Dr. Kasim Rafiq

WRF Symposium

Dr. Kasim Rafiq recently presented his work on using animal-worn sensors to understand the impacts of environmental change on African wild dogs and lions at the Washington Research Foundation Symposium, who fund his position at the university. As part of this work, over the past two years, Kasim, Leigh West, and Dr. Briana Abrahms developed and deployed fitness trackers for African carnivores and are currently working with computer scientists to build machine learning algorithms to identify behaviours and hunger from the data collected. Photo credit: Dylan Randolph Photography, WRF symposium 2024

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The value of field research in academia

Authors: Kasim Rafiq, Neil R. Jordan, J. Weldon McNutt, John Neelo, Nina Attias, Dee Boersma, Meredith S. Palmer, Jennifer Ruesink, and Briana AbrahmsJournal: ScienceDOI: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ado6937 “By refining the academic system to recognize and support different forms of scientific inquiry equally, we can build the diverse research community necessary to empower discovery across disciplines.”

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Abrahms Lab featured in AppleTV’s “EarthSounds”

If you ever wondered how we use acoustic collars to gain insights into the daily lives of African wild dogs, watch the new nature documentary series EarthSounds on AppleTV! Dr. Briana Abrahms and postdoc Dr. Kasim Rafiq were scientific consultants on the show, while Dr. Rafiq’s and grad student Leigh West‘s research was featured in the episode “Listening to Our Planet” from minutes 16:31-23:20. Watch as Dr. Rafiq identifies wild dogs, deploys a collar, and listens to wild dog chatter in an effort to understand how climate change impacts endangered African carnivores.

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Increasing ambient temperatures trigger shifts in activity patterns and temporal partitioning in a large carnivore guild

Authors: Kasim Rafiq, Neil R. Jordan, Krystyna Golabek, John W. McNutt, Alan Wilsonand, Briana AbrahmsJournal: Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological SciencesDOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2023.1938 Shifts in species’ interactions are implicated as an important proximate cause underpinning climate-change-related extinction. However, there is little empirical evidence on the pathways through which climate conditions, such as ambient temperature, impact community dynamics… Photo credit: Krystyna Jordan

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Field updates: Readying the 2023 season

After Assistant Professor of Biology and Boersma Endowed Chair Dr. Briana Abrahms and her team deployed GPS-audio wildlife tracking collars on African wild dogs and lions during the summer of 2022, Dr. Abrahms and Dr. Kasim Rafiq, a postdoc in the Abrahms Lab, have been working with industry collaborators to build AI models that detect behaviors (such as hunting) and hunger levels from the collar data. In the coming months, Kasim will travel to the Okavango Delta to work with our collaborators at Botswana Predator Conservation to deploy additional African wild dog and lion collars and collect the behavioral data – by

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A blue whale underwater

Climate change as a global amplifier of human–wildlife conflict

Authors: Briana Abrahms, Neil H. Carter, T. J. Clark-Wolf, Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, Erik Johansson, Alex McInturff, Anna C. Nisi, Kasim Rafiq & Leigh WestJournal: Nature Climate ChangeDOI: 10.1038/s41558-023-01608-5Coverage: KUOW, NPR, The Guardian, Newsweek, Scientific American Climate change and human–wildlife conflict are both pressing challenges for biodiversity conservation and human well-being in the Anthropocene…

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