Lab members

Gil Rilov
Dr. 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), bioinvasions, climate change. Recently I have become interested in how communities function and what ecosystem services they provide. I am also very interested in studying ways to protect these fascinating communities, through, for example marine reserves and artificial reefs. ​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, and recently also Crete, Cyprus and Italy (Ischia). I have worked on rocky shores, subtidal reefs, coral reefs and seagrass.


I am also a faculty member (Senior Lecturer) of the Marine Biology Department in the 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

Simona Noè

Post Doc

My research mainly focuses on biological invasions and interactions (i.e. grazing, predator-prey, competition) between native and invasive species. I am currently working on the interactive effects of climate change (warming and acidification), bioinvasions and epiphytism on species interactions (i.e. competition and grazing) in macrophyte-based assemblages in the Mediterranean Sea."


B.Sc - Biological Sciences - University of Palermo, Italy.

M.Sc - Marine Ecology - University of Palermo, Italy

Ph.D - Earth and Marine Sciences - University of Palermo, Italy

Martina Mulas

Ph.D. candidate


My PhD project is focused on the effect of biodiversity shifts-driven by climate change and bioinvasions on reef ecosystem functions. My research is a continuance of Peleg’s research and the goals start from the principal hypothesis we have regarding the change in the Levant reef benthic community functions. I will define the species and functional diversity of four different rocky reef community types with a major focus on Cystoseira’s forests thanks to laboratory and in situ experiments.


B.Sc. – Ecology,University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy

M.Sc. - Marine Biology, Marche Polytechnic University, Italy


Co-supervisors: Dr. Smadar Ben Tabou de Leon, Department of Marine Biology

                  Dr. Jacob Silverman, Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research


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


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

Aliza Leit


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