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Dr. Sabir Bin Muzaffar


Assistant Professor

Department of Biology,

UAE University,

PO Box 17551

Al Ain, UAE

Phone: +971-3-713 6549

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Research Interests


Species and ecosystems are declining at unprecedented rates on account of direct and indirect effects of human activities. It is becoming increasingly important to embark on intervention activities to determine the fate of species. The basis of intervention, however, should be, but often is not, grounded in sound ecological knowledge of species and ecosystems. Thus, the core goal of my research program is to provide species or ecosystem-specific scientific guidance to decision makers so that correct intervention action may be implemented to ensure the survival of viable populations of species and the ecosystems of which they are a part. The broad objectives of my research program are to (i) determine distribution and abundance of species or species assemblages and the factors that help them to persist; (ii) determine patterns of movement in highly mobile species or assemblages (e.g. through dispersive or migratory movements); (iii) determine the impact of specific factors that influence survival and distribution (e.g. predation  pressure, disease or parasite outbreaks, hunting pressure); (iv) evaluate areas of overlap between species distributions and human activities (e.g. varying levels of human activity at avian flyways); (iv) highlight the need for conservation and identify areas that need protection; (v) engage the public and policy makers to take action (e.g. through public awareness and policy development); and (vi) determine the effectiveness of intervention measures.


Selected Publications


Al-Deeb, M.A., D. Frangoulidis, M.C Walter, D. Kompf, S.F.Fischer, S.B. Muzaffar. 2015. Coxiella-like endosymbiont in argasid ticks (Ornithodoros muesebecki) from a Socotra Cormorant colony in Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates. Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases (accepted) [pdf]

Muzaffar, S.B., Gubiani, R., Benjamin, S., Alshihi, R. Al Romithi, A. and Al Kaabi, F. Food consumption patterns of Socotra Cormorants (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) indicate minimal overlap with fisheries in the eastern Arabian Gulf. Oryx (in press) [pdf]

Ksiksi, T., Muzaffar, S.B., Gubiani, R., and Alshihi, R. 2015. The Impact of Nesting Socotra Cormorants on Soil Chemistry and Vegetation in a Large Colony in the United Arab Emirates. Diversity 7(1): 60-73.[pdf]

Muzaffar, S.B., Gubiani, R. and Benjamin, S. Muzaffar, S.B., Gubiani, R., and Benjamin, S. 2015. Nest-site location influences hatching success in the Socotra Cormorant. Wildlife Research 42: 13-18. [pdf]

Jennifer Francoise Provencher, Alexander Bond, April Hedd, William Montevecchi, S.B. Muzaffar, Sarah J Courchesne, H. Grant Gilchrist, Sarah Jamieson, Flemming R Merkel, Knud Falk, Mark L Mallory. 2014. Ingested marine pollution in marine birds from the North Atlantic. Marine Pollution Bulletin 84(1-2):411-417. [pdf]

Aarif, K.M., Muzaffar, S.B., Babu, S. and Prasadan, P.K. 2014. Shorebird assemblages respond to anthropogenic stress by altering habitat use in a wetland in India. Biodiversity and Conservation 23: 727-740. [pdf]

Gubiani, R., Pederson, T. and Muzaffar, S.B. 2013. First sighting of Mesopotamian Crow (Corvus corone capellanus) in U.A.E. Sandgrouse 35(2): 138-139. [PDF]

Muzaffar, S.B., Gubiani, R. and Benjamin, S. 2013. The impact of fox and feral cat predation on breeding Socotra Cormorants. Marine Ornithology 41: 171-177. [PDF]

Bond, A., Jones, I.L., Seneviratne, S.S., and Muzaffar, S.B. Least Auklet. 2012. Birds of North America

Muzaffar, S.B., Gubiani, R., Benjamin, S. 2012. Reproductive performance of the Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) on Siniya Island, United Arab Emirates: planted trees increase hatching success. Waterbirds 35(4): 626-630. [PDF]

Al-Deeb, M., Muzaffar, S.B., Abuagla, A.M., Sharif, E.M. 2012. Mites (Acari: Astigmata, Mesostigmata) associated with Oryctes agamemnon (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): dynamic interactions and niche specialization. Journal of Insect Science 12:1-14.

Gubiani, R., Benjamin, S., Muzaffar, S.B. 2012. First record of cannibalism in Socotra Cormorants (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis): immature, older chicks feed opportunistically on younger conspecifics. Waterbirds 35(2): 338-341. [PDF]

Muzaffar, S.B., Smith, Jr., R.P., Jones, I.L., Lavers, J., Lacombe, E.H., Cahill, B.K., Lubeczyk, C.B., Rand, P.W. 2012. The trans-Atlantic movement of Borrelia garinii: the role of ticks and their seabird hosts. Studies in Avian Biology 42: 23-30. Click here to buy this special issue.

Muzaffar, S.B., Islam, M.A., Kabir, D.S., Khan, M.H., Ahmed, F.U., Chowdhury, G.W., Aziz, M.A., Chakma, S., Jahan, I. 2011. The endangered forests of Bangladesh: why the process of implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity is not working. Biodiversity and Conservation 20(7):1587-1601. [PDF]

Muzaffar, S.B., Takekawa, J.Y., Prosser, D. J., Newman, S.H., and Xiao, X. 2011. Rice Production Systems and Avian Influenza: Interactions between Mixed-Farming Systems, Poultry and Wild Birds. Waterbirds 33 (Special Issue): 219-230.  [PDF]

Takekawa, J.Y., Prosser, D.J., Hill, N.J., Muzaffar, S.B., Yan, B., Newman, S.H., Xiao, X.,  Lei, F., Li, T., Schwarzbach, S. and S.E., Howell, J.A. 2010. Victims and vectors: highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 and the role of wild birds. Avian Biology Research 3: 51-73.  [PDF]

15. Muzaffar, S.B. 2009. Helminths of murres (Uria spp.): markers of long-term change in the marine environment of the North Atlantic. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 45: 673-682. [PDF]






A Bar-headed Goose with a satellite   transmitter, marked in Qinghai Lake, China in 2008.


Flight path of migratory birds and their possible overlap with areas with HPAI H5N1 outbreaks (read the full paper here)