From the news

14.5.22

The Dead Sea sinkhole situation is worsening, according to a marine scientist, who is warning of a looming environmental catastrophe.
“At present, there are over 6,000 sinkholes on the western [Israeli] side alone,” said Dr. Michael Lazar, from the Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences 

3.5.22

Prof. Tchernov tells Haaretz that the only lifeline humans have for survival is our seas and oceans which can, not only provide potable water, food, and energy, but can also be utilized to understand the rate of climate change.

Prof. Tchernov is also Head of the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel and the Scientific Director at the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station

5.4.22

The collaboration is the biggest research project to date and will map the marine mammal population in a little-explored area of Israel’s stretch of the Mediterranean Sea that is planned for gas and oil exploration.
Dr. Aviad Scheinin, head of Marine Apex Predator Lab at the Charney School, will lead the research, which will combine observation with the use of hydrophones to acoustically identify the mammals.

17.1.22

Dr. Beverly Goodman-Tchernov (Head, Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences and a National Geographic Explorer) was interviewed by Haaretz following the recent underwater volcano eruption in the South Pacific that caused tsunamis to hit Hawaii, Japan and Tonga. She explained that tsunamis can be triggered by a variety of natural and human activities – volcanoes, mud slides, meteorites, or bombs. “The reality is that anything that causes significant-enough water displacement can result in a tsunami.” Goodman-Tchernov added that a “monster” wave is believed to have hit Dor on the Israeli coast about 4,500 years ago. And, while there is no way to predict the next tsunami in Israel or around the world, “as sea levels rise, more and more (coastal) communities are at risk.” 

27.12.21

Skeletons of a young man and a dog who were killed by a tsunami triggered by the eruption of Santorini’s Thera volcano 3,600 years ago were recently uncovered at Çeşme-Bağlararası in modern-day Turkey. According to the research team, co-led by Dr. Beverly Goodman-Tchernov (Head, Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences) and Dr. Vasıf Şahoğlu from Ankara University (Turkey), the area was rocked by at least four different tsunamis following the eruption of Thera. “This is the first time that victims of the Thera eruption have been discovered,” says Dr. Goodman-Tchernov. “As we analyze the volcanic ash layers at the site using advanced archaeological and sediment analysis methods, we hope to gain a better understanding of what happened to the area after the explosion.” The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

16.11.21

United Arab Emirates Minister of Education, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi visited the School as part of a delegation of Emirati senior officials. Introduced to the School’s renowned marine sciences research he remarked that “education is the antidote for challenges in the Middle East and throughout the world”.

16.11.21

A sandbar shark was discovered to have traveled the furthest out of the Mediterranean Sea than has ever been recorded before. 
Researchers at the Charney School tagged a shark that they nicknamed Hagay and tracked his journey to Sicily.

31.10.21

With the UN Climate Change Conference now in session, ISRAEL21c organization introduce Israeli scientists, entrepreneurs, activists, educators and artists working on this critical global issue.
Dr. Beverly Goodman Tchernov, head of our Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences , was chosen among the 20 Israeli influencers leading the way out of the climate crisis.
“Solving the problems of climate change is not going to happen using any single approach. It’s going to require that everyone comes to the table with their strongest tools,” she tells.

27.10.21

The fight against climate change is a race against time – and we, at the the Charney School, are trying to win the race before it is too late.
As the largest Israeli academic center of its kind, the Charney School faculty harness the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to address climate change, food security, alternative energy and the environmental effects of water desalination through critical research and international partnership.
This Haaretz article details how Charney School has become both a national and global leader in the battle against climate change.
 

1.9.21

Scientists from the Charney School hypothesize that a dramatic event occurred in the Mediterranean Sea 4.5 million years ago which led to its diverse marine life today. 

12.8.21

Researchers found a deep-water nursery filled with a large amount of shark eggs that they believe could have important implications for understanding climate change. “This was happening under our noses for thousands of years, right next to Tel Aviv, one of the largest cities in Israel,” said Dr. Yizhaq Makovsky, Head of the Applied Marine Exploration Lab at the Charney School. The discovery was featured in The Daily Mail.  

12.8.21

A new study led by Prof. Gil Rilov (Department of Marine Biology) has found that rocky reefs may disappear in the coming decades due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. The reefs constitute a unique and rare marine ecosystem on the northern shores of Israel. Prof. Rilov’s team used 3D topographic mapping and SLR (sea level rise) simulations to reach his conclusions, which were published in Science of the Total Environment

27.7.21

Science Magazine article features the novel underwater microscopes and cameras developed by Dr. Tali Treibitz (Hatter Department of Marine Technologies), as well as Prof. Dan Tchernov (Department of Marine Biology) and Dr. Roee Diamant‘s (Hatter Department of Marine Technologies) participation in the Cetacean Translation Initiative (CETI) – a groundbreaking research project that aims to decode whale communication. 

Forbes Magazine features groundbreaking marine research led by the Charney School

13.7.21

“Unprecedented discoveries led by University of Haifa scientists could transform our understanding of climate change and global sustainability,” according to the latest “Editor’s Pick” in Forbes Magazine. The magazine article featured high-profile studies underway at the Charney School, including the discovery of the largest concentration of small sharks and shark eggs ever found off the coast of Israel and participation in the CETI (Cetacean Translation Initiative) Project (More on UofH’s role in the CETI Project in the 2021 President’s Report). These and many other marine research projects, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, focus on the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans and seas.  

Charney School study sheds light on the harmful effects of fish farming on marine life

5.7.21

The study revealed that pollutants such as copper, phosphorus, and zinc are still present in amounts much higher than expected ten years after fish cages were removed from the Gulf of Eilat.  “There are proponents for restoring commercial fish farming systems to the Eilat Bay area, but they should consider that such a move will have significant long-term repercussions,” cautions the study’s first author, Dr. Shai Oron (postdoctoral fellow at the Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences and the Eilat Inter-University Institute).

Jellyfish swarms tracked along coastline in Charney School study

2.7.21

Multiple jellyfish swarms are being tracked 400 meters off the coast of Israel in a study that is being conducted by the  Charney School. The study being conducted has three objectives. The main question is whether the jellyfish drift with the current or swim on their own. The team is also looking into how jellyfish affect their environment, by eating plankton and releasing natural or poisonous substances into the water, as an example. Lastly, the study is researching the relationship between jellyfish and the germs surrounding them to see if their occasional disappearance from the area is due to a germ that is harmful to them.

Rare and unexpected scientific discovery: Shark breeding ground found with hundreds of small sharks and thousands of shark eggs off the coast of Israel

22.6.21

A routine underwater expedition off the coast of Israel has led to the discovery of the largest concentration of shark eggs ever found. “We couldn’t believe what we were seeing!” exclaimed Dr. Yizhaq Makovsky. “The habitat, which spans dozens, if not hundreds of meters, has an abundance of marine life not found in the waters in or around Israel.” High-resolution videos of the scene, including shark embryos moving inside their eggs, were captured by cameras mounted on a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle that was purchased with support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust and maintained by the Hatter Department of Marine Technologies. Researchers from University of Haifa, Ben Gurion University and Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research (IOLR) are taking part in this groundbreaking scientific project.

Archaeologists Baffled by Sea Level Rise on Israeli Coast in Hellenistic Period

16.6.21

The sea isn’t the steady thing we tend to think it is. It’s usually assumed that global sea level has been stable for around 7,000 years, i.e., throughout the existence of modern human civilization. We also assume that since the world’s oceans are interconnected, when sea level rises, it does so everywhere. But the sea is a prankster, and closer study reveals shows local anomalies in its relative level – some of which beggar explanation. Now an international team of scientists headed by Prof. Assaf Yasur-Landau of the Charney School, reports in PLOS One on indications of such an anomaly on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline: an upward creep between the Mid-Bronze Age to Iron Age and then a sharp rise in the Hellenistic period, apparently by about 2.5 meters (8 feet) in total, to the level we know today. That is some anomaly.

Ancient stone anchor used for 2,000 years found on Israel’s northern coast

10.6.21

Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient boat anchor made of stone that remained in use for around 2,000 years, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority announced Thursday.
The anchor was found in an underwater dig at the Tel Dor archaeological site in northern Israel, conducted by the Charney School Maritime Civilizations Department , and The parks authority. 

9.6.21

Dr. Zafrir Koplik, Dr. Danny Kerem and Prof. Dror Angel of the Department of Maritime Civilizations recently published a study showing the migratory and lesser-studied jellyfish off the coast of Israel eat at least five times faster than other jellyfish species.

Dr. Aviad Scheinen, Apex Predators Principal Investigator at the School, named National Geographic’s 2021 “Emerging Explorer”

31.5.21

Dr. Aviad Scheinen has been named by National Geographic as one of the 15 Emerging Explorers of 2021, changing the world “one idea at a time.” 
Dr. Scheinin is the head of the Marine Apex Predator Lab at the Charney Scholol’s Morris Kahn Marine Research Station. In this capacity, he has for decades been one of Israel’s leading researchers on sharks, rays and coastal dolphins.

Groundbreaking research that could shed light on how best to save and protect coral reefs

4.5.21

Dr. Tali Mass and Dr. Shani Levy of our Marine Biology Department, joined by researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona and the Weizmann Institute of Science, have mapped the genetic profile of each cell in stony corals for the first time. The study provides insights into the protection and conservation of coral reefs threatened by climate change.

Researchers from the Charney School to take part in major scientific quest to decipher the secret language of whales

27.4.20

Prof. Dan Tchernov (Department of Marine Biology), Dr. Roee Diamant (Hatter Department of Marine Technologies), Dr. Bracha Nir (Department of Communication Disorders) and additional marine scientists from the Charney School, are taking part in a high profile, international research project that aims to decipher communication signals of sperm whales, in an effort to communicate with them one day. The joint interdisciplinary research study with Harvard, MIT, Imperial College London, UC, Berkeley and City University of New York, combines expertise from several different fields of study including marine biology, marine acoustics, artificial intelligence and linguistics. Read more in the Times of Israel and Israel Hayom.

Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank discusses the significance of Israel sea

21.4.21

Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank, Head of the Charney School, discusses the often overlooked significance of the sea to Israel’s development in a special Earth Day report featured in JNS.
 

Warm Waters Draw Sharks Off Israel's Mediterranean Coast

20.4.21

Dr. Aviad Scheinin, head of the Marine Apex Predator Lab at the Charney Scholol’s Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, explains why swimming with sharks has become an annual occurrence along Israel’s shores.

Toxic tar spill ‘one of the worst ecological disasters in Israel’s history’

23.2.20

Prof. Ilana Berman, Head of the Charney School, explains why cleaning up toxic tar along the surface of Israel’s coast is just the beginning of getting through one of the country’s most serious ecological disasters.

Study warns of an imminent earthquake in Israel

24.12.20

A study reviewing 220,000 years of Dead Sea geology predicts the occurrence of a major seismic event to hit the region in the next few decades. According to research data uncovered from the Dead Sea seabed, 7.5-magnitude tremors hit the Dead Sea every 1,300-1,400 years – instead of every 10,000 years as previously believed. Since the last quake of such magnitude hit the area in the year 1,033 C.E., we are currently living in a tectonically active period. Dr. Nicolas Waldmann (Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences), who specializes in sedimentology and seismic stratigraphy analysis, is a co-author of the study which appeared in Science Advances

University of Haifa scientists find an evolutionary relationship that may lead to treatments for depression and anxiety

24.12.20

A collaborative study by Drs. Tamar Lotan and Shani Levy from our Marine Biology Department, and Dr. Mickey Kosloff (Department of Human Biology) has discovered surprising evolutionary similarities in the functioning of the human nervous system and that of the sea anemone. The research found that the neurotransmitter GABA, which regulates the preliminary development of the nervous system in mammals and particularly in humans, follows a similar regulatory process by a receptor from the  family in the sea anemone Nematostella GABABR vectensis. This unexpected relationship not only opens new avenues for basic research in neuronal development and evolution, it also offers new possibilities for pharmacological research aimed at finding new drugs for human ailments such as depression and anxiety. Nature Ecology and Evolution, the premiere journal in ecology, evolution, and related fields, published the paper describing these findings.

International multidisciplinary team of researchers find evidence that the coast of Haifa was hit by a massive tsunami some 10,000 years ago

24.12.20

The team, made up of archaeologists and geologists from the Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, the University of California, San Diego and Utah State University, estimate the wave measured 50-130 feet high and reached 1.5-3.5 kilometers inland. The event is the earliest known tsunami in the Mediterranean and may possibly explain the absence of signs of human habitation in the area between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. However, by the late Neolithic age (around 5,000 BCE), the area was again settled. Research findings, based on excavations conducted in the area of Tel Dor off the coast of Haifa, were recently published in PLOS One and reported in major media outlets in Israel and abroad. >>READ MORE in The Times of Israel and Ynet

How are archaeologists using hi-tech during the coronavirus era?

25.11.20

Our marine archaeologists and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers, had to get creative to work on their collaborative excavation without actually travelling due to quarantines.

 

Haifa researchers discover documentation of dolphin attacked by shark

30.10.20

For the first time in Israel, a dolphin has been photographed with scars after it was attacked by a shark, spotted off the coast of Ashdod by researchers from the University of Haifa.
“For 20 years in which I have been researching the dolphin population in Israel, I have not seen any evidence of a dolphin being attacked by a shark,” said Aviad Scheinin, top predator project manager at the Morris Khan Marine Research Station at the School. “We will continue to monitor the dolphin population in order to understand whether this is an unusual incident of assault or a new phenomenon.”

Charney's School research team working to combat overfishing and protect endangered marine life

10.11.20

Dr. Roee Diamant, Head of the Underwater Acoustics and Navigation Lab is leading the development of a deep learning system capable of identifying the number and types of fish in the water at any given time. “The system, capable of deep sea deployment, is a multimodal acousticoptic system that uses information from acoustic and optical waves in combination with data from optical cameras, to count the number of fish and detect their biomass for easy detection,” explains Dr. Diamant. “The data provides decision makers with real-time numbers to reduce overfishing and protect endangered marine life.” A prototype of the system recently concluded its final testing phase. The project is being developed with the participation of research institutes from Israel, Spain, Italy, and Germany and received funding from the EU Horizons 2020 program.

Rare masthead from ancient shipwreck found in northern Israel

23.9.20

A masthead found in a shipwreck off northern Israel sheds light on sailing and shipbuilding during the Late Antiquity period, according to a paper just published in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.
Maayan Cohen, a PhD candidate at the department of maritime civilizations a, and Dr. Deborah Cvikel, a researcher at the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies and a senior lecturer at the department of maritime civilizations, are the authors of the paper, titled, “Rigging of the Ma’agan Mikhael B shipwreck (7th–8th centuries AD): new finds.”

A Canaanite palace was abandoned 3,700 years ago. Archaeologists finally know why.

11.9.20

Congregations to our researchers Dr. Michael Lazar, Prof. Ruth Shahack and Prof. Assaf Yasur-Landau for their recent publication reporting on possible earthquake evidence 3700 years ago at Tel Kabri.

Uncovering The Commutes Of Israel’s Sharks

18.8.20

New research from the Charney School of Marine Sciences has revealed Israel’s sharks travel about 30 miles (50 km) between the human-altered habitats that one finds against the shores of Hadera and Ashdod from season to season, in a single-day commute.
Scientists at the- Morris Kahn Marine Research Station tagged a total of 62 sandbar (Carcharhinus plumbeus) and dusky sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus) and taken fin-clip, muscle and blood samples to understand their biology. The team has also been monitoring the shark’s movements through satellite tagging and acoustic telemetry.”

Coral reef research earns NSF-BSF grant

8.8.2020

The NSF-BSF Joint Funding Research Program recently awarded a grant totaling $820,000 for coral reef research led by Dr. Tali Mass of the Department of Marine Biology and Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringely, Research Director of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute. The study aims to better understand coral reef resilience and adaptation to extreme environments. “Using advanced molecular and imaging techniques, we will examine the mechanisms that enable corals to thrive across broad depth gradients,” explains Dr. Mass. “As a US-Israel binational project, we will promote diversity and create new international collaborations through student participation, training workshops and academic exchanges.”

More than Jelly: UofH scientists reveal beneficial uses of jellyfish

31.7.2020

Dr. Tamar Lotan, Prof. Dror Angel and Dr. Dor Edelist of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences and the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, educate the public about the potential benefits of jellyfish: “Their mucus can trap microplastic particles to clean up the oceans, and their body contains collagen that cosmetics companies are already applying in anti-aging products.”

Old Ship from Ma'agan Michael

26.7.2020

Dr. Deborah Cvikel from the Department of Marine Civilizations was interviewed for an article published in the Jerusalem Post about the ship from Maagan Michael and said: “We could not determine with certainty what caused the ship to sink, but we think it was probably a navigation error.” Which was carefully constructed and beautifully preserved. “

Sharks are disappearing from the world’s seas!

24.7.2020

Doctoral candidate Adi Barash of the Charney School , explains why the situation is more critical than ever and how Israel is leading the way in protecting the alpha predators.

Research unveils Kinneret’s geological enigmas, may help predict quakesel

20.7.2020

University of Haifa geologists prepared the first-ever geological map of young faults (fractures) in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), marking the locations prone to earthquakes. “Until now researchers believed that most of the tectonic activity takes place in the eastern part of the Sea of Galilee,” explains Dr. Michael Lazar. “Now we know that the fault splits and passes in the middle of the lake.” Twelve newly installed seismic monitoring stations around the lake will register all minor earthquakes occurring during the year and analyze the geochemical composition of the springs around the lake. The study, led by Dr. Lazar of the Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences at the  School , was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Italy, Switzerland and Norway. The findings were recently published in Scientific Reports

14.7.2020

It was known the Negev was wetter in the past, but evidence of long-gone lakes hadn’t been dated: Now it’s clear that when hominins exited Africa at least 1.8 million years ago, the conditions were gorgeous

Israeli Researchers Warn Of ‘Larger-Than-Ever’ Jellyfish Off Haifa Coast

13.7.2020

Every year, in the scorching Israeli summer, beachgoers start counting down to jellyfish season — that time of year when the pesky, fear-inducing sea creatures suddenly swarm the waters and wash up ashore, terrorizing swimmers in their path. 
This year, in one part of the country, those jellyfish are “larger than ever,” according to researchers at the University of Haifa’s Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences.

Why are Israel’s jellyfish jumbo-sized this year?

13.7.2020

As yearly summer swarm of the stinging creatures reaches its peak, University of Haifa scientists contemplate what makes them bigger than usual.

2020 Shanghai Academic Ranking

5.7.2020

The prestigious Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 ranked the Charney School of Marine Sciences among the world’s top 200 Marine Science Schools⁠.

New hope for coral reefs

5.6.2020

Corals are one of the most beautiful and fascinating ecosystems in the world. However, due to rising sea temperatures, pollution and ocean acidification, they are also one of the most threatened. Pioneering work of ERC grantee Tali Mass of the Marine Biology Department, shows that corals might be less vulnerable to some of these changes in their environment than previously thought, bringing new hope for their conservation.

NatGeo Explorer Classroom: exploring coastlines with Beverly Goodman

6.5.2020

 Dr. Beverly Goodman, of the Dr. Moses Straus Department of Marine Geosciences, in an article for National Geographic: Meet Beverly Goodman, who blends archaeology, geology, and anthropology to explore the interaction between nature and humans on coastlines. Learn how she’s able to do science underwater through a combination of scuba skills and research techniques. 

Israeli team’s undersea imaging creates bold visibility

19.1.20

The value of coral reef ecosystems can hardly be overstated and neither can the threats they face on a warming planet. Now there’s a new undersea imaging technology to help oceanographers and researchers understand what’s happening beneath the sea, because they’re able to more clearly see object color and structure.

Israel charts the universe's last great frontier

31.12.2019

There is tremendous untapped potential and infinite discoveries to be made in the seas, whether in the field of health and food or a greater understanding of submarine ecosystems.

Why Are Sharks Settling Off Israel's Coast?

27.12.2019

Our experts at the Charney School explain what’s behind this yearly phenomenon off Israel’s coast.
 

The sharks have returned — to the warm waters off Hadera power station

28.11.19

Scientists begin tagging specimens for research, warn public to stay away, though intrepid divers are expected to frequent underwater site

How Israel Became An Unlikely Shark Research Hub, According To A Marine Ecology Expert

28.11.19

Over the past several years, researchers have noted that dozens of sharks have been flocking to the coast off of the northern Israeli city of Hadera during the winter months.
Scientists have spotted an increasing amount of sandbar and dusky sharks in the area, drawn by the warm waters pumped into the sea by the Hadera power plant well and rising temperatures in the Mediterranean generally.

Israeli researchers develop sonar system to identify marine threats

18.8.19

Researchers at the University of Haifa developed an innovative underwater sonar system, propagating omni-directional acoustic signals from a single transceiver to identify potential threats.

Israel to host 27 US students in new marine sciences exchange program

11.8.19

Our School has been selected as one of just 6 universities worldwide to host U.S. students as part of prestigious Oceanography Exchange program.

Marine biology experts unpack Israel's jellyfish problem

15.7.19

Experts from the University of Haifa’s Charney School of Marine Sciences dive into the ongoing phenomenon of Israel’s jellyfish swarms and explain how to keep the situation under control.

Researchers: Sea Urchin Could Aid in Cancer Research

7.4.19

Scientists believe that mimicking development processes of creature’s skeleton could be a way block tumor growth in humans. 
Researchers from the University of Haifa believe that the way the sea urchin builds it skeleton might hold the key to discovering a way to prevent tumors from growing in humans.

Scientists believe jellyfish could help rid our waters of plastic waste

13.9.18

Prof. Dror Angel, from the Department of Maritime Civilizations, has been leading a team of researchers looking into how jellyfish could be used to isolate microplastics in seawater and ocean water by creating a filter made of jellyfish mucus.

A Bike Built for Magnetic Mapping

25.4.17

Mounting a magnetic sensor on a bicycle offers an efficient, low-cost method of collecting ground magnetic field data over rough terrain where conventional vehicles dare not venture.
An article by Dr. Uri Schattner of the Dr. Moses Straus Department of Marine Geosciences, published in the American Geophysical Union Journal.

THE OCEAN FLOOR IS THE LIMIT

21.4.17

The Charney School  is at the forefront of research focusing on the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a field that has profound impacts on many aspects of life in the region.

‘There will be a tsunami on Israel's shores – the question is when'

2.5.14

Scientists believe that mimicking development processes of creature’s skeleton could be a way block tumor growth in humans. 
Researchers from the University of Haifa believe that the way the sea urchin builds it skeleton might hold the key to discovering a way to prevent tumors from growing in humans.