Prof. Yehuda Benayahu
Curator of marine invertebrates, the Steinhardt Museum
Professor of Marine Biology at the School of Zoology, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Yehuda (Hudi) Benayahu is a curator of marine invertebrates at the Steinhardt Museum and a Professor of Marine Biology at the School of Zoology, Tel Aviv University (TAU). He received his PhD on the “Population dynamics of soft corals (Octocorallia, Alcyonacea) at the coral reefs of the Gulf of Eilat (Red Sea)” under the supervision of Prof. Y. Loya (TAU). He conducted his postdoctoral studies in several natural history museums in Europe (1 year) and in Florida International University (1 year). In 1984, he was hired as a curator of marine invertebrates at the School of Zoology (TAU), and became a faculty member there in 1987. He was promoted to a Full Professor in 2003 and became an active Professor Emeritus in 2016. The focus of Hudi’s research is on coral reef octocorals, both from shallow and mesophotic ecosystems, including their taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, community structure life history, sexual versus clonal propagation, induction of metamorphosis, recruitment, natural products, symbiosis with zooxanthellae, ultrastructure, effects of the global climate change, etc. He has described dozens of new octocoral taxa and has been a leader and member of scientific expeditions to the Red Sea and various Indo-Pacific reefs. He is an active scientific diver since 1972.
Hudi was the recipient of grants from the Israel Science Foundation, United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation, United States National Science Foundation–Israel Binational Science Foundation, 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), HORIZON 2020, National Geographic Society and SYNTHESYS. He has published over 210 peer reviewed articles and supervised 42 MSc and 14 PhD students.