Primary research interest

  • Invasive species, biodiversity, conservation science, urban and avian ecology

Researcher biography

I am an ecologist and conservation scientist, with interest and expertise in the processes (ecological, behavioural and evolutionary) shaping biodiversity and their implications for conservation, environmental decisions and management. I have worked across multiple spatial scales, from global to local (examining latitudinal and altitudinal gradients), and in both terrestrial (birds and mammals mostly) and marine ecosystems. I work in natural and human-dominated landspaces, examining the generality of spatial patterns and processes. I am interested in integrating socio-economi and historical factors as well as biological and ecological drivers in disentangling the role of the multiple factors that shape biodiversity. In this framework, I aim to advance the links between science, practice and policy and in leading actions that allow us to improve science-based conservation.

Since July 2013, I serve as an Associate Professor and Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Felllow at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia) and am a Chief Investigator at the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED; 2011-2018) and am CEED's Theme A (Environmental Policy and Management) Leader. I am also CI on the recently established Commonwelath funded NESP Threatened Species hub (2015-2021). In this hub, I am leadier of the islands conservation project (Saving Species on Australian Islands, http://www.nespthreatenedspecies.edu.au/projects/saving-species-on-australian-islands), which aims to study and prioritise conservation of threatened species and actions for native and invasive species across Australia's 8000+ islands.

I completed my Ph.D. at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1999), and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University (between 1999-2002) working with Prof. Harold Mooney and Prof. Paul Ehrlich at the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford. Between 2002 and June 2013, I was a full-time research and teaching faculty member (Senior Lecturer) at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem where I established and was the Head of the Biodiversity Research Group.

In 2007-2008 I held an ARC Sabbatical Linkage International Fellowship at the University of Queensland (UQ), hosted by Prof. Hugh Possingham and his research group. Since then I have returned to UQ every year for 3-4 months as an invited visiting academic. I have been a member of CERF's Applied Environmental Decision Analysis (AEDA) Research Hub and UQ's Ecology Centre, Spatial Ecology Lab and Environmental Decisions Group (EDG). Between 2008-2011, I served as an Honorary Reader at The School of Biological Sciences at UQ and starting 2011 and was appointed as an Honorary Associate Professor at UQ in January 2011, I was an international PI in ARC's Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and was affiliated with the UQ-based the National Environmental Research Program hub (NERP; 2011-2014).

Awards, Grants, Prizes and Honours

July 2013-2017 - Australian Reesarch Council Future Fellow

November 2011 – 2014 - Appointed as an Honorary Associate Professor at The University of Queensland.

November 2008 – 2011 - Appointed as an Honorary Reader at The University of Queensland.

2008 – Chosen by The Nature Conservancy (key global conservation organisation) as a Leader in the Global Mediterranean initiative.

2007 – Awarded ARC Linkage International Fellowship for Sabbatical with Prof. Hugh Possingham, UQ.

2006 – Awarded the Prof. Hannah Farkas-Himsley and Alexander Himsley prize for a young scientist for excellence in scientific research in the Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Oct 2003 - 2006 - Awarded by the Israel Council for Higher Education the prestigious Alon Fellowship for Excellent Early Career Scientists.

During my postdoctoral fellowship (1999-2000), I was awarded the Rothschild Fellowship, was offered the Fulbright (US-Israel) post-doctoral Fellowship, held a Stanford University post-doctoral fellowship and appointment, was awarded the Stanford University Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies fellowship, and was offered the Israel Council for Higher Education and Israel Science Foundation Bikura post-doctoral fellowship.