and implementation of numerical optimization routines. This project aims to answer one of the most pressing questions for understanding both the productivity of terrestrial plants and their vulnerability to environmental change: What fraction of photosynthates do plants use for immediate growth, and what fraction do they keep in reserve as insurance against future stress? Immediate growth gives plants a competitive edge in good times, but failure to store sufficient reserves may leave them vulnerable to future disturbance such as drought, herbivory and fire. A lack of both empirical data and theoretical understanding currently hampers our ability to answer this question. The project will address both gaps. First, we will infer empirical growth-storage patterns using novel data assimilation techniques applied to results from five recent experiments on Australian woody species. We will then compare these patterns with new model predictions based on alternative hypotheses for how plants allocate photosynthate between growth and storage, in order to identify the hypothesis that best explains the data. This work will radically improve our predictive understanding of terrestrial plant growth and resilience to environmental change.

Areas of research

Ecological Modelling, Carbon Cycle, Climate Change, Remote Sensing, Geological Modelling

Previous research

  • Worked as a Research Associate at UNSW which is part of Subprogram 1A: Linking Geological and Hydrogeological Processes in the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Water Commission (NWC) co-funded centre of excellence.
  • Lead a project which involved the exhaustive characterization of limestone hydrogeological characteristics using remote sensing (Terrestrial LiDAR). Develop new methods which permit the analysis of LiDAR images to obtain groundwater flow patterns and processes while working with colleagues at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). This research is applied to the karstified limestone of southwest Western Australia.
  • Build a relationship between stalagmate drip data and infiltration water through karstified limestone by monitoring cave ceiling morphology using ground-based LiDAR scans. Remote sensing, climate data and drip water analyses are used to quantify groundwater recharge through karst formation.
  • Develop a recent Multiple Point Statistics (MPS) method named Image Quilting (IQ) for various stochastic modelling applications in the field of hydrogeology, remote sensing, mining, and petroleum engineering. The major contribution is to offer the possibility to perform stochastic modeling of complex structures on a simple workstation, even for very large cases involving many realizations.
  • Present the largest spatial and temporal survey of automated cave drip monitoring published to date to better understand karst drip water hydrogeology and infiltration water flow network. IQ is then implemented with the training images derived from LiDAR data to simulate a larger cave system representing the entire karst formation. A geological model is developed by integrating large scale speleothem data that allow working with both basic levels based on the accurate LiDAR measurements and advanced levels using the image-based stochastic simulations.
  • Establish a general methodology to integrate different measurement scales, allowing a better linkage of modelling efforts across various spatial scales. This research focuses on the question of simultaneous integration of hydraulic conductivity data representing different investigated volumes, in the context of training image-based stochastic models where the strong heterogeneity makes the relationships between scales complicated.

Resources

  • Image Quilting (IQ): IQ is a patch-based Multiple Point Statistics (MPS) simulation algorithm that is based on computing an optimal cut between patches. Matlab codes for IQ can be found here: 2D version (opens in a new window), 3D version (opens in a new window).
  • Reference: Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Caers J, Tahmasebi P, Baker A (2014). Simulation of Earth textures by Conditional Image Quilting, Water Resources Research 50(4), p. 3088-3107, doi: 10.1002/2013WR015069.

Awards and recognition

  • Tuition Fee Scholarship (TFS) and living allowance from University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney (2012 - 2015)
  • CWI Gary Johnson Top-up scholarship (2014 - 2015)
  • Top-up scholarship from National Center for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), Australia (2012 - 2014)
  • University (BUET) Technical Scholarship in Level-1, Term-2 & Level-4, Term-1 (2003, 2007)
  • Dean's list Award after completion of Level-1 & Level-4 in B.Sc. Engineering (2003, 2007)
  • Board Scholarship for H.S.C. result (2001)
  • Talent pool Board Scholarship for placing 17th in S.S.C. Exam (1999)

Grants

Modelling Optimal Plant Behaviour, or Do Plants Hedge Their Bets? (2016-2019), Australian Research Council

CWI conference grant to present in AGU 2014 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA (2014), CWI research centre, UNSW Australia

NCGRT conference grant to present in AGU 2013 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA (2013), NCGRT Australia

The Postgraduate Research Student Support (PRSS) conference travel grant (2012), UNSW Australia

Experiences

  • Working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE), Western Sydney University (WSU) from February 2016 to till now.
  • Worked as a Research Assistant in Connected Waters Initiative (CWI) Research centre, UNSW Australia from February 2012 to December 2015.
  • Worked as a Research Assistant in National Centre for Groundwater Research & Training (NCGRT), Australia from February 2012 to June 2014.
  • Worked as a Tutor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia from February 2012 to June 2016.
  • Worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Islamic University of Technology (IUT) from December 2010 to February 2012.
  • Worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Islamic University of Technology (IUT) from November 2009 to December 2010.
  • Worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering in Stamford University Bangladesh from July 2007 to November 2009.
  • Worked as a part time Assistant Civil Engineer in Project Builders Limited, a Real Estate Development Company from January 2007 to July 2007.

Selected publications

Book

Mahmud, K, (2011) 'Appropriate Technique for Landfill Leachate Treatment - A Case Study for Matuail Landfill Site in Bangladesh', Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP), ISBN: 978-3-8454-0266-6

Journal articles

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Baker A, Pauline CT, (2015) 'Hydrological characterization of cave drip waters in a porous limestone: Golgotha Cave, South-West Western Australia' (In preparation)

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Baker A, Sharma A, (2015) 'Integrating Multiple Scales of Hydraulic Conductivity Measurements in Training Image-Based Stochastic Models', Water Resources Research, vol.51, no.1, pp 465–480

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Baker A, Treble PC, Markowska M, McGuire L, (2015) 'Estimation of deep infiltration in unsaturated limestone environments using cave LiDAR and drip count data', Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., vol.19, pp 1–35

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Pauline CT, Baker A, (2015) 'Terrestrial LiDAR Survey and Morphological Analysis to Identify Infiltration Properties in the Tamala Limestone, Western Australia', IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol.8, no.10, pp. 4871-4881

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Tahmasebi P, Caers J, Baker A, (2014) 'Simulation of Earth textures by conditional image quilting', Water Resourses Research, vol.50, no.4, pp 3088–3107

Azom MR, Mahmud K, Yahya SM, Sontu A, Himon SB, (2012) 'Environmental Impact Assessment of Tanneries: A Case Study of Hazaribag in Bangladesh', International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, vol.3, no.2, pp 152-156

Mahmud K, Hossain MD, Shams S, (2012) 'Different Treatment Strategies for Highly Polluted Landfill Leachate in Developing Countries', Waste Management, vol.32, no.11, pp 2096–2105

Mahmud K, Hossain MD, Shams S, Al-Amin M, (2012) 'Comparative Analysis of Extended Aeration and Fenton Process in Landfill Leachate Treatment', International Journal of Environmental Engineering, vol.4, no.3/4, pp 233-252

Islam MM, Mahmud K, Faruk O, Billah S, (2011) 'Textile Dyeing Industries in Bangladesh for Sustainable Development', International Journal of Environmental Science and Development (IJESD), vol.2, no.6, pp 428-436

Mahmud K, Hossain MD, Ahmed S, (2011) 'Advanced Landfill Leachate Treatment with Least Sludge Production Using Modified Fenton Process, International Journal of Environmental Sciences, vol.2, no.1, pp 259-270

Mahmud K, Yahya SM, Navid EH, Hossain SM, (2011) 'Organic Contaminant Destruction from Landfill Leachate by Optimizing Fenton Treatment Process', Canadian Journal on Environmental, Construction and Civil Engineering, vol.2, no.5, pp 118-124

Rahman MT, Ahsan S, Mahmud K, (2011) 'Stress - Strain Characteristics of Flexible Pavement using Finite Element Method', International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering, vol.2, no.1, pp 233-240

Shams S, Mahmud K, Al-Amin M, (2011) 'A comparative analysis of building materials for sustainable construction with emphasis on CO2 reduction', Int. J. Environment and Sustainable Development, vol.10, no.4, pp 364-374

Shams S, Mahmud K, Al-Amin M, (2011) 'Building Greener Homes Based on Coding and Rating System', IACSIT International Journal of Engineering and Technology (IJET), vol.3, no.5, pp 480-484

Mahmud K, Islam MR, Al-Amin M, (2010) 'Study the Reinforced Concrete Frame with Brick Masonry Infill due to Lateral Loads', International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering IJCEE-IJENS, vol.10, no.4, pp 35-40

Conference paper / Presentations

Baker A, Treble P, Coleborn K, Mahmud K, Markowska M, Flemons I, (2015) 'Hundreds of automatic drip counters reveal infiltration water discharge characteristics in Australian caves', AGU Fall meeting 2015, San Francisco, CA, USA, 14-18 December 2015

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Baker A, Pauline CT, Markowska M, McGuire L, (2015) 'Characterising Groundwater Recharge from Cave Terrestrial LiDAR and Drip Water Analysis', Australian Groundwater Conference 2015, Canberra, Australia, 3-5 November 2015

Mariethoz G, Mahmud K, Baker A, Pauline CT, (2015) 'Flow Classification and Cave Discharge Characteristics in Unsaturated Karst Formation', AGU Fall meeting 2015, San Francisco, CA, USA, 14-18 December 2015

Treble P, Baker A, Fairchild IJ, Bradley C, Mahmud K, Andersen MS, Meredith K, Mariethoz M, (2015) 'Roles of Transpiration, Forest Bioproductivity and Fire on a Long-Term Dripwater Hydrochemistry Dataset from Golgotha Cave, SW Australia', AGU Fall meeting 2015, San Francisco, CA, USA, 14-18 December 2015

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Baker A, Sharma A, (2014) 'Assimilating Hydraulic Conductivity Data Using Multiscale Training Images', AGU Fall meeting 2014, San Francisco, CA, USA, 15-19 December 2014

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Pauline CT, Baker A, (2014) 'Lidar Investigation of Infiltration Water Heterogeneity in the Tamala Limestone, SW WA', AGU Fall Meeting 2014, San Francisco, CA, USA, 15-19 December 2014

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Baker A, (2013) 'Integrating Multiple Scales of Hydraulic Conductivity Measurements in Training Image-Based Stochastic Models', AGU Fall Meeting 2013, San Francisco, 9-13 December 2013

Mahmud K, Tahmasebi P, Mariethoz G, Caers J, Baker A, (2013) 'Application of image quilting for conditional simulation of geological textures', International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) 2013, Perth, Australia, 15-20 September 2013

Mahmud K, Tahmasebi P, Mariethoz G, Caers J, Baker A, (2013) 'Simulation of Earth textures by Conditional Image Quilting', 15th Annual Conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences, Madrid, Spain, 2-6 September 2013

Mahmud K, Mariethoz G, Baker A, (2012) 'Conditional Simulation of Geological Textures by Image Quilting', Paper presented in the 1st International Conference on Advances in Civil Engineering, 12-14 December, 2012

Al–Amin M, Mahmud K, Hosen S, Islam MA, (2011) 'Domestic Water Consumption Patterns in a Village in Bangladesh', 4th Annual Paper Meet and 1stCivil Engineering Congress, ISBN: 978-984-33-4363-5, pp 83-85

Hoq SMA, Sabbir MA, Mahmud K, (2011) 'Introduction of rhombus frame to improve building performance in earthquake', 4th Annual Paper Meet and 1st Civil Engineering Congress, ISBN: 978-984-33-4363-5, pp 298-302

Islam MM, Mahmud K, Faruk O, Billah S, (2011) 'Assessment of Environmental Impacts for Textile Dyeing Industries in Bangladesh', Proceedings of the International Conference on Green Technology and Environmental Conservation, GTEC 2011, pp 236-244

Mahmud K, Hossain MD, Shams S, (2011) 'Application of Fenton Process in Treating Landfill Leachate', Proceeding of 2nd International Conference on Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries, WasteSafe 2011, ISBN: 978-984-33-2705-5, pp 69 (1-8)

Mahmud K, Sabbir MA, Sakib N, (2011) 'Characteristic Assessment of Matuail Landfill Leachate', Proceedings of the International Conference - 2011 on Environmental Technology & Construction Engineering for Sustainable Development, ISBN: 978-984-33-3055-0, pp 410-419

Mahmud K, Sakib N, Rahman MT, (2011) 'Effect of Soft Storey in Reinforced Concrete Frame Structure', Proceeding of the Conference on Engineering Research, Innovation and Education, CERIE 2011, ISBN: 978-984-33-2140-4, pp 121-126, http://www.sust.edu/conference/cerie2011/CERIE_2011_Proceedings.pdf (opens in a new window)

Sakib N, Mahmud K, Mumtaz M, Khusru S, (2011) 'Fire Spread Parameters Regarding Knitwear: Generated Heat Flux and Thermal Insulation by Cotton Around Columns', Proceedings of the International Conference - 2011 on Environmental Technology & Construction Engineering for Sustainable Development, ISBN: 978-984-33-3055-0, pp 440-445, http://www.scribd.com/doc/51041431/Proceeding-of-Int-Conference-on-Environmental-Technology-and-Construction-Engineering-for-Sustainable-Development-2011 (opens in a new window)

Shams S, Mahmud K, Al-Amin M, Rahman MT, (2011) 'An Assessment of Greener Homes by Coding and Rating System', Proceedings of the International Conference - 2011 on Environmental Technology & Construction Engineering for Sustainable Development, ISBN: 978-984-33- 3055-0, pp 603-612, http://www.scribd.com/doc/51041431/Proceeding-of-Int-Conference-on-Environmental-Technology-and-Construction-Engineering-for-Sustainable-Development-2011 (opens in a new window)

Yahya SM, Mahmud K, Navid EH, Hossain SM, (2011) 'Ship Breaking and Recycling Industry in Bangladesh - Towards Sustainable Development to Mitigate Environmental Hazards', Proceedings of the 3rd CUTSE International Conference, Curtin University, Sarawak, Malaysia, pp 567-575

Rahman SMS, Shams S, Mahmud K, (2010) 'Study of Solid Waste Management and its Impact on Climate Change: A Case Study of Dhaka City in Bangladesh', Proceedings of International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh (ICEAB10), Japan, Sept. 2010, pp 229-231

Yahya SM, Shams S, Islam AKMS, Mahmud K, (2010) 'Climate Change Impacts on Flood Vulnerability for Dhaka City', Proceedings of International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh (ICEAB10), Japan, Sept 2010, pp 37-39