Dr Mohammed Rizman bin Idid is an evolutionary biologist and molecular ecologist, whose scientific research projects mainly focus in providing baseline information on biodiversity and ecology of various terrestrial and marine organisms in Malaysia. His initial research projects were focused on freshwater fishes, before expanding towards the marine and coastal environment investigating jellyfish, marine fungi, and mangroves. These studies employ molecular genetic techniques, such as DNA sequencing of biological resources, species assemblages and communities in natural ecosystems. Elements of DNA barcoding and phylogenetics are utilized for species identification, detection and monitoring that facilitate conservation and management of natural ecosystems. He also applies ‘omics’ technologies to study organismal responses and adaptations to environmental stressors in the context of climate change. He is also considered as a pioneer and authority of jellyfish biodiversity and ecology in Malaysia, thus contributing his expertise towards jellyfish studies in Southeast Asia. He is active in polar research looking into the response and adaptation of climate change on fungi and the phylogenetics of marine and polar fungi. As environmental changes may elicit chemical changes, he is also interested in the bioactivity of compounds derived from fungi and marine organisms.
He is currently a senior lecturer attached to the Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences (IOES), Universiti Malaya, where he is the Coordinator for Course Development of Academic Program and IOES Risk Coordinator. In IOES, he previously served as the Head of Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Studies Research Unit (2013-2018) and was the Coordinator of Bachok Marine Research Station (2012). He was also Coordinator for Bioinformatics Programme in the Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya (2008-2012). At a national level, he represents the Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences as Executive Committee of the Confederation of Scientific and Technological Associations in Malaysia (2022-2024). He was also President of Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences (2012-2014).
Since 2008, he has secured national and international research grants as Principal Investigator and as Co-Investigator totalling to RM 1,205,304 and RM 765,400, respectively. His expertise in the field of jellyfish taxonomy and ecology has earned regional recognition through regular invitations under ‘IOC-Westpac Harmful Jellyfish Workshops’ and as reviewer of international journals. His jellyfish photos have even been immortalised by Pos Malaysia as a postage stamp under Malaysia-Thailand joint issue ‘Marine Creatures’. Being a scuba-diver, he has led several national and internationally organized expedition surveys of marine parks and protected areas in Malaysia. Findings from the 2018 ‘Biodiversity Expedition in Melaka and Negeri Sembilan’ have led to the gazettement of three islands in Melaka as marine protected areas. As a polar fungi scientist, he has contributed towards many workshops and several ‘Malaysian International Symposium on Antarctica’ conferences. He is also a research grant recipient of the Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation (YPASM). He was Data Deputy Advisor for Ocean Hackathon Kuala Lumpur 2022, organized by the French Embassy, Malaysia.
To date, he has H-index = 10 and published over 40 peer-reviewed articles, 4 books and 6 book chapters, with over 400 citations. He has supervised 4 PhD students and 10 master students to completion and currently oversees 6 ongoing students (2 PhD and 4 MSc).