People (old)

Primary investigator
Assoc.Prof. Daniel Orenstein

Na ama s walking partner


Daniel is a socio-ecologist who studies interactions and feedbacks between humans and ecosystems.

He earned a MSc in Desert Ecology from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and a PhD in interdisciplinary (environmental) studies from Brown University. His PhD dissertation focused on the impact of population growth and land use policy on urban sprawl and ecological contiguity in Israel.




Daniels’ current research projects include:

  • Study of the determinants of landscape preferences
  • Socio-ecological research methods and practice
  • and Implementation of ecological principles in urban planning (specifically within university campuses).

Daniel’s CV

Daniel Orenstein in Google Scholar

Blog (professional and personal opinions)

Lab Manager

Dr. Ronit Cohen-Seffer is the lab manager. Her PhD was about “The Paleogeography of the Southern Carmel Coastal Plain during the Late Pleistocene – Holocene” (submitted to the University of Haifa). She did her Post Doc at the GLOWA-JR project and contributed to the “urban ecology” chapter at the “Assessing the state of Israel’s Nature” (HAMAARAG)  as a writer, as an administrative coordinator and Research assistant.



Research Associates

Naama_Teschner.pngDr. Naama Teschner (Ph.D. School of Geography, University of Leeds). Research topic: Examining the impediments for uptake of sustainable farming practices in Israel’s vineyards. Na’ama’s academic work can be accessed here.





Dr. Yaella Depietri  earned her PhD in Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) (Spain) in 2015 jointly with the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn (Germany). She then was a Post-Doctoral researcher at The New School in New York City for two years working on different aspects of risk and vulnerability of the city to natural hazards, including heat waves floods and coastal storms. more…



PhD Students

Picture1Lihi Golan, Dissertation topic: Evaluation of the planning process for Biosphere reserves in Israel. Co-advised with Associate Professor Pnina Plaut.






IMG_4366Liat Hadar, Dissertation topic: Visual models as predictive, science-based tools for assessing future ecological landscapes and for supporting management decisions. Co-advised with Professor Yohay Carmel.






jen_headshotJen Holzer, Dissertation topic: Evaluating activities and impacts of socio-ecological research in the Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Network.  Co-Advised with Associate Professor Karel Martens.  more..






HilaHila Sagie, Dissertation topic: The role of stakeholder integration in the ecosystem services framework as a tool for land management.






PhD Students (serving as external commity member)

SemionSemion Polinov (research associate with the research group, 2013-2015), M.A. (Faculty of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa). Research topic: Ecosystem services assessment from the mountain to the sea: A multidisciplinary method for defining ecosystem service indicators across landscape units. Currently analyst at Lia Engineering L.T.D. and doctoral student and GIS instructor at the University of Haifa.




MSc students

 Yunis Saada, Thesis topic: Assessing perceptions and attitudes towards natural landscapes and open spaces among Arab youth in Israel.








photoDr. Idan Porat (Ph.D. Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Technion). Research topic: The impact of development on cultural ecosystem service provision in Israel’s Negev Desert. This project is part of the Israel contribution to the European Union / Horizon 2020 project, EcoPotential.




yael Teff Seker Dr. Yael Teff-Seker (Ph.D.) Dr. Yael Teff-Seker Is a post-doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion. She previously conducted research regarding marine and coastal planning as well as maritime policy and strategy at the Haifa Research Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy at the University of Haifa (2015-2016) and the Technion. She received her Ph.D. in Conflict Studies (2013) from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and has been a researcher for the Technion’s Israel Marine Plan initiative since 2014. Her research focuses on environmental policy, marine policy and planning, and on cross-border environmental collaborations. more…



IMG_8700Roy Zaidenberg, M.Sc. Thesis topic: Stakeholder Mapping and Ecosystem Services Perception Gaps in the Southern Dead Sea Region. Co-advised with Associate Professor Amnon Frenkel. Completed 2017.





Shira Grossbard, M.Sc. Thesis topic: Vernal Pools as Urban Nature: guidelines for conservation of urban vernal pools.  Co-Advised with Associate Professor Elissa Rosenberg and Professor Sarig Gafny. Completed 2017.





DSCF5775Zohar Zafon, M.Sc. Thesis topic: Can Landscape Characteristics Represent Plant Species Diversity as an Ecological Assessment Measure? A Case Study from Ramat HaNadiv. Co-advised with Associate Professor Yohay Carmel. Completed 2017.





hagitDr. Hagit Zimroni (Ph.D. The School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Research topics: 1) The use of full-immersion visualization for assessing stakeholder perceptions of ecosystem services in the Carmel Forest; 2) Stakeholder visual assessments of post-snow damage restoration activities in the Biriya and Merom Forests.




Passport Photo1Adi Noy, M.Sc.  Thesis topic: The Desert Landscape Architecture of Shlomo Aronson – Theory and Practice. Co-Advised with Associate Professor Nurit Lissovsky. Completed 2017. See Adi’s conference presentation on desert landscape design from the 2015 ECLAS Conference “Landscapes in Flux”, Ivanir_2015_Arid_Landscape_Design.




thesis 3 (3)

Leyron Shachaf, M.Sc. (Technion). Thesis topic: The Contribution of Environmental Impact Statements to Incorporation of Wildlife Passages in Highway Planning in Israel. Co-advised with Associate Professor Pnina Plaut. Completed 2016.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAviva Shmila Vadai, M.Sc. (Technion). Thesis topic: An Assessment of Public Participation and Stakeholders Involvement In Developing and Managing Biosphere Reserves In Israel: The Cases of Carmel and Ramat Menashe Biosphere Reserves. Co-advised with Professor Shamai Assif. Completed March, 2015.  Current employment: Deputy head of planning, Katzrin Local Council.




Abra Berkowitz2Abra Berkowitz, M.Sc. (Ben Gurion University / Arava Institute for Environmental Studies). Thesis topic: Planning paradigms and plan implementation in a new Bedouin locality; the Case of Abu Basma Regional Council. Co-advised with Dr. Sarab Abu Rabia. Completed June, 2012.





אני בגרנד קניון (2)Ofer Arnon, M.Sc. (Ben Gurion University / Arava Institute for Environmental Studies). Thesis topic: The impact of low density human settlement on plant dispersal through a stream network in a hyper-arid environment. Co-advised with Professor Pua Bar (Kutiel), Dr. Tal Svoray and Professor Alon Tal. Completed, April, 2012.