Chen Rabi In the lab since May 2021 Ph.D. candidate - IOLR, Haifa University M.Sc - Zoology, Tel Aviv University B.Sc - Marine Biology, Ruppin Academic Center Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Doctoral fellows
Dr. Marco Antonio Ribeiro Junior
Since October 2018 Biogeography, taxonomy and conservation of the South American lizards.
I am member of the project “Biogeography, Biodiversity and Conservation of Cis-andean Squamate Reptiles” that documents and interprets spatial variations in endemism and phylogenetic diversity, testing if the bio-geographical patterns are properly represented in the current protected area system in South America. At the Steinhardt Museum I am studying species-complexes of cryptic taxa widely distributed in Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa (Western Paleartic lizards).
Dr. Guy Sion
In the lab since 2017 Main research interests: (a) Behavioural ecology. Focusing on social status and risk-taking strategy. (b) Brain laterality and behaviour of vertebrates, focusing on reptiles and amphibia. (c) Digit ratio 2:4 and digit asymmetry as markers for hormone levels and brain plasticity and laterality.
Guy is doing his postdoc on brain laterality and plasticity, focusing on risk behaviour of reptiles and amphibia.
I am an engineer turned evolutionary ecologist fascinated by reptiles and have a broad interest in many areas of ecology and evolutionary biology. For my PhD dissertation, I investigated how animals use colour patterns against predation, especially when in motion using a range of tools, including approaches from experimental psychology, digital image processing, and comparative phylogenetic methods. Additionally, I have independently conducted field experiments to understand the determinants of contest outcome and multimodal signaling in dancing frogs from the southern Western Ghats. During my graduate studies, I have also developed a keen interest in macroecology, in specific, mechanisms governing species diversity. Currently, in collaboration with Uri Roll (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where I am based), I aim to understand drivers of species diversification rates and endemism in Squamates.
I am working with professors Uri Roll and Shai Meiri on new methods to assess the conservation status of reptiles around the world, including automated assessments using machine learning and the development of a new extinction risk index, which takes into account threats projected for the future. My main interests are biogeography, ecophysiology, biostatistics and bioinformatics.
Dr. Reut Vardi
Since October 2021
My main interests are urban ecology, animal behaviour and physiology, and conservation culturomics. Currently I am working on physiological adaptations of lizards to different habitats (with Shai Meiri and Eran Levin), and assessing land-use changes effects on reptile distribution (with Shai Meiri and Uri Roll).
As an evolutionary biologist, my interests fall within two broad areas: (1) understanding species diversity through intensive fieldwork and collections-based research, with a focus on Squamata; and (2) application of phylogenetic, high-throughput sequencing, distributional data, high-resolution X-Ray computed tomography (HRXCT), biomechanics, and geometric morphometrics techniques to infer processes in macroevolution. At Shai Meiri's Lab, I have been developing a study on the hidden diversity of Middle East Reptiles, with a focus on Israeli diversity, using molecular and morphological datasets.
PhD: Since January 2017. Aspects into the relationship between habitats and lizards Eco-physiological, morphological and behavioral traits. (co -supervisor: David Chapple, Monash University, Australia)
MSc: 2014-2016 During my master, my research focus was on: Island biogeography of reptiles in the Greek islands (co supervisor: Prof.PanayiotisPafilis)
PhD: Since March 2018 I study the leafhopper genus Neoaliturus Distant in Israel, a genus which contains vectors of several plant diseases. Nine species are known to reside in Israel, three of which are considered species complexes, comprising an unknown number of species. My goal is resolving the taxonomy and phylogeny using an integrative taxonomic approach including behavioral, molecular and morphological analyses.
co-supervisor: Dr. Christopher Dietrich – Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, USA
MSc. 2014-2017 Taxonomy and phylogeny of racers (Platyceps "rhodorachis" complex) (co-supervisor: Roi Dor, Tel-Aviv University)
PhD: since October 2020 I study the physiological ecology of Israeli reptiles. My research interests wander around the meeting points of thermal biology, metabolism, hibernation, morphology, diet, biological rhythms, biogeography, and conservation.
Co-supervisor: Dr. Eran Levin, Tel Aviv University
Global conservation of reptiles,addressing knowledge shortfalls. co-supervised by Dr. Uri Roll (Ben Gurion University). My main interests are conservation, spatial ecology, and human impact on ecological systems and biodiversity.
PhD student: since January 2021
I was a computer science engineer by profession for about 15 years and somewhere down the road, I developed a keen interest in evolutionary biology, systematics and biogeography. My two great interests are evolution and algorithms. Someday, I hope to write algorithms that can better explain patterns in evolution.
In the past, I've worked on the systematics and biogeography of squamate reptiles from the Indian sub-continent. My PhD aims to answer questions related to the distribution, diversity and evolutionary origins of 'Flying dragons' (Draco) from peninsular India.
PhD student: since November 2021 Co-supervisor: Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University)
M.Sc. October 2019-2021 The selective forces behind the evolution of viviparity in squamates Co-supervisor: Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University)
A bird watcher, ringer (bander) & surveyor. Although my experience is mostly ornithological, I am very much interested in exploring all vertebrates, as well as other taxa. Before starting my M.Sc. in ecology, I've participated in several ornithological field research projects, starting near home and gradually expanding my ventures into the more remote corners of the Palearctic. With growing experience in fieldwork and the duration of each stay (reaching the span of entire migratory seasons), a new perspective on the temporal and spatial ecological dynamics started to reveal itself to me, inspiring to seek a deeper understanding through the tools of meticulous scientific research. Gaining these tools and using them for a better understanding of our ever-changing natural world is thus the main motivation behind my academic endeavors. My M.Sc. work focused on the selective forces behind the evolution of viviparity in squamates, under the supervision of Shai and Dr. Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev).
My current work involves the diversity of ecological and morphological traits of squamates.
M.Sc. March 2020 - September 2021
My research incorporates zoology and archaeology in order to understand the factors behind Pleistocene extinctions. I am also interested in what traits do species that survived this period have in common which made them resilient to anthropogenic forces or climate change. I hope that this will shed some light on which species are best adapted to handle anthropogenic forces and climate change today.
In March 2020 I began my M.S.c under the supervision of Prof. Shai Meiri and Prof. Ran Barkai analyzing 1.5 million years of hominid hunting and species extinction in the Southern Levant.
M.Sc since October 2020 Management strategies for the Common Myna Co-supervised by Dr. Uri Roll (Ben Gurion University) and Dr. Assaf Schwartz (Technion).
My main interests are nature conservation, invasive species and ecotourism.
M.Sc. since October 2020 Global conservation of reptiles Co-supervisor: Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University)
Biologist and chemical engineer, passionate about nature conservation and statistics.
I have worked as an air quality engineer in the Haifa bay Municipality. Love bird watching and traveling around the world to remote locations. In October 2020 I started my M.Sc. on global conservation of reptiles under the supervision of Shai and Dr. Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University). In my research, I am studying the effect of taxonomic changes, splitting and lumping, have on reptile conservation
M.Sc. since October 2021 Macroecology of snake traits - species distribution models Co-supervisor: Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University)
I'm passionate about nature and animals, especially reptiles. I'm also interested in computer and statistics. Before my M.Sc. in Ecology, I majored in computational biology. Because of my interest in Ecology, I've also taken a lot of courses of Zoology and Ecology, and conducted many Ecology researches including many field works during undergraduate years. I'm now focusing on macroecology of snake traits - species distribution models, under the supervision of Shai and Dr. Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University).
M.Sc. since October 2021 Species co-existence & Niche Differentiation in Sqamate Reptiles Co-supervisor: Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
I am broadly interested in the biogeography of squamate reptiles and frogs. With HerpClub, I try to popularize Indian herpetological science amongst the general public and encourage natural history observations. Being in the table-topped mountains of northern western ghats, I have had the opportunity to explore many rainforest, shrubland, and grassland biomes which has further sparked my interest in understanding species distributions and endemism.
In my MSc research, I plan to investigate questions in squamate ecology (species co-existence & niche differentiation) under the spotlight of phylogenies.
I enjoy hiking, running, moongazing, listening to podcasts and soft rock; reading about the history of natural history, sci-fi novels, and travelling in trains.
Jonathan Ben Simon
M.Sc. since October 2021 Comparing biological traits of extinction and threat Co-supervisor: Dr. Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University)
I have dreamt about becoming a zoologist since the age of four even though I grew up as an urban child in the center of Tel-Aviv. During high school I enrolled in The Odyssey Program of the Future Scientists Center and completed my B.Sc. in Biology with Emphasis on Ecology and Evolution, at Tel-Aviv University. While doing my undergrad studies I assisted many ecologists in field and lab work and gained some experience (and had a lot of fun). I love traveling, wildlife watching and nature photography. I work for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, and for the Israeli Naval Medical Institute. My intentions for the future are to use science for nature conservation and to protect endangered species and environments.
M.Sc. since October 2021 Biodiversity in winter pools Co-supervisor: Prof. Frida Ben-Ami (Tel-Aviv university)
Temporary pools make for a unique habitat in what could otherwise be a dry desert or grassland. The aim of my research is to try to identify & quantify the various birds and reptile that use the pools across the different seasons throughout the year, and to see how different conditions and parameters (such as pool size, depth, PH, human activity, Etc.) may affect that biodiversity.
My non scientific hobby is baking, which now that I think about it probably counts as chemistry.
M.Sc. since October 2021 Biodiversity in winter pools in different seasons of the year Co-supervisor: Frida Ben-Ami (Tel-Aviv University)
My main interests are Reptile life, conservation and the impact of human on the ecological systems.
Juan D. Schvainberg
M.Sc. in the lab since anyone can remember Thesis subject: Possible hidden diversity within the species complex "Animalia". He has yet to add his updated picture. E-mail: email@example.com Fax: 07-007-0007
at the lab: December 2019 - March 2021 Living on the edge: cryptic diversity in peripheral populations of horseshoe and slit-faced bats, and other stuff. co-supervised by Dr. Eran Levin (Tel Aviv University)
I am interested in how species and ecosystems respond to acute environmental changes with an emphasis on those induced by human impact. I study these questions by exploring animal behavior, evolutionary ecology and functional genomics, studying birds and mammals around the world. Find me here: Email Website Twitter Google Scholar
Tali is currently a postdoctoral researcher duing a fascinating project in Peru under a joint University of California Davis and University of Copenhagen (host: Tom Gilbert) venture.
In the lab: 2010-2017 - and 2019-2021 Karin did her PhD and a postdoc with us, on the phylogeny and biogeographic history of (mostly) desert reptiles, co hosted by Salvador Carranza(!) (IBE-CSIC-UPF, Barcelona, Spain)
She is now a researcher and the collection manager of amphibians, mammals and reptiles at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History. See her webpage at: https://smnh.tau.ac.il/en/research/scientific-staff/karin-tamar/
October 2013 - February 2020 Biogeography and evolution of the herpetofauna of Papua New Guinea across elevational gradients. And other stuff see it all in his webpage
Alex is now a postdoc at Gavin Thomas's lab at the University of Sheffield! He is working with us on assessing the red-list status of all Israeli reptiles.
M.Sc. October 2019 - December 2021 Elucidating drivers of global reptile rarity Co-supervisor: Uri Roll (Ben-Gurion University)
I have always been fascinated by nature, whether as a city kid binging on National Geographic or as I grew older outdoors, mostly hiking the dessert. At a certain point, I realized that I want my life to revolve around this passion and started a B.Sc. in biology at the Ben Gurion University, during which I was drawn to ecology, especially to the field of spatial ecology. Out of growing care and awareness of the state of the natural world, I decided my next step will be studying and working in the field of conservation biology. I am now starting my M.Sc in the Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology in Sde-Boker, under the supervision of Dr. Uri Roll and Prof. Shai Meiri.
During the past decade I gained expertise in GIS and image analysis and conducted several projects in these fields. I had my heart set on conducting a B.Sc. in biology and was certain that I'll be back to work right after that. However, along my studies I discovered the fields of Biogeography and Macroecology which best combined my two passions of biology and spatial analysis. Currently I'm starting my M.Sc. looking at spatial patterns in the global distributions of land vertebrates, and I'm pretty sure I found my calling. My co supervisor is Dr. Uri Roll and I am based (most of the time) at the School of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University.
Adva (Olga) Peretz
M.Sc. since October 2017, now at Israel Nature and Park Authority Archaeozoology and ecology of the water vole(Arvicola amphibious) Co-supervisor: Nimrod Marom (Haifa University) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
M.Sc. October 2018-January 2021 Activity rhythms of reptiles (specifically species from the Genus Ptyodactylus and Chalcides) Co-supervisor: Noga Kronfeld-schor (Tel-Aviv University) e-mail: email@example.com
M.Sc. October 2016-2020 Captive breeding and conservation, as well as digit asymmetry and laterality in the Eastern Spade foot toad - Pelobates syriacus. Co-supervisor: Sarig Gafny (Rupin) e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
M.Sc. October 2015-2018
Simon is currently working as a lab manager at Ofir levy's lab.
Simon studied the Natural history of little Israeli reptiles: Ophiomorus latastii, Eirenis decemlineatus, & Micrelaps muelleri.
Simon is the greatest threat to rare reptiles in Israel, as he inevitably finds that reptiles that other people could not locate for years are actually extremely common. We are considering patenting him as a reptile-locating and capturing device
M.Sc. October 2016-2018 Aspects of Vertebrate's Longevity
Doing his PhD (since November 2018) in Ofir levy's Lab, on the effects of global warming on the ecological interactions of species living in extreme environments, such as deserts. Come and Visit me in the Judean Desert in the Dead Sea Region in eastern Israel and I will show you some amazing desert animals!
Yuval was a part of the lab in 2010-2018. He is currently in Freie Universität Berlin doing his Post-Doc on urban biodiversity and invasive species in Jonathan Jeschke's group (http://www.jeschke.tk/). He still likes very much to play with souvlaki-devouring insular reptiles though. He is the leader of the new, accurate concept of bird taxonomy recognizing six species globally (sparrows, eagles, ducks, parrots, owls and chickens)
2013-2017 Functional diversity and conservation of reptiles across scales (co supervisor: Yoni Belmaker, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University) Enav is now a postdoc of Uri Roll and Yoram Yom-Tov.
October 2013-October 2017 My interests lie in reptile ecology, biogeography and conservation. I am particularly interested in the herpetofauna of New Guinea and conducting computer based modelling to elucidate patterns in species richness, range size and turnover. I also conduct field research in Papua New Guinea and intend to assess the effect of elevational gradients on reptile life history traits. (co supervisor: Dr. Allen Allison, Bishop Museum, Hawaii)
October 2010 - August 2016 Snake macroecology Anat was the first PhD student of the lab and set the standard for everyone else Anat studied everything snake - and digitized the global distribution of all of them! and did it fantastically well (but won't admit it)
Lior Davis (M.Sc.)
October 2013 - February 2016 Character displacement in shorebirds and raptors (co-supervisor: Tamar Dayan)