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שלח באימייל הדפס
Plant Sciences
Animal Science
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Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences
Postharvest and Food Sciences
Agricultural Engineering
Gilat Center
Newe Ya'ar
Interdisciplinary Centers
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Environmental Physics and Irrigation
Soil Chemistry, Plant Nutrition and Microbiology
Administration - Soil Sciences
Environmental Physics and Irrigation
Head: Nirit Bernstein, Ph.D.
Aims: Improving our understanding, knowledge and ability to quantitatively describe processes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum in order to advance agriculture and sustain the quality of soil and water resources.


1. To identify knowledge gaps, to support R&D initiatives, to advance new research directions (basic and applied), to improve our abilities to measure and simulate in the soil-water-plant atmosphere domain, in order to improve water use efficiency, to increase yields, and to constrain pollution and damage to water and soil resources and services.
2. To contribute and strengthen the status of the Institute and the ARO in the research forefront in Israel and the world by publishing the results of research activities in leading journals, establish cooperation with other research centers and organizations, participate in conferences and train students.
3. To create basic and applied knowledge in topics related to the Soil-Water-Plant-Atmosphere continuum (SWPAC) in order to:
a. Improve water and nutrient use efficiency in Agriculture and increase profitability of agriculture
b. To develop soil and water resources and improve their utilization
c. To minimize the impact on environmental quality and contribute to revitalization of polluted natural resources.


Long term interdisciplinary research on:

  • Models for simulating the soil-water-plant-atmosphere continuum
  • Methods for improving water use efficiency and irrigation control
  • Methods for real-time monitoring of soil and crop water status at the plant (precision agriculture) and field level.

Department  member in Gilat  Research Center:

Alon Ben-Gal, Ph.D

(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Assouline Shmuel, Ph.D. Soil hydraulic properties. Irrigation practices and technologies. Soil structure and compaction effects. Evaporation from soils and water reservoirs Rainfall-Infiltration-Runoff-Erosion relationships. Dynamics of soil sealing and hydraulic properties of soil surface crusts. 2016 SSSA Don and Betty Kirkham Soil Physics Award
Bernstein Nirit, Ph.D. Plant Physiology • Understanding salinity effects on plant growth and development, on all levels of organization in the plant: cellular, tissue, organ and whole plant levels. • Irrigation of agricultural crops with brackish water (saline or treated effluents). • Environmental stress effects on plant growth and development: including also mineral deficiencies and toxicities, water stress, heat stress. • Plant nutrition. • Internalization of bacterial human pathogens into crops via the root system • Plant growth kinematics and dynamics. Applications for studies into cell and organ growth.
Cohen Shabtai, Ph.D. Micro-meteorology around vegetation and soil; Canopy structure of agricultural plants; Radiation distribution in vegetation and in agricultural structures; Global dimming (contemporary reductions in global radiation); Environmental physiology of plants, including leaf resistance behavior and modeling; Sap flow measurement; Hydraulic architecture of plants and rootstocks; Energy balance of plants, crops, and lakes; Evapo-transpiration modeling and irrigation management
Friedman Shmulik, Ph.D. Drip Irrigation, Irrigation with saline and recycled water Methods of soil oxygenation Soil-bacteria interactions, Bioclogging Transport and retention properties of soils and granular/porous media Electrical conductivity and permittivity of soils and rocks Electromagnetic methods for measuring soil water content and salinity Interactions between charged particles and ions Flow and transport processes of water, solutes, gas molecules and colloidal particles in soils
Hochberg Uri, Ph.D. Water stress physiology: Plant water relations Plant hydraulics Stomatal regulation Stress monitoring Irrigation scheduling in vineyards
Kamai Tamir, Ph.D. Hydrology, Soil Physics
Kurtzman Daniel (Dani), Ph.D. Influence of agricultural practices on water resources Groundwater and vadose zone hydrology – field tests, data analysis and modeling Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Water Resources of Israel Flow and transport in fractured and porous media
Rozenstein Offer, Ph.D. Mathematical and Statistical Models in Irrigation. Remote Sensing and Image Processing (sensors, algorithms, applications) Applied Spectroscopy Spatial Analysis Temporal Analysis Deserts Biological Soil Crusts
Tanny Josef, Ph.D. Agricultural meteorology; Crop water consumption; Microclimate in agricultural screenhouses and greenhouses; Properties of wind above and inside vegetated canopies; Eddy covariance and other turbulent transport measurements of surface fluxes; Evaporation processes; Natural ventilation of buildings; Double-diffusive convection; Free convection flows; Turbulent flows; Experimental methods in fluid mechanics, meteorology and heat transfer.
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Kaplan Grigorii, Ph.D.
Moshe Roy, Mr.
Narkis Kfir, B.Sc.
Nitsan Ido, B.A.
Perlstein Dotan, Mr.
Sade Yael, B.Sc.
Shtull-Trauring Eliav, Mr.
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Cohen Yehezkel, Ph.D. Emeritus
Communar Gregory, Ph.D. Trickle Irrigation, Irrigation with saline and recycled water Methods of soil oxygenation Flow and transport processes of water, solutes, gas molecules and colloidal particles in soils
Fuchs Marcel, Ph.D. Greenhouse climate control Micro-meteorology around vegetation and soil Soil heat flow Environmental physiology of plants Energy balance of plants Radiometric properties of vegetation
Hadas Amos, Ph.D. Emeritus,
Laufer Asher, Mr.
Meiri Avraham, Ph.D. Emeritus
Moreshet Samuel, Ph.D. Emeritus, Environmental plant physiology Water transport from soil through the plant and to the atmosphere Plant-water relationships Plant hydraulic conductance Leaf and canopy conductance, including stomatal behavior Crop water requirements and irrigation Agricultural archaeology of Israel
Nadler Arie, Ph.D. 1. In-situ monitoring of water content and salinity down the soil profile, mainly by dielectric and conductivity methods. 2. Developing instrumentation and software for the above targets and interpreting into actual values. 3. Developing (with others) tools for scheduling optimal/deficient irrigation. 4. Monitoring trees water status by dielectric measurements in stems for the determination of irrigation timing and amounts.
Russo David, Ph.D. (i) water flow and chemical transport in heterogeneous porous formations; (ii) Estimation of soil hydraulic properties; (iii) Characterization of the spatial heterogeneity of soil properties relevant to flow and transport; (iv) Modeling of flow and transport at the field scale; (v) Contamination of soils and groundwater; and (vi) Modeling of flow, transport and crop production and its application to management of saline and sodic soils.
Stanhill Gerald, Ph.D. Emeritus, Climate change Solar radiation measurement and crop influences Evaporation and crop water requirements Energy balance of agricultural systems Organic agriculture
Contact details
Telephone Tel: 972-3-9683707
Fax Fax: 972-3-9604017
Email Email: nirit@volcani.agri.gov.il
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