Office location: Eshkol Building, 21st floor, room 2115
I am an ecologist with experience in both basic and applied ecology including studies on man-wildlife conflicts, especially within nature reserves. My professional experience in basic ecology is on plant-animal interactions, focusing on the role of secondary metabolites in fruits, seeds and nectar on bird nutrition, seed dispersal, pollination and plant fitness. These studies combine field work in Israel and other countries around the Mediterranean basin as well as in North America, Australia and South Europe and experiments with captive animals in Israel that include invertebrates such as ants and vertebrates such as birds of various species, rodents, gazelles and fruit-bats. The research on applied ecology includes wildlife management, natural reserve policy and ecosystem services, especially in Mediterranean ecosystems.
Specific research interests:
- The role of secondary metabolites in nectar and fruits in shaping plant-animal-bacteria interactions and plant fitness.
- Evaluating ecosystem services.
- Conservation of biodiversity in natural and man-made habitats.
- Izhaki, I.and Safriel, U.N. 1989. Why are there so few exclusive frugivorous birds? Experiments on fruit digestibility. Oikos 54: 23-32.
- Ne’eman, G. and Izhaki, I. 1998. Stability of pre- and post-fire spatial structure of pine trees in Aleppo pine forest. Ecography21: 535-542.
- Izhaki, I. 2002. Emodin – a secondary metabolite with multiple ecological functions in higher plants (a review). New Phytologist 155: 205-217.
- Tsahar, E., Friedman, J. and Izhaki, I. 2002. Impact of fruit removal and seed predation of a secondary metabolite, emodin, in Rhamnus alaternusfruit pulp. Oikos99: 291-300.
- Strod, T., Arad, Z., Izhaki, I. and Katzir, G. 2004. Cormorants keep their power: visual resolution in a pursuit-diving bird under amphibious and turbid conditions.Current Biology 14: 376-377.
- Tadmor-Melamed, H., Markman, S., Arieli, A., Distl, M., Wink, M. and Izhaki I. 2004. Limited ability of Palestine sunbirds (Nectarinia osea) to cope with pyridine alkaloids in nectar of tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca). Functional Ecology18: 844-850.
- Samuni-Blank, M., Izhaki, I., Dearing, M.D., Gerchman, Y., Trablshy, B., Lotan, A., Karasov, W.K. and Arad, Z. 2012. Intraspecific directed deterrence by the mustard oil bomb in a desert plant. Current Biology22: 1-3.
- Friedemann, G., Leshem, Y., Kerem, L., Shacham, B., Bar-Massada, A. , Mcclain, K.M., Bohrer, G. and Izhaki, I. 2016. Multidimensional differentiation in foraging resource use during breeding of two sympatric top predators. Scientific Reports 6, 35031, doi:10.1038/srep35031.
- Laviad Shitrit, S., Lev-Ari, T., Katzir, G., Sharaby, Y., Izhaki, I. and Halpern, M. 2017. Great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) as potential vectors for the dispersal of Vibrio cholera. Scientific Reports7: 7973. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08434-8.
- Aizenberg-Gershtein, Y, Izhaki, I. and Halpern, M. 2017. From microhabitat of floral nectar up to biogeographic scale: Novel insights on neutral and niche bacterial assemblies. Microbial Ecology74:128-139. doi: 10.1007/s00248-017-0935-9.