Dr. Zafrir Kuplik
Curators of Coelenterates, the Steinhardt Museum
Dr. Zafrir Kuplik is the manager of the coelenterates collection at the Steinhardt Museum and a research associate at the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa. Zafrir completed his BSc studies as a member of the first class at the Israel Maritime College in Michmoret (The Hebrew University), nowadays known as the Faculty of Marine Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center. In his MSc studies, completed at Tel Aviv university under the supervision of Dr. Aminadav Yawetz, Zafrir worked on a novel enzymatic biomarker of xenobiotics from the haemolymph of the limpet Patella caerulea. Following a few years break from academic life, Zafrir returned to PhD studies at the University of Haifa, under the supervision of Prof. Dror Angel and Dr. Dan Kerem. Finding jellyfish attractive, his research focused on the ecology, mainly feeding and metabolic requirements, of the scyphomedusa Rhopilema nomadica, the most abundant jellyfish in the Mediterranean coastal waters of Israel and notoriously known for its painful sting. In the following years post his PhD studies, Zafrir completed a two-years postdoctoral fellowship at Tel Aviv University working on ascidians with Prof. Noa Shenkar, and a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa, working on the taxonomy of scyphomedusae from the coastal waters of Eastern Africa, with Prof. Mark J. Gibbons. Passionate about education, Zafrir has been teaching marine ecology and biology to students and children for the past 20 years. “Seeing the excitement in the children’s eyes when showing them marine organisms makes it all worthwhile and keeps me hopeful about the future of the environment in general and the oceans in particular”.