Md Ataul Gani

PhD candidate


Md Ataul Gani is pursuing his PhD in the Department of Water Science and Engineering, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Botany, Jagannath University, Dhaka with specialization of Limnology and Hydrobiology. He has working experience in different projects that mainly dealt with the river and coastal ecosystems of Bangladesh funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh and The University Grants Commission of Bangladesh.

Mr. Gani obtained his Bachelor and Master degree from the Department of Botany, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. In addition, he completed another interdisciplinary Master degree of “Ecological water quality and management at a basin level”, in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece through Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. As a part of the study, he worked on the ecological water quality of Gallikos River basin, Northern Greece and completed thesis titled as “Ecological water quality assessment of the coastal area of Aggelochori (based on phytoplankton)”.

Earlier, he involved in working different projects titled as ‘Epidemiology and Ecology of Vibrio cholerae in Bangladesh’ in collaboration with International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR, B), ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Study for Hatia 3D Seismic in Block 16’ and ‘Environmental Impact Assessment 3D Seismic Survey at Kutubdia Offshore under Block 16’ with Santos, An Australian Oil and Gas Company. Mainly he was responsible for determining the physico-chemical properties of pond, river and marine water samples, phytoplankton quantification and biodiversity assessment.

Research Summary

The accumulation of nitrogen on or in river beds is a dynamic process which can contribute to nitrogen retention over seasonal and annual time scales. Nitrogen retention is a valuable ecosystem service protecting the downstream aquatic ecosystem from eutrophication. Large, lowland rivers are characterised by geomorphic complexity, comprising features such as islands, bars, and backwaters. Nitrogen retention of these rivers is regulated by different hydrological factors. Variation in discharge can alter the make-up and prevalence of geomorphic units, affecting periodicity of nitrogen retention. Understanding seasonal variation of geomorphic units and related nutrient retention of a river at a reach scale can help to predict the importance of geomorphic units on nitrogen retention. The present investigation will be carried out over 50 km reach in the Padma River of Bangladesh, downstream of the confluence of Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. The study area is highly dynamic, with diverse geomorphic units, with high rates of bank erosion, and sediment abstraction. Channelisation has occurred different parts of the river to increase depth which is essential for navigation, especially in the dry season. Sentinel-2 imagery (2016-2020) will be processed using NDVI values to classify nitrogen-retention-relevant geomorphic units of the study area. Field investigations employing the mass balance approach will provide an integrated value of nitrogen retention of the study reach, and direct measurements of denitrification potentials in different geomorphic units will show the capacity of nitrogen retention of each geomorphic unit. Modelling the retention process using PCRaster Python framework will integrate variation of geomorphic units to show how alteration of geomorphic units impacts nitrogen retention at the reach scale seasonally and annually. This approach will also reveal the effect of channelisation as river management programmes such as river dredging to reclaim land and prevent bank erosion simplify the geomorphology of the river and potentially reducing nitrogen retention capacity



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