Research Scientist: Dr. Zia Ahmed

Dr. Zia has over 20 years of work experience in environmental modeling and data analysis. Areas of expertise include (1) data mining, (2) geographic information systems (GIS), remote/proximal sensing, and geostatistics (3) linear/non-linear model, mixed effect model, multivariate statistics and machine learning and (4) database management.

He has broad training in both the environmental modeling and geospatial sciences (GIS & Remote Sensing), with expertise in data science resulting in effective management of, and optimal output from, multi-disciplinary teams.  He has excellent quantitative skills in mining insight from data, both spatial and population based survey and has extensive experience with advance statistical analysis (machine learning, multivariate statistics), spatial and geostatistics with R statistical computing system.

His area of primary interest is geospatial and process modeling for resource assessment and resource management for sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. For example, he assessed soil carbon vulnerability in the Western USA by geospatial modeling of pyrogenic and particulate carbon stocks; modeled the production potential and environmental impacts of Bioenergy feedstock production throughout the Northeast USA; identified problems and prospects for sustainable groundwater management in Bangladesh; and assessed landscape-scale production potential for surface water irrigation in Bangladesh.

In his worked with CIMMYT (Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo) in Bangladesh, he applied advanced statistical methods to address different research questions.  For example:  he applied ensemble  machine learning techniques for spatial modeling of heterogeneity of indigenous soil fertility for precision nutrient management; applied multivariate and machine learning techniques for identifying  production constrains and predicting yield of wheat and maize; and  applied fuzzy modeling and incorporate expert knowledge of the targeting area of scale-appropriate agriculture machinery use.

In addition, he worked for a significant amount of time with arsenic pollution in Bangladesh and New York State, USA.  Example: risk mapping of arsenic contamination in Bangladesh agriculture; spatial relationship between arsenic exposure from drinking water and rice, and incidence of Arsenicosis in population of Bangladesh; assessed arsenic and lead contamination in old apple orchards in NY, USA.

Besides his research work with CIMMYT in Bangladesh, he teach GIS/RS using open source software  (R and Python) in one university and supervise MS students related to GIS and Remote sensing work. 

Dr. Zia holds a Ph.D. in Soil Science (minor - environmental information system) from the Cornell University in 2009, a MS in Soil Science (minor - crop ecophysiology) in 1993 from Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Agriculture, Bangladesh and a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture in from Bangladesh Agricultural University in 1990.