Dr. Yuval Sapir
Curator of the Herbarium, the Steinhardt Museum
Director, Tel Aviv University Botanical Garden
Senior Lecturer; School of Plant Sciences, Tel-Aviv University
Dr. Yuval Sapir is Curator of the Herbarium at the Steinhardt Museum, director of the Yehuda Naftali Botanical Garden and senior lecturer at the School of Plant Sciences, Tel Aviv University. Yuval obtained his BSc in Biology in 1997 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He loved the botanical-garden-like campus in Givat Ram, so he stayed there for his MSc and PhD. His MSc thesis dealt with Iris morphological taxonomy, while in his doctorate thesis he studied the pollination ecology of the Oncocyclus irises. He received his PhD in 2004. During a postdoc at Indiana University (USA) he carried out research on the ecological genetics of hybrid sunflower species, Helianthus anomalus, and on the pollination ecology of recombinant inbred lines of the cultivated and wild common sunflower. Yuval Joined Tel Aviv University as Porter research fellow in School for Environmental Studies in 2008. He appointed as a director of the Tel Aviv University Botanical Garden in 2009 and joined the School of Plant Sciences as a faculty member in 2012.
Yuval’s main interest is in the evolutionary ecology of plants, which is the interface between environmental factors and genetics. His research group studying pollinator-mediated selection on floral traits in irises, anemones, and fritillaries, and the genetic basis of these traits. In the macro-evolutionary level, his group is resolving the phylogeny and trait evolution of flower colour and seeds dispersal strategies. In addition, the group is studying adaptations of plants to climate in general, and climate changes in particular, and biological conservation of the endangered plants of Israel. The research combines multiple biological levels, from gene to population to species, using both molecular and ecological methods, in order to understand the evolution of the vast diversity, and the astonishing beauty, of plants.