Marine Biology Labs

Lab Leader: Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank

The microbial (bacterioplankton and phytoplankton) members of aquatic environments contribute ~ 50% to global primary production, are essential to aquatic food-webs, nutrient recycling, and all major biogeochemical cycles (e.g. carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus). In my laboratory we use both field (in-situ) and laboratory approaches to explore how these organisms respond to environmentally relevant changes and how they influence bio-geochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen in the face of climate changes

Lab Leader: Prof. Tamar Lotan

The Lab’s research focuses on the following topics:

  • Molecular marine developmental biology
  • Cnidarians proliferation and reproduction
  • Marine pollution, molecular ecology
  • Stinging cell assembly

Now recruiting MSc and PhD Students
We have an open position for a post-do

Lab Leader: Prof. Tali Mass

We study how does the coral catalyze the precipitation of biomineral? Where and when is the biomineral formed? And what is the biophysical basis for the precipitation reaction. In addition, We study on how calcifying marine organisms respond physiologically and morphologically to changes in their environment and to better understand the role of algal (genus Symbiodinium) symbionts in coral (host) calcification.

Lab Leader: Prof. Dan Tchernov

The Lab’s research focuses on the following topics:

  • Physiology of Photosynthesis
  • Ecology and biodivesity of the deep Levantine basin
  • Deep benthos microbiology and biogeochemistry
  • Global change – ocean acidification and coral bleaching

Lab Leader:  Prof. Smadar Ben Tabou deLeon

The lab ultimate goal is to decipher how developmental gene regulatory networks control morphogenetic processes and how they evolve to generate innovations in the body plan. To achieve this goal we study sea urchin and other echinoderm species that have major experimental advantages that enable us to investigate the regulation of developmental process starting from fertilization. Our research has strong implications to the understanding of cell fate specification and differentiation as well as dedifferentiation processes that occur during genetic diseases, like cancer.

Now recruiting MSc and PhD Students and Post-doc scholars

Lab Leader: Prof. Daniel Sher

Marine organisms of all shapes and sizes use chemistry to survive: they communicate among themselves, catch their prey and defend themselves from predators, competitors and pathogens. At the Sher lab we study these interactions, the chemical “languages” used and their effect on microbial ecosystems and on coral reefs.

Lab Leader: Prof. Laura Steindler

The Lab’s research focuses on the following topics:

  • Host-microbe interactions
  • Cell-cell signaling in host-associated microbiomes (quorum sensing)
  • Adaptations of marine bacteria (e.g. SAR11) to the ultra-oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea
  • Photoheterotrophy in marine bacteria

Lab Leader: Prof. Dan Tchernov

Two long-term marine ecological research stations that focus on coastal water research and monitoring of the ecology and species in shallow seas, as well as anthropogenic impact on the marine environment and on apex predator distribution (including dolphins, sharks, rays, and tunas).

Lab Leader: Prof. Gil Rilov

The Rilov Lab is based at the Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research Institute (IOLR) on the coast of Haifa. Our lab studies diverse aspects of marine community ecology and conservation. The focal study systems are coastal benthic communities, mostly rocky shores and subtidal rocky reefs, but we are also involved in research on other systems and organisms.

Functional Metabolomics and Marine Natural Products

Lab Leader: Dr. Tal Luzzatto Knaan

Natural products, are small molecules produced by an organism and have various biological roles in nature. Some serve as regulators of cellular processes, some as communication signals and some as defensive molecules that may be utilized in agriculture, biotechnology and medicine. Natural products have an incredibly long history. Traditionally, natural products from plants, animals and microorganisms were the source of virtually all medicinal treatments from folklore and tribal medicine to the era of antibiotics. The marine environment is highly prolific and treasure trove for novel chemistry for potential drug discovery that is largely understudied. We use functional metabolomics approach to explore the spatial and temporal patterns of small molecules to better understand their functional role in marine biological systems. This approach includes the characterization of the chemical space, the targeting of specific molecules to the biosynthesis and regulation.

Marine Ecology and Ocean Health

Lab Leader: Dr. Igal Berenshtein

The laboratory deals with fundamental questions concerning the health and functioning of the marine environment, with an emphasis on early life stages of fish. The laboratory investigates larval dispersal and connectivity, and examines the effects of marine pollution, fishing pressure and climate change on the marine environment. Our methods include the use of advanced modeling techniques, applied oceanography, ecological surveys, and behavioral experiments.

Lab Leader: Dr. Maxim Rubin-Blum

The MRB Lab studies the ecophysiology and biogeochemistry in extreme or disturbed aquatic habitats, such as deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps. We investigate metabolism and biotic interactions that determine the functionality of these ecosystems.

Our research spans:

  • The functionality of aquatic chemosynthetic ecosystems
  • Molecular ecology of deep-sea organisms
  • Microbial ecophysiology and biotic interactions in gas and brine seeps
  • Chemosynthetic symbioses
  • New mechanisms of carbon fixation in bacteria
  • Degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons 

Marine Environmental Biogeochemistry

Lab Leader: Prof. Michael Krom (Emeritus)

Understanding nutrient cycling (Phosphorus, Nitrogen and Silica) is key to controlling the base of the food chain in the global ocean. The Eastern Mediterranean is a unique sea which although an inland sea with a large pollutant input acts as an ocean gyre and a special natural lab for globally important biogeochemical processes.  The lab at the Sdot Yam Marine station monitors nutrient changes in order to quantify the effects of environmental and climate change in the modern world as well as using sediment records to understand climate change over the last 20k years. We are developing detailed knowledge of key marine processes to use in developing effective means of climate restoration.