Lab Research Areas
The lab combines oceanography, data-science, numerical modeling, and sensory ecology. It addresses one of the greatest knowledge gaps in marine ecology, focusing on the contribution of early life stages of fish to large-scale ecological processes. These early life stages often drive population dynamics.
After completing his master’s degree in marine sciences, Igal Berenshtein served as marine operations coordinator and field manager for an international research effort consisting of 22 research cruises, sampling the larval pool in the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat. This work acquainted him with the larval stage of coral reef fish, and he decided to pursue a PhD to study the dispersal and connectivity of fish larvae in the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat at Ben Gurion University’s Marine Biology and Biotechnology Program and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) in Eilat.
Following this, he did postdoctoral research at the Physical-Biological Interactions Laboratory at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, modeling and quantifying the effects of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico’s marine environment and its fisheries-dependent communities. His second postdoc with the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), University of Miami, examined the effects of fishing and climate change on marine life and on their trophic interactions.
Dr. Berenshtein is an assistant professor in the Department of Marine Biology at the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa. His lab examines the health and functioning of marine ecosystems, for example, whether larval fish can detect and avoid oil contamination, and how their behavior affects dispersal and connectivity. Additionally, his team is conducting a global analysis of the effects of chronic oil pollution on marine biodiversity and fisheries. He hopes to take advantage of the rising global concern over the rapid degradation of marine ecosystems and the lack of accountability for marine pollution in order to provide a more holistic understanding of marine ecosystems that will benefit both nature and humanity.