Mahmood is professor of marine science at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center in Florida and a director of the SOSF SRC. He received his undergraduate degree in biological sciences at Simon Fraser University in Canada, his MSc from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his PhD from the University of Washington. He has been a faculty member at Nova Southeastern University since 1993 and a director of the SOSF SRC since 2010.
Mahmood credits his life-long fascination with biology to growing up in Kenya, where he was routinely exposed to African wildlife and undersea environments as a child and teenager. His interest in marine science in particular was boosted when as an undergraduate student he assisted one of his professors with kelp-bed ecology research in a pristine part of British Columbia. That experience proved transformative, leading to a career in marine and conservation science and education.
In addition to leading the research and education programmes of the SOSF SRC, Mahmood directs the Guy Harvey Research Institute, emphasising collaborative projects between the two entities to achieve larger and more impactful research and conservation outcomes. He specialises in integrating laboratory genetics-based and field-work approaches to study and solve problems pertaining to the management and conservation of sharks and rays, billfishes and coral reef ecosystems.
Mahmood’s work is on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum’s Sant Ocean Hall in Washington DC, and his team’s research discoveries are frequently and widely reported in the national and international media.