Research interests

Ori Adam

Ori Adam

Senior Lecturer
Head of the academic committee of the Hebrew University Climate Science Center (HUCS)
Academic head of the Hebrew University Research Computing Service
Room 307 North

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In my group we study the large-scale dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans and the interactions between them, with emphasis on tropical climate dynamics. We aim to improve our understanding of variations in the present and past climates, and the governing dynamic and thermodynamic mechanisms that drive them. We also strive to mediate between theoretical and applied geophysical practices, by developing tools and methods for applications such as bias reduction in climate models, interpretation of paleo records, and quantification of variations of the tropical rain belt.

The theoretical tools we use include idealized models of the atmosphere and oceans which are amenable to mathematical analysis, an idealized general circulation model (FMS), as well as the analysis of comprehensive climate models (e.g., CMIP and PMIP models). We also aim to anchor the research in observations. To handle the large variety of observational and modeling datasets, we use a software tool called GOAT (Geophysical Observation Analysis Tool).

Current research projects include:

  • Idealised coupled cloud-ocean-atmosphere models
  • The effect of continent distribution on tropical climate
  • The relation of the atmospheric energy budget and tropical precipitation
  • Origin and nature of the double ITCZ bias
  • Variations of the tropical rain belt in the present and past climates
  • Relating the Hadley cell strength to the atmospheric energy budget
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Hagit Affek

Hagit Affek

Associate Professor
Room 201 North

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My research focuses on global climate change and the use of isotope geochemistry to understand climatic and atmospheric processes. I am interested in the parameters and mechanisms that control paleotemperature proxies; in particuler, my group develops and uses the novel proxy carbonate clumped isotopes. We examine biological parameters that affect clumped isotopes and develop its use in new archive materials; we study the effect of non equilibrium processes on clumped isotopes and oxygen isotopes. We apply clumped isotpes to reconstruct paleotemperature and paleo-rainfall in different time periods during the Cenzoic. I am also interested in the use of isotopes to understand the modern carbon cycle and the effect of the biosphere of atmospheric chemistry.


What is clumped isotopes geochemistry?

Analysis of an isotopic composition is a measurement of the relative abundance of a heavy, rare, isotope within a group of molecules. The term ‘clumped isotopes’ refers to the natural abundance of molecules containing two heavy isotopes, such as 13C18O16O, and is a measure of the preference of two heavy isotopes to clump together into a chemical bond. This preference is temperature dependent with the isotopes distributed randomly among all molecules at very high temperatures and are clustered together into a more ordered system at low temperatures.

This results in an isotopic parameter, ∆47, that can record the temperature in which these bonds were formed. ‘Clumped isotopes’ measurements are currently applied for 13C-18O bonds in CO2 molecules that are extracted either from carbonate minerals or from the atmosphere. In carbonates ‘clumped isotopes’ are used to determine the formation temperature of the mineral with most applications associated with reconstruction of past climatic conditions. In atmospheric CO2 it is used as a tracer for partitioning and quantifying the different CO2 sources and sinks of the global carbon cycle.


Curriculum Vitae


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Amotz  Agnon

Amotz Agnon

Room 216 South

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Earthquake geology and mechanics, mid-ocean ridge and ophiolite dynamics, geo-archaeology, sea-level change and glaciation.


Neev center for Geoinformatics

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Yael  Amitai

Yael Amitai

Ph.D student, supervised by Hezi Gildor and Yossi Ashkenazy
Room 310 North

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Research subject: Changes in deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Alon  Amrani

Alon Amrani

Associate Professor
Head of the Environmental Science Department
Room 204 North

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Organic geochemistry and biogeochemistry, stable isotopes, sulfur cycle, organic-inorganic interactions



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Alon Angert

Alon Angert

Room 217 South

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Climate Change affects the terrestrial biosphere, while changes in the biosphere feedback and affect the climate system. Understanding these complex interactions is important at these times of Global Change.

Related research in our lab track the respiration in soils, and the internal CO2 movement and recycling within forest trees. In addition, we explore the engagement of the Alternative Oxidase in natural ecosystems. These research directions are based on high accuracy measurements of O2 concentrations and stable isotopes.

Other research projects focus on developing the use of oxygen stable isotopes of phosphate for tracking phosphorus in dust and its biogeochemical cycling in soil. This research is based on field work, remote-sensing and lab work. These approaches could help evaluate the effects of changing climate on the terrestrial phosphorus cycle, which is an important limiting factor for plant growth.

Finally, lately we have developed in collaboration with Prof. Amrani, from my institute, an approach to measure the sulfur isotopes of carbonyl sulfide (COS) and used this to determine its isotopic composition in the atmosphere in plant uptake, and in seawater. Our continued research in this field will help to better constrain global scale photosynthesis


Curriculum Vitae

angert lab














Terrestrial Biogeochemestry- Angert's lab Group


Tal Weiner - Lab Manager

Research Interests: The study of soil phosphate and its sources using stable isotopes analysis

chen davidson  

Chen Davidson - Phd student

Research interests: Studying sulfur isotopes of Carbonyl Sulfide in the atmosphere and in seawater, to better constrain the terrestrial global photosynthesis


Aline Naor  

 Alie Naor - Msc student:

Research interest: The effect of cellular PO4 uptake on the isotopic signature of extracellular phosphate in macrophytes and aquatic fungi. 







Yasmin Avidani - Msc student:

Research interest: Studying the oceanic source of COS and CS2 by sulfur stable isotopes, in aim to improve quantifications of global photosynthesis.


Former Members



Laura Bigio - Former Phd student

Research Interests: Atmospheric phosphate sources (dust, ash and pollen) and their contribution to the global phosphorus cycle.




Boaz Hilman - Former Phd student

Currently: Post Doctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for biogeochemestry


H Lis


Hagar Lis - Former Post- Doctoral Researcher 

Currently: Associate researcher at the Plant science department at the Hebrew University.




Avner Gross - Former Phd student
Currently: Assistant Prof. at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev



Sasha Pekarsky - Former Msc student

Research Interest: Crane Migration study with oxygen stable isotopesCurrently:



Esther Peled            

Esther Peled - Former MSc Student 

Currently: Head of Sustainability and Environment - Sustainability and  CSR Group at BDO Israel



Sarit Shaltiel - Former MSc Student 



dust sampling



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Dov Avigad

Dov Avigad

Room 204 North

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Together with my students, postdoctoral scholars, and affiliated researchers, I combine field and laboratory studies to understand the origin of Earth's continental crust, its composition and architecture. Within this broad research avenue I concentrate on aspects of continental tectonics with emphasis on Precambrian crustal evolution, old and young orogenic belts, continental extensional tectonics, and the link between orogeny, erosion and sedimentation. We seek to unravel plate tectonics processes around the Eastern Mediterranean with special emphasis on the Cadomian and Avalonian continental collage of SE Europe and Asia Minor, Precambrian crustal evolution of the Arabian-Nubian Shield in Eilat and Ethiopia, the provenance of the great Paleozoic sand sea of northern Africa and Arabia, and its linkage to Pan-African orogens and to coeval silisiclastic sediments in Europe.

Our research is funded by the Israel Science Foundation, the Israel Ministry of Infrastructure, the German-Israel Binational Science Foundation and the USA-Israel Binational Science Foundation. We currently collaborate with scientists from Israel, USA, Australia, Germany, Turkey, France and Ethiopia


Curriculum Vitae


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YBD sampling GFZ

Dr. Yoav Ben Dor

Postdoctoral fellow, advised by Yigal Erel and Mordechai Stein
Room 17


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Research interests: Paleoclimate, hydrology, limnology, sedimentary petrography, sedimentology, pedology, quaternary research, geochronology

Reasearch Topic: Saharan dust & the Neolithic Agriculture Revolution in the Jordan Valley



My current study focuses on the environmental and soil-related conditions in the Levant that could have provided prehistoric humans with the advantages required to initiate the Neolithic Agriculture Revolution (NAR) following the end of the last glacial period (~15th to 11th millennium BP). We investigate the properties and origins of soils and sedimentary sequences that accumulated prior, during and after the NAR with close context to renowned archaeological sites including Gilgal, Netiv Hagdud and Fazael, and analyze them within the broad climatological and hydrological framework. Through this inter-disciplinary study of the soils that served the earliest farmers of the Levant, we wish to see whether local conditions that followed the last glacial period provided an unplanned natural advantage to the people that inhabited the Jordan Valley. This research relies on establishing the chronology of the studied sections using OSL and 14C dating techniques, and further sedimentary and soil-related analyses, which include detailed field description and mapping, soil texture and grain-size measurements, and other fertility-related properties such as exchangeable cations composition, sodium and potassium adsorption, available sulfur and phosphorus, as well as chemical and multiple isotopic analyses.

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Michal Ben-Israel

Michal Ben-Israel

Postdoctoral researcher

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I am a postdoc working with Dr. Uri Ryb on understanding dolomitization processes using different geochemical methods.

I am generally interested in surface processes and finding new ways to understand how different natural forcings shape the surface of our planet.



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Hadar Cohen-Sadon

Ph.D candidate
Advisors: Prof. Alon Amrani and Dr. Yoav Oved Rosenberg
128 North

Oded Elazar

Supervised by Dr. Yaakov Weiss
Interested in the role of fluids and melts at high pressure and temperature and their role in earth’s mantle.  Enjoy to play tennis and the occasional bike …

Simon Emmanuel

Room 306 South

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Our group studies nano-scale geological processes central to hydrology and the oil and gas industry. We use a diverse array of methods, combining cutting edge lab technology, state-of-the-art modeling, and field work. Current research projects include:

  • Measuring mineral reaction rates during geological carbon sequestration
  • Imaging crystal growth in nano-pores
  • Analysing mechanical properties of rocks at the nano-scale

I am currently looking for creative students with backgrounds in Earth Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics to join our team. Students in the group are part of a dynamic research program that is developing exciting new projects at the interface between hydrology, geology, and geochemistry. For further information concerning MSc, PhD and postdoctoral opportunities, contact Dr Simon Emmanuel (

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