Head of Program
Prof. Hudi Benayahu served as the Head of the Porter School of Environmental Studies for three years, following three years as Head of the Department of Zoology at TAU. Prof. Benayahu is a professor of marine biology whose research focuses on coral reef ecology and biodiversity of the Red and eastern Mediterranean Seas. He received his doctorate from TAU in 1982 and undertook post doctoral training at several natural history museums in Europe, as well as one year at Florida International University. He is now the Head of the International MA Program in Environmental Studies and also serves as the Israel Cohen Chair in Environmental Zoology (2010-present) in the Department of Zoology, where he has been a faculty member since 1987.
Prof. Benayahu has held several research posts and visiting professorships in the United States, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, South Africa, Singapore and Korea. He is an expert in Octocorallia, a dominant group of reef organisms, specializing in their biodiversity, reproductive biology and life history, natural products, onset of symbiosis with unicellular algae and ultrastructure. He also investigates recruitment of invertebrates and fish on artificial marine structures, their interactions with the natural environment, rehabilitation and ecosystem-restoration. He has published over 120 refereed papers, actively participated in many national and international conferences and workshops, and is a member of various Israeli and international professional societies. He has been a keen diver for 35 years and has led scientific collecting expeditions and field trips to the coral reefs of the Red Sea, Africa and the Pacific.