Marine Community Ecology Lab (the Rilov Lab):
As part of the Marine Biology Department at IOLR in Haifa, Israel, our lab studies diverse aspects of marine community ecology and conservation. Our focal study systems are coastal benthic communities, mostly rocky shores and subtidal rocky reefs, but we are also involved in research on seagrass ecology, as well as sea turtle and shark population ecology and conservation.
We study the patterns and dynamics of biodiversity on rocky reefs, and the processes that shape them, including recruitment, species interactions, bioinvasions and climate change. We also study the impacts of overfishing and conversely, marine reserves, on benthic communities, and attempt to assess the ecosystem services the marine systems provide along the Israeli Mediterranean and Red Sea shores.
We do our investigations by a combination of field surveys and monitoring, and field and lab experiments. One of our biggest challenges is to describe and understand the understudied, fast-changing, benthic communities on reefs of the Levant shores, and specifically its unique intertidal vermetid reefs.