TAU Hosts German-Israeli Workshop on Biodiversity
The effect of ongoing climate change on animals in Israel was the focus of a three-day German-Israel workshop hosted by Tel Aviv University’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Israel National Center for Biodiversity Studies. Israel, due to its small size and variety of climatic zones presents a unique platform for studying the effect of climate change on different populations of the same species.
The workshop dealt with ecological and genetic effects of climate change on insects, lizards and birds, specifically.
Touring sites across the country’s different climate zones, the group studied the common pit-building antilion (Myrmeleon hyalinus) – an insect larva (pictured) that digs traps in sand to capture other small insects. The species is a good candidate for study because the adult insects do not fly over long distances, enabling scientists to characterize the differences between populations including their adaptions to local conditions.
Participating in the workshop from TAU were Drs. Inon Scharf, Roi Dor and Prof. Shai Meiri of the Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, together with Prof. Ofer Ovadia of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and Professors Markus Pfenninger and Ingo Ebersberger of Goethe University, Frankfurt. The German guests are also affiliated with the Biodiversity and Climate Research Center of the Senckenberg Society, which operates the second largest natural history museum in Germany.
The workshop was funded by Tel Aviv University, Goethe University and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The building for the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Israel National Center for Biodiversity Studies is made possible through the vision and generosity of major TAU benefactor and TAU honorary doctor Michael Steinhardt, a former Chairman of the TAU Board of Governors, together with his wife, Judy. The Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Israel Council for Higher Education, government ministries, JNF, Yad Hanadiv, the Tel Aviv Municipality and private donors and foundations support the Museum’s operations, activities and building process.