Prof. Zvy Dubinsky

The Gonda Medical Diagnostic Building (204), Room 102
שעות קבלה
ימי שלישי, 10:00 - 16:00
    קורות חיים

    Curriculum  Vitae

    Zvy Dubinsky (ZD; ORCID 0000-0001-8519-6257;; nationality: Israeli) was born in Barcelona, 18/10/1934, emigrated to Israel in 1944, was member of a kibbutz, trained as a teacher, and worked as such for a few years. Meanwhile, he participated in developing an advanced, modern biology curriculum (BSCS) for high schools, and produced biology films for the National Center for Science Teaching (awarded the Tokyo Science Film Congress Executive Prize). In 1970, he started studying biology at Bar-Ilan University (BIU), earned his MSc on "The influence of select environmental factors on the abundance and composition of algal populations from Lake Kinneret (Tiberias)" and his PhD on "Light as an ecological factor in Lake Kinneret phytoplankton dynamics". ZD was a postdoc at Queens College, NY, working on algal lipid physiology, biochemistry, and potential in biofuel production.

    He accepted a position at the Dept. of Life Sciences (BIU) and progressed rapidly to full professor. In both his teaching and research, ZD always went beyond the current state of the art, challenging current paradigms and formulating groundbreaking theories, supported by innovative experimental techniques. ZD established a hitherto non-existing program in ecology based on hands-on desert and coral reef study campuses. He developed a laboratory focusing on biophysical, physiological, and ecological aspects of aquatic photosynthesis. He markedly changed the fields of photoacclimation of phytoplankton and its interactions with the underwater light field. After studying photosynthetic energetics in situ, ZD developed the application of photoacoustics to directly determine photosynthetic quantum yields of any benthic phototroph. He also studied the ecophysiology of desert invertebrates. His sabbaticals are listed below.

    ZD developed a strong interest in coral ecology and photobiology, formulating the first integration of energy and nutrient fluxes in zooxanthellate corals, shedding light on detrimental effects of anthropogenic eutrophication on coral reefs. In the wake of IPCC reports on seawater warming and acidification effects, his leadership in the field was acknowledged by the prestigious FP7 ERC AdG CoralWarm (3.3 M€; and two PoC grants. ZD has initiated and conducted >100 research projects, including 25 international (EU, US, Germany) and Israeli competitive grants, totaling over 6.5 M€.

    He founded the Algal Biotechnology Center (BIU), which focuses on biodiesel and fine chemical production from microalgae (funds by Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, and the Interministry Fund for Alternative Fuels).

    Past Editorial Board Memberships: Global Change Biology, Trees: Structure and Function, Limnology & Oceanography, and Aquatic Sciences. Current memberships are listed in Section c: Ten-year track record.

    ZD suggested, supervised, and sponsored >30 PhD and >50 MSc theses that resulted in >250 scientific papers, including pioneering studies in diverse fields, such as: 1) Spectral properties of the underwater light field; 2) The in situ quantum yields of aquatic photosynthesis; 3) Photosynthesis photobiology and energetics; 4) Photoacclimation of the photosynthetic apparatus; 5) Light and nutrient flux interaction in coral ecophysiology; 6) Application of photoacoustics to study photosynthesis; 7) Photosynthesis enhancement by fluctuating light; 8) Algae as antioxidant source; 9) Biodiesel mass production by microalgae; and 10) Satellite-based algorithms for the estimation of chlorophyll concentrations. Several of his students have become excellent researchers: 1) Prof. Razi Vago, Dean of the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel (PhD student of ZD in coral ecophysiology). 2) Prof. Yosef Steinberger, Head of the Terrestrial Ecology and Soil Ecology Laboratory, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences (2000-2002), Bar-Ilan University (BIU), Israel, and Honorary Chairman of Shengruiling Life Sciences Research Center, China (MSc and PhD student of ZD in ecophysiology of desert invertebrates). 3) Prof. Leonid Sokoletsky, expert in Remote Sensing and Oceanography, East China Normal University, China (PhD student of ZD in remote sensing). 4) Dr. Jeffrey Wielgus, Environmental and Natural Resource economist, World Bank Group, Washington, DC, USA (PhD student of ZD in coral reef socioeconomics). 5) Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank, Head of the Laboratory of Biological Oceanography and Phytoplankton Ecophysiology, BIU (PhD student of ZD in phytoplankton ecophysiology). 6) Prof. Oren Levy, Head of the Laboratory for Molecular Marine Ecology, BIU (PhD student of ZD in coral ecophysiology).

    Before the books listed in the ten-year track record, he edited Z Dubinsky (1990) Ecosystems of the World 25. Coral Reefs. Elsevier.

    ZD teaches ecology courses at BIU, has founded (2008) and heads the MBA program in Management of Natural Resources, Energy and Water at the Netanya Academic College, and heads the new MSc program in Marine Science at Mikhmoret Marine College (starting in Fall 2016): 1968-1973, Plant Physiology, 3rd year biology students, Oranim; 1972, General Ecology, 2nd year biology students, BIU; 1973, Quantitative Ecology, 3rd year biology students, BIU; 1977-1978, Microbiology, Queens College, CUNY, New York; 1979, Graduate Course: Biological Problems in the Red Sea, BIU; 1986-1990, Graduate Course: Photosynthesis, BIU; 2004-present, Man and Biosphere, Departments of Life Sciences, Chemistry and Geography; 2008-2010, Man and the Biosphere, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya; 2011, Man and Biosphere, Netanya Academic College; 2016, Fluxes in the Biosphere, Aquatic photosynthesis, Mikhmoret Marine College, Ruppin Academic Center.

    ZD was invited to present his inspiring lectures at >100 international scientific meetings, universities and institutes, and in public engagement lectures in Spain and Japan. He was invited to spend one sabbatical at Brookhaven National Laboratories, where he laid the foundations of phytoplankton photobiology with Paul Falkowski. During a second sabbatical at Rockefeller University, he worked with David Mauzerall on biophysical aspects of algal photosynthesis, subsequently developing the application of photoacoustics to study phytoplankton photosynthesis. Three other sabbaticals at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (Tokyo University) were devoted to algal antioxidants, fatty acid production, and mangrove molecular biology/physiology.

    ZD headed research expeditions to Sinai coral reefs and to the underwater volcanic CO2 vents at Panarea (Italy) under the CoralWarm project, and participated in research cruises to the Antarctic, Eritrea, and Seychelles. He worked on research projects at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, and University of the Ryukyus, Japan.

    ZD organized several international symposia, workshops and seminars: 1982, Group on Primary Productivity (GAP), Germany. 1984, GAP, Israel. 1987, Chairman, Bat Sheva De Rothschild Advanced Seminar: Symposium on Marine Symbioses, Israel. 1988, GAP, France. 1988, Photobiology Minisymposium, 6th International Coral Reef Symposium, Australia. 1989, United States – Israel Binational Workshop on Marine Symbioses, Israel. 1991, United States - Israel Binational Workshop on Nutrient Limitation in the Symbiotic Association between Zooxanthellae and Reef-Building Corals, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, USA. 1993, United States - Israel Binational Workshop on Optical Properties of Aquatic Photosynthetic Systems, Israel. 1994, United States - Israel Binational Workshop on Measurement of Ultraviolet Radiation in Tropical Coastal Ecosystems, USA. 1999, GAP, Switzerland. 1999, Chairman, International Mangrove Symposium, Tokyo University, Japan. 2008, Co-convenor, GAP Workshop, Israel. ZD’s institutional responsibilities: 1972 Faculty of Life Sciences member, BIU; 2011, Head of the MBA in Management of Natural Resources Program, Netanya Academic College, Israel. 2016, Head of the MSc Program in Marine Science, Mikhmoret Marine College, Ruppin Academic Centre, Israel. 2016, Member of the Committee for Academic Promotions and Appointments, Ruppin Academic Centre, Israel.

    Scientific advisory: ZD chaired the Board of Governors of the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science of Eilat, Israel, and was National Representative of the General Assembly of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). He advised companies interested in biofuel and fine chemical production from algae, on the development of algal antioxidants, photoacoustic-based SCUBA operated ecological instrumentation, and a photoacoustic marine profiler, and, in collaboration with WALZ, he developed the OxiPam computerized research system for photosynthetic research. Others: 1985-1987, Chairman, Israel Society for Ecology and Environmental Quality Sciences. 1986-1988, National Representative on the Council of the International Association of Ecology. 1989, Member, Scientific Advisory Forum to the Israel Minister of Environmental Quality. 1989-1993, Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee on the Prevention of Pollution in the Gulf of Eilat (Red Sea), Ministry of Environmental Quality. 1992, Consultant on conservation of Caribbean coral reefs for the Ministry of the Environment, Mexico. 1992-1997, National Committee on Biotechnological Infrastructure. 1999-2003, Steering Committee of Lake Kinneret Monitoring, Ministry of Infrastructure. 2001, Head, scientific and technical team: National Water Project, The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. 2003-2005, first President of the Israel Society for Aquatic Sciences.

    ZD is a member of the following professional and scientific organizations: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography; Group for Aquatic Primary Productivity; International Symbiosis Society; International Phycological Society; International Society for Reef Studies; Israel Society for Plant Sciences; Israel Society for Ecology and Environmental Quality Sciences; Israel Society for Aquatic Sciences; Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists; Phycological Society of America; Societas Internationalis Limnologiae.

    Major collaborations:

    Prof. Paul Falkowski, Photosynthesis and Biological Oceanography, Departments of Geological Sciences & Marine & Coastal Sciences, Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, NJ, USA.

    Prof. Jonathan Erez, Coral Ecophysiology, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.

    Prof. David Mauzerall, Photosynthesis, Photobiology and Photoacoustics, Laboratory of Photobiology, The Rockefeller University, NY, USA.

    Prof. Stefano Goffredo, Mediterranean Coral Ecology and Biology, Marine Science Group, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna (UniBo), Italy

    Prof. Giuseppe Falini, Marine Biomineralisation, Dept. of Chemistry “Giacomo Ciamician”, UniBo

    Prof. Jaap Kaandorp, Modeling Growth Form of Marine Invertebrates, Section Computational Sciences, University of Amsterdam.


    For full CV please click here.

    For list of all ongoing and submitted grants and funding of the PI please click here

    For ten-year track record please click here.




    We study the response of the photosynthetic apparatus of microalgae to the intensity and spectral composition of underwater irradiance, and to nutrient concentration. We focus on three systems, phytoplankton in the Mediterranean and Lake Kinneret, and in the Red Sea, on zooxanthellae living as endosymbionts in reef building corals. The bio-optical coupling of the primary productivity of phytoplankton to the underwater light is also studied by remote sensing from satellites. We have recently developed a system for the study of the efficiency of phytoplankton photosynthesis, based on photoacoustics.

    Previous and Current Research Projects

    Geobotanical survey of the Amud region, Galilee.

    Ecology of desert isopods and snails.

    Combined systems for sewage treatment and algal protein production.

    Microalgae as sources of fine chemicals.

    Dynamics of phytoplankton in Lake Kinneret.

    Photosynthetic efficiencies of algal communities. 

    Coral symbiosis and reef ecology.

    Remote sensing and bio-optical coupling of marine phytoplankton.

    The application of photoacoustics to the study of phytoplankton.

    Photoacclimation and energetics of the photosynthetic apparatus.

    Future Projects

    Mapping the energy flow and dissipation in the course of photosynthesis

    A coupled benthic- pelagic ecosystem model for the Gulf of Eilat.

    Elucidate the way environmental factors shape coral colonies

    Study adaptation and acclimation processes of corals to light gradients

    Determine the effect of pollutants on algal assemblages

    Examine the effect of wave-generated light fluctuations on coral biology


    Climate Change, Secrets and Dangers: The Coral Reef as an Example - Presentation from Faculty Day at Shefayim

    Last Updated Date : 12/09/2016