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Lab members

Gil Rilov

Prof. Gil Rilov

Senior Researcher, Head of Lab


My research explores the patterns, dynamics and processes that shape marine communities, especially rocky shores and subtidal reefs.  I am interested in the structure of communities and what affects their diversity, including larval recruitment, species interactions (predator-prey, competition, facilitation), overfishing, bioinvasions, climate change. I also study how marine communities function and what ecosystem services they provide. I am investigation nature base solution designed to protect these fascinating communities, their functions and services (including Blue Carbon) through, for example marine protected areas. ​So far, I have been fortunate to conduct research on the shores of Israel (Mediterranean and Red Sea), the USA, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile and South Africa, Crete, Cyprus and Italy (Ischia). I have worked on rocky shores, subtidal reefs, coral reefs and seagrass.


I am also a Professor in the Marine Biology Department in the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa.  I teach there a marine ecology course. 


Research Assistants


Guy Raanan

Lab Manager

Main responsibilities: Operation and maintenance of experimental facilities:  benthocosm, temperature and acidification microcosms and the tidalcosom.  Execution of the subtidal diving surveys. Processing of photoquadrats


B.Sc- Marine Biology, Ruppin Academic Center.

M.Sc- Analysis of Late Cretaceous Tsunami event deposits, The Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences, University of Haifa.   


Shai Zilberman

Lab Technician

Managing the national intertidal biodiversity monitoring and database along the Israeli coast. involved in conducting experiments for research concerning climate change, ecosystem functions, and biodiversity community structure for native and invasive organisms , all while gaining a better understanding of the Mediterranean rocky reef ecosystem by utilizing advanced data approach research.

B.Sc - Biology and Earth Sciences ,Hebrew University

M.Sc- Biology, Bar-Ilan University.

Current Students


Iris Preiss 

Ph.D. candidate 


The current climate change, the resulting rapid warming of seawater and increase in extreme weather events influence dramatically the composition and functioning of species of intertidal, and subtidal rocky shore communities. Within the context of a large European project, FutureMARES, I will study the vulnerability, resilience and adaption of these ecosystems to warming at local and regional scales, focusing on sea urchins, intertidal gastropods, and algae using ecological and molecular methods. This knowledge would serve as input for advanced ecological models assessing the current and future status of eastern Mediterranean costal ecosystems compared to those in the western Mediterranean and the European Atlantic. The results will be use to inform management and to develop nature-based solutions within the FutureMARES context. 


Co-supervisor: Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank, Marine Biology, Haifa University 


B.Sc. – Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University  

M.Sc. - Life Sciences, Zoology, Tel Aviv University

Khristina Ermak

M.Sc. candidate


My master's research focuses on interactions between two closely related species of Cerithium sea snails. In the context of climate change and growing bioinvasions, I want to compare the seasonal dynamics of the Cerithium populations in the field (abundance and size distribution) and compare thermal performance of the invasive and native Cerithium species to observe  their adaptations to different temperature conditions.



Elena Bogdanova

M.Sc. candidate

Master student in Marine Biology Department, Leon Charney School of Marine sciences, University of Haifa. Main research interest: reef ecology, 3D models, conservation 

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paul kahles

M.Sc. candidate

As a participant of GAME (Global Approach by Modular Experiments) run by GEOMAR and in a team of 18 other students I am investigating the impact of artificial light at night on the colonization process of sessile invertebrates and macroalgae on hard bottom substrates. Many anthropogenic light sources nowadays encompass a wide range of wave lengths to mimic natural light. Consequently, I am specifically interested in the effect of white LED light on species richness, species composition and community biomass.

Co-supervisor: Dr. Mark Lenz (GEOMAR)

B.Sc.- Biologie, Universität Bayreuth

M.Sc.- Biological Sciences, Universität Konstanz


Sophia Walter

M.Sc. candidate

I am staying at Rilov lab for 6 months being part of the global research project GAME (Global Approach by Modular Experiments) organized by the GEOMAR. Together with 18 other students worldwide we are working on the influence of artificial light at night on communities of sessile invertebrates and macroalgae on hard bottom substrates. We are specifically interested in the effect on species richness and composition, as well as the biomass of the communities.


Aliza Leit

M.Sc. candidate

Masters Student in Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University. 

Main research interest: conservation, vermetid reefs, intertidal resource management

Erez Yeruham

Ph.D. Candidate


My PhD project deals with the physiological mechanisms behind range distribution shifts of herbivorous fish, as a result of climate change.


Co-supervisor Dr. Daniel Chernov (University of Haifa)


B.Sc- Marine Biology , Ruppin Academic Center.

M.Sc- Zoology, Tel Aviv University.


Neta-Ly Lipkin

M.Sc. candidate

Neta-Ly, a bachelor’s in marine biotechnology from Ruppin academic center, was always curious about the great mysteries of the ocean and since she was a teenager integrated diving as a part of her life. My  research concentrates on the Spatial-temporal plasticity of the native seagrass Halophila stipulacea under changing environment, regarding its responses to contemporary and future environmental trends.  H.stipulacea is particularly interesting as it is the only seagrass species to migrate from the Indian ocean and establish itself in the Caribbean 


Co-supervisor Dr. Gidon Winters (DSASC)


B.Sc- Marine Biology , Ruppin Academic Center.

Brooke Dominguez

M.Sc. candidate

Generally, I am interested in the thermal tolerance and vulnerability of intertidal marine invertebrates. As the oceans warm and extreme weather events (such as marine heatwaves) become more prevalent, it is essential that we understand how thermal stress affects organisms and their respective ecosystems. In conjunction with FutureMARES, my master’s thesis will evaluate the thermal tolerance, vulnerability, and acclimation potential of the mottled shore crab, Pachygrapsus transversus, under current and future heatwave scenarios.


Co-supervisor: Dr. Catarina Vinagre, University of Algarve.


B.Sc. - Biology, Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi.

Inês Gonçalves

M.Sc. candidate

My master’s research will be done in the framework of the project FutureMARES ( funded by the EU as part of the Horizon 2020 program and will focus on the impacts of climate change on eastern Mediterranean reef species, communities, and their functions using novel methodologies and new experimental systems. 

BSc: Biology (University of Coimbra)

MSc: Marine Biology (University of Algarve)

Supervisors: Gil Rilov (IOLR); Catarina Vinagre (University of Algarve).

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