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Gitai Yahel, PhD | Oceanography and Marine Biology
| M. +972 52 2918 007 | H. +972 (77) 7800 637 | Skype/Google Chat: gitaiyahel
Research interests
Publication list


The School of Marine Sciences
Ruppin Academic Center,
40297 Israel

Lab Members

Merav Gilboa
Lab Manager

Flow Cytometry

Ayelet Dadon-Philosof
PhD Student:

Size Independent Biological Filtration

Lee Shaish


Sediment resuspension by fish and its effect on micro-estuarine ecology

David Halfon

MSc Student

Bio-mechanical aspects of filtration
in ascidians

Biology department
University of Victoria
BC, Canada


Research Interests

I'm interested in the diverse processes that link the seafloor to the overlying ocean. These processes range from feeding mechanisms of individual suspension feeders such as sponges and bivalves through the behavior pattern of ground fish and migratory zooplankton to the interplay between hydrodynamics and the benthos (organisms that inhabits the bottom of the sea). Fieldwork and the development of new methods for underwater studies are major themes in my work.

Current research:

Nutritional ecology of suspension feeders Capturing particles suspended in the water is a unique feeding strategy for aquatic animals. My studies focus on measuring the metabolism, diet composition, feeding preferences, and feeding rates of marine suspension feeders. I am particularly interested in developing underwater (in situ) methods which facilitate the study of undisturbed animals in their natural environment. Read more...

Sediment resuspension by fish Benthic (ground) fish resuspend large amount of sediments while foraging and seeking for shelter. We discovered that fish activity alone could maintain a layer of turbid water near the bottom (nepheloid benthic layer), enhance the transport of nutrients and benthic oxygen demand, and considerably reduce organic carbon sequestration. Currently, we are developing tools that will allow us to quantify these processes and understand their effects in different marine habitats. Read more...

Benthic-pelagic coupling

Benthic organisms are dependent on hydrodynamics and other processes at the water column for every aspect of their life history. In many cases, the activity of benthic communities can also control water column processes. We are using a variety of methods to quantify these processes in the field. Read more...

Active grants

Examining size independent biological filtration at the submicron range

   Gitai Yahel

o   Israeli Science Fund (ISF) 2013-2017

Interactions between marine picoplankton and mucous-net filter feeders

o   Gitai Yahel, Kelly R. Sutherland, and Yaron Tikochinski

o   United State-Israel Binational Science Fund (BSF) 2013-2017

Rehabilitation of the micro estuaries along the Mediterranean coast of Israel

o   Sarig Gafny, Yair Suari, and Gitai Yahe

o   Yad Hanadiv 2013-2016

Study of the deep Israeli continental margins of the red and Mediterranean seas in light of local and global changes (ROV)

o   Amatzia Genin, Micha Ilan, Gitai Yahel

o   Israel Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) 2014-2017

Development of a nonspecific sensor for the detection of water contaminations

o   Gitai Yahel, Ben-Zion Dekel

o   Ruppin Internal Grant 2012-2014

List of publications ISI Citation Report - March 2013
24.Katz, T., Yahel G., Reidenbach M. A., Tunnicliffe V., Herut B., Crusius J., Whitney F., Snelgrove P., and Lazar B. (2012)
Resuspension by fish facilitates the transport and redistribution of coastal sediments
Limnol. Oceanogr. 57(4) 945-958 Journal | Abstract | PDF

23. Ribes, M., Jiménez  E., Yahel G., López-Sendino P., Diez B., Massana, R., Sharp J.H., and Coma R. (2012)
Functional convergence of microbes associated with temperate marine sponges
Environmental Microbiology 14,1224-1239 Journal | AbstractPDF

22. Leys, S.P., Yahel G., Reidenbach M. A. , Tunnicliffe V., Shavit U., and Reiswig H. M. (2012)
The sponge pump: the role of current induced flow in the design of the sponge body plan
PLOS ONE 6(12): e27787. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027787 Journal | Abstract | PDF

21. Chu J.W.F., Maldonado M., Yahel G., Leys S.P. (2011)

Glass sponge reefs as a silicon sink
Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 411, 1-14 (feature article) Journal | Abstract | PDF

20. Katz, T., Yahel G., Yahel R., Tunnicliffe V., Herut B. , Snelgrove P., Crusius J., and Lazar B. (2009)

Groundfish overfishing, diatom decline, and the marine silica cycle: Lessons from Saanich Inlet, Canada, and the Baltic Sea cod crash
Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 23, GB4032, doi:10.1029/2008GB003416 Journal | Abstract | PDF+SM | Supplementary video

19. Yahel G., Peter G. Beninger, Marie D., and Genin A. (2009)
In situ size-independent retention of phytoplankton and bacteria by the tropical bivalve Lithophaga simplex
Aquat. Biol. 6, 235-246 Journal | Abstract | PDF

18. Genin A, Monismith S.G, Reidenbach M.A., Yahel G., and Koseff J.R. (2009)
Intense benthic grazing of phytoplankton by the coral reef community
Limnol. Oceanogr. 54, 938–951 Journal | Abstract | PDF

17. Yahel G.,  Yahel R., Katz T., Lazar B., Herut B., and Tunnicliffe V. (2008)
Fish activity, a major mechanism for sediment resuspension and organic matter remineralization in coastal marine sediments Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 372, 195-209 Journal | Abstract | PDF | Supplementary video

16. Yahel G., Whitney F., Reiswig H.M., Eerkes-Medrano D.I., and Leys S.P. (2007)
In situ feeding and metabolism of glass sponges (Hexactinellida, Porifera) studied in a deep temperate fjord with a remotely operated submersible
Limnol. Oceanogr. 52,428-440 Journal | Abstract | PDFSOM

15. Yahel G., Eerkes-Medrano D.I., and Leys S.P. (2006)
Size independent selective filtration of ultraplankton by hexactinellid glass sponges
Aquatic Microbial Ecology 45:181-194 Journal | Abstract | PDF

14. Reidenbach, M.A., Monismith S.G., Koseff J.R., Yahel G., and Genin A. (2006)
Boundary layer turbulence and flow structure over a fringing coral reef
Limnol. Oceanogr. 51: 1956-1968 Journal | Abstract | PDF

13. Monismith S.G., Genin A., Reidenbach, M.A., Yahel G., and Koseff J.R. (2006)
Thermally driven exchanges between a coral reef and the adjoining ocean
Journal of Physical Oceanography Journal | Abstract | PDF

12. Yahel G., Zalogin T., Yahel R., and Genin A. (2005)
Phytoplankton grazing by epi- and in-fauna inhabiting exposed rocks in coral reefs.
Coral Reefs 25, 153-163. Journal | Abstract | PDF

11. Perkol-Finkel S., Shashar N., Barneah O., Ben-David-Zaslow R., Oren U., Reichart T., Yacobovich T., Yahel G., Yahel R., and Benayahu Y. (2005)
Fouling reefal communities on artificial reefs: Does age matter? 
Biofouling 21, 127-140. Journal | Abstract | PDF

10. Yahel G., Marie D., and Genin A. (2005)
"InEx” – an in situ method to measure rates of element intake and excretion by active suspension feeders
Limnol. Oceanogr. Met. 3, 46-58. Journal | Abstract | PDF

9. Yahel R., Yahel G., and Genin A. (2005)
Diel pattern with abrupt crepuscular changes of zooplankton over a coral reef
Limnol. Oceanogr. 50, 930-944. Journal | Abstract | PDF

8. Yahel R., Yahel G., and Genin A. (2005)
Near-bottom depletion of zooplankton over coral reefs: I. Diurnal dynamics and size  distribution
Coral Reefs 24: 75-85  Journal | Abstract | PDF

7. Yahel G., Sharp J.H., Marie D., Häse C., and Genin A. (2003)
In situ feeding and element removal in the coral-reef sponge Theonella swinhoei: Bulk DOC is the major source for carbon
Limnol. Oceanogr. 48 141-149.  Journal | Abstract | PDF

6. Yahel R., Yahel G., and Genin A. (2002)
Daily Cycles of Suspended Sand at Coral Reefs: A Biological Control
Limnol. Oceanogr. 47: 1071-1083.  Journal | Abstract | PDF

5. Genin A., Yahel G., Reidenbach M.A., Monismith S.G., Koseff J.R. (2002)
Intense benthic grazing on phytoplankton in coral reefs revealed using the control volume approach
Oceanography 15, 90-96.  Journal | Abstract | PDF

4. Yahel G., Post A.F., Fabricius K.E., Marie D., Vaulot D., and Genin A. (1998)
Phytoplankton distribution and grazing near coral reefs 
Limnol. Oceanogr. 43, 551-563.  Journal | Abstract | PDF

3. Fabricius K.E., Yahel G., and Genin A. (1998)
In situ depletion of phytoplankton by an azooxanthellate soft coral
Limnol. Oceanogr. 43, 354-356.  Journal | Abstract | PDF

 2. Yahel G. (1998)
Suspension feeding in coral reefs - what about dissolved matter?
Isr. J. Zool. 44, 90-91.  Text (abstract)

1. Fabricius K., Benayahu Y., Yahel G., Genin A. (1996)
Herbivory in Soft Corals: Correction.
Science 273, 293b-297.  Journal | Abstract

1. Kahn A, Yahel G., Tunnicliffe V., Leys, S.P.
Benthic grazing by deep-water glass sponge reefs
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 
Email for manuscript

In preparation
Katz T. , Yahel G, Tunnicliffe T., Herut B., Crusius J. , Whitney F., Snelgrove P.V.R. , and Lazar B.
Fish activity balances the silica cycle in a north pacific fjord
Email for manuscript

Reports and other publication

1. Environmental Impacts of air-gun surveys on Glass Sponges
PI: Tunnicliffe V. and Chapman R. | Draft prepared by Yahel G. and Wilmut M.