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שלח באימייל הדפס
Plant Sciences
Animal Science
Plant Protection
Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences
Postharvest and Food Sciences
Agricultural Engineering
Newe Ya'ar
Entomology and the Nematology and Chemistry units
Plant Pathology and Weed Research
Entomology and the Nematology and Chemistry units
Head: Eric Palevsky, Ph.D.
The Department of Entomology, Nematology and Chemistry conducts applied and basic research on issues and problems related to agriculture and forestry. Its main objective is to solve problems of plant protection that affect the agricultural and forestry sectors of Israel, for the benefit of both producers and consumers. The Department’s research also aims to improve the rural and urban environment by developing, testing and applying novel pest management strategies that reduce the use of pesticides. The members of the department conduct cutting-edge research on the ecology and biological control of insect pests and nematodes, including their chemical ecology, physiology, and biochemistry, using modern techniques of molecular biology and genomics. The department maintains numerous collaborations with scientists and institutions throughout the world.


The vision of the department is to serve as a leading research center for the development of control measures against agricultural pests, while protecting the environment, agricultural products and maintaining the values of sustainable agriculture, by:

  • Investigating interactions between arthropod pests, agricultural crops and the environment.
  • Identification of problems related to arthropod pests that limit maximal production in agricultural crops.
  • Developing effeceint, environment-friendly measures for solving problems related to arthropod pests in agricultural crops.
  • Disseminating and implementing the knowledge developed by the department in the agricultural and industrial sectors, nationally and internationally.
  • Conserving the knowledge developed in the department for training the next generation of scientists in the field of arthropod pests and plant protection


  • Integrated pest management of arthropod pests in agriculture
  • Management of arthropod pests in agriculture using environment-friendly control measures.
  • Physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genomics of arthropod pests in agriculture.
  • Taxonomy and faunistics of agricultural pests


Biology, ecology and epidemiology

Study population dynamics of arthropod pests. Use and develop tools for studying the spatial and temporal spread of arthropod pests. Use molecular and statistical tools for determining the geographic origin of pests. Identification, spread and ecology of plant parasitic nematodes. Study the transmission of plant pathogens by arthropod vectors.

 Chemical ecology

Isolation, identification and use of sex and crowding pheromones, and plant metabolites for monitoring, mating disruption and management of arthropod pests. Development of materials and formulas for arthropod attract and kill methods.

Development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) components

Examining the use of plants as traps. Use of nets and plastic covers with optical additives for reducing the risk of insect invasion into greenhouses. Implementation of physical barriers against pests. Studying plant resistance against insect pests and mites. Examining and development of new natural and biorational pesticides against major insect pests, in collaboration with the private sector. Study insect pest resistance and cross resistance to insecticides, detoxification and synergism. Development of insect resistance management programs (IRM) and rapid methods for screening the resistance for major pests. Study mode of action for Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). Developing biological sensors for monitoring pesticide residues in agricultural products, food and the environment.

Biological control

Using parasitoid wasps for the management of a long list of insect pests. Importing and acclimating natural enemies against existing and invasive insect pests. Developing and integrating sex pheromones and natural enemies for improving pest management. Improving the management of plant feeding mites using predatory mites.

Microbial control

Developing bacteria and virus based-pesticides, using microorganisms that attack insects. Management of insect pests using insect nematodes and fungi.

Biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology of arthropod pests

Study molecular interactions between insect pests and nematodes with their environment including plants, viruses, symbiotic bacteria and climate changes, and develop measures for disrupting these interactions. Study the role of neuropeptides in controlling the production of sex pheromones in lepidopterans. Surveying and developing inhibitors for the production of sex pheromones. Developing genetically-engineered baculoviruses with selective toxins against lepidopterans.

Taxonomy and faunistics

Molecular Taxonomy and faunistics of the coccidae in Israel and the Middle East. Development of a database for the taxonomy of the coccidae around the world (ScaleNet). Study the genetics of biotypes in several insect pests.



Staff members located at the regional centers:

(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Altstein Vinnie (Miriam), Prof. General: 1. Neuroendocrinology and neurochemistry 2. Rational design of insecticides 3. Molecular diagnostics 4. Food toxicology Specific topics: 1. Studies of neuroendocrine mechanisms in moths (sex pheromone biosynthesis, melanization, pupariation, muscle contraction, diapause). 2. Rational design of environment friendly non-toxic insect control agents based on disruption of the neuroendocrine system (i.e., design of neuropeptide-antagonist based insecticides). 3. Studies of bioavailability (penetrability through the cuticle) of compounds into insects. 4. Development of receptor based high throughput screening assays for discovery of new insect control agents. 5. Development of novel probes and immunochemical/microarray methods for monitoring pesticide residues from water, food and environmental samples.
Ben-Yakir David, Ph.D. Development of IPM programs for protected and field crops. The fate of antibodies ingested by arthropod pests and the potential of specific antibodies as insecticides Research topics in protected Crops: 1. Effect of photoselective covers on pest's entry and establishment. 2. Risk of pest's entry and establishment in time and space. 3. Reducing thrips damages. 4. Post harvest treatments for quarantine pests. Research topics in field Crop: 1. Pests of sweet corn. 2. Soil pests (earwigs, scarabs). 3. Pests of wheat.
Brown Sigal, Ph.D. 1.Understanding the molecular interaction leading to resistance or susceptibility to plant parasitic nematode. Identification and characterization of nematodes and plants effectors involved in early recognition events in the plant nematode interaction. 2. Molecular characterization of "resistance breaking" root knot nematodes populations. 3. Studying nematodes occurence in deciduous plants, grapevine and olive trees and screening rootstocks for nematodes resistance.
Chejanovsky Nor, Prof. Insect Viruses: Bee Viruses (host range, prevention, Colony collapse disorder CCD). Baculoviruses (host range, implementation in pest control). The insect antiviral response: innate immunity, RNAi, apoptosis.
Ghanim Murad, Ph.D. Our lab is mainly interested in studying the multitrophic interactions between whiteflies, especially the sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci, Begomoviruses, especially Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and bacterial endosymbionts that reside within the whiteflies. We are further interested in several aspects of ensosymbiont influence on the whitefly biology and interactions with biotic and abiotic stress. Another main research line in the lab is insect pest resistance to insecticides, resistance monitoring for several major pests in Israel including whiteflies, thrips species and several other pests. We further study both the applied and basic aspects of the resistance to insecticides, using biological, molecular and functional genomic tools.
Glazer Itamar, Prof. Biological Control of Insect Pests by Microbial control agents: Entomopathogenic nematodes- Ecology, Genetics and Application Entomopathogenic fungi- Ecology, host-parasite interactions and application.
Harari Ally R., Ph.D. Ecology of mating systems and sexual conflicts Sexual selection and reproductive tactics Interrupting sexual communication of insect pests as control means Ecology and IPM of various arthropods: Lepidopterans: Lobesia botrana, Cryptoblabes gnidiella, Euzopherodes vapidella, Deudorix livia, Ectomyelois ceratoniae, Tuta absoluta Coleopterans: Maladera matrida, Diaprepes abbreviates, Oryctes agamemnon Capnodis tenebrionis, Phloeosinus aubei, Phloeosinus armatus, Coccotrypes dactyliperda Spiders: Latrodectus pallidus, Latrodectus revivensis, Latrodectus geometricus
Mendel Zvi, Ph.D.
Nestel David, Ph.D. Spatial Dispersion Patterns of Fruit Flies; Nutritional Physiology of Fruit Flies; Alternative Control Methods, Including Mass-Trapping and Sterile Insect Technique Current Projects: 1) Application of SIT to control the olive fly in arid regions 2) Olive fly population trends and modelling in different geoclimatic areas 3) Application of mass-trapping to control the olive fly 4) Nutritional physiology of adult Ethiopian fruit fly 5) Attraction of the Ethiopian fruit fly to plant volatiles 6) Chemical control of the Ethiopian fruit fly 7) Post-Harvest cold treatments to curtail Medfly development in peppers 8) Development of SIT protocols for the Ethiopian fruit fly
Soroker Victoria, Ph.D. a. Chemical Ecology: 1) Regulation of pheromone production and detection in honeybees 2) Host recognition in arthropods (broad mite-Polyphagotarsonemus latus, Varroa destructor, Hyalesthes obsoletus; Capnodis tenebrionis; Dacus ciliatus). 3) Isolation of sex pheromones: Batrachedra amydraula; Pear Psylla-Cacopsyla bidens. b) Honeybee health- colony losses c) IPM - Date palm pests: Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus; Honeybee pests: Varroa mite
Spiegel Yitzhak, Prof. --- Control of plant-parasitic nematodes by intervention in the host-recognition process. --- Biological control of plant-parasitic nematodes. --- Cereal cyst, citrus and ornamental nematodes in Israel.
Zada (Levi-Zada) Anat, Ph.D. Identification of insect pheromones of agricultural and economical importance in Israel: Isolation, chemical analysis, synthesis, lure designment and field examination Establishment and advancement of pheromone practice in Integrate Pest Managment (IPM): For monitoring and pest control (mating disruption, mass-trapping and lure & kill). Development of novel and environmental friendly slow-release formulations of pheromones
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Ben-Aziz Orna
Bornshtein Alisa
Bucki Patricia, Ph.D.
David Maayan, B.Sc.
Davidovitz Michael
Fefer Daniela, B.Sc. Pheromone chemistry Identification, synthesis and applications
hen Michael
Kontsedalov Svetlana
Kuznetsova Tatiana
Lavi Esther
Lebedev Galina, M.Sc.
Mazor Michal, Ph.D. Fruit flies, attractants and repellents, baits, behavior and control. Biological control of fruit flies and the Carob Moth. Noctuid sex pheromones. Particle film technology with Surround WP. Acoustical signals and fluctuating asymmetry in the Mediterranean fruit fly.
Protasov Alex, Ph.D. Forest pests; Biological control of insect pests.
Sade Adi
Salame Liora
Steinitz Hadass, Ph.D.
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Samra Shahar, M.Sc. My main field interests are entomology and biological control. My PhD research is about the biology and genetics of the parasitoid species complex of the pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea wilkinsoni) and the Caper bug (Stenozygum coloratum).
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Aharonson, Nadav, Ph.D. Development of analytical methods for pesticide residues Persistence and metabolism of pesticide residues in food, soil and water Systemic pesticides, uptake and degradation. Interaction between agrochemicals and soil microorganisms, affecting degradation Immunochemical approaches for selective cleanup and detection of residues
Ben-Dov, Yair, Ph.D. Scale Insects: systematics, biology, ecology and control Development and updating of ScaleNet - a computerized database of the Scale Insects of the world Development and updating of Scale Insect Forum (Hemiptera: Coccoidea)
Blumberg Daniel, Ph.D. Date palm and citrus pests Ecology and control of scale insects Biological control Parasitoid encapsulation by scale insects
Dunkelblum Ezra, Ph.D. Chemical communication Sex pheromone identification and application Moth pests Scale insect pests Sex pheromone identification
Eliyahu Miriam
Gindin Galina, Ph.D. Pathogens infecting insects and ticks: entomopathogenic fungi and bacteria (isolation, identification, bioassay, application in greenhouses and in field). Development of mycoacaricide based on entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae, against ticks. Improving efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis application against defoliators in forests and parks. Field evaluation of systemic insecticides for control of the pine processionary moth T.wilkinsoni. Development of insect diets (for example, for Capnodis spp. and Batrachedra amydraula).
Horowitz Rami A., Ph.D. Insecticide resistance and management Cotton pests Ecology and control of Bemisia tabaci, Liriomyza sp. and thrips Physical control (vacuuming insects) Area-wide pest management Bt -transgenic cotton
Ishaaya Isaac, Ph.D. Novel Insecticides Insecticides: resistance, biochemistry and biological modes of action Cotton pests Ecology and control of Bemisia tabaci, Liriomyza sp. and thrips
Klein Meir, Ph.D.
Mansour Fadel, Ph.D. Biological control of spider mites Host plant resistance to mites Acaricides from botanical origin
Melamed-Madjar Venezia, Ph.D.
Muszkat Lea, Ph.D. Remediation of organic pollution in water and effluents by solar photochemical and photocatalytic processes. The bactericidal and the fungicidal effects of solar photochemical processes examined in a greenhouse water recirculation system. Transport and fate of organic pollutants from soil surface to ground-water. The formation of higher organo-bromine substances during water disinfection. The fate of organic pollutants in deep reservoirs for wastewater treatment and reuse. Development of analytical methods for trace level pesticides.
Navon Amos, Ph.D. Microbial control of agricultural pests with Bacillus thuringiensis Development of formulations for entomopathogenic microbes and nematodes Insect hostplant interactions Development of botanical insecticides
Reneh Saadia
Virov Dan, Ph.D.
Wysoki Manes, Ph.D.
Contact details
Telephone Tel: 03-9683911, 050-6220111
Fax Fax: 03-9683445
Email Email: palevsky@volcani.agri.gov.il
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