Prof. Eli Geffen

מחלקה לזואולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Eli Geffen
Phone: 03-6406358
Fax: 03-6409403
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 212


Eli Geffen is a behavioral ecologist currently interested in mammalian social interactions and vocal communication. He is also interested in population genetics, largely associated with conservation biology issues. He is currently studying vocal communication among male rock hyraxes, with emphasis on understanding the role of syntax in their songs


Research Interests


  • Behavioral ecology - social dynamics and vocalization in the rock hyrax, visual communication in chameleons, and evolution of sociality in canids and other carnivores.
  • Population genetics - behavioral and environmental factors that influencing dispersal decisions in carnivores and other vertebrates.
  • Comparative studies on various behavioral aspects of birds and mammals.
  • Eco-physiology - The effects of parasite load on breeding success in rodents.


Recent Publications

For the full list.


Since 2011:

Gaubert P, Machordom A, Morales A, Lopez Bao JV, Veron G, Amin M, Queirós Barros TS, Basuony M, Sylvestre Djagoun CAM, Do Linh San E, Santos Fonseca CMM, Geffen E, Gouichiche M, Onder Ozkurt S, Cruaud C, Couloux A, Palomares F. 2011. Comparative phylogeography of two African carnivores presumably introduced in Europe: disentangling natural versus human-mediated dispersal across the Strait of GibraltarJournal of Biogeography38:341–358.                


Koren L, Geffen E. 2011. Individual identity is communicated through multiple channels in male rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) songsBehavioral Ecology and sociobiology 65:675–684.              


Yom Tov Y, Geffen E. 2011. Recent spatial and temporal changes in body size of terrestrial vertebrates: probable causes and pitfallsBiological Reviews 86:531–541.               


Geffen E, Rowe KC, Yom-Tov Y. 2011. Reproductive rates in Australian rodents are related to phylogenyPLoS ONE 6:e19199.


Yoktan K, Geffen E, Ilany A, Yom-Tov Y, Leader N. 2011. Vocal dialect and genetic subdivisions along a geographic gradient in the orange-tufted sunbird. Behavioral Ecology and sociobiology 65:1389–1402.              


Munwes I, Geffen E, Friedmann A, Tikochinski Y, Gafny S. 2011. Variation in heteroplasmy and repeat length of the mtDNA control region along a core-edge gradient in the eastern spadefoot toad (Pelobates syriacus). Molecular Ecology 20:2878–2887.              


Virgós E, Kowalczyk R, Trua A, de Marinis A, Mangas GJ, Barea-Azcón JM, Geffen E. 2011. Body size clines in the European badger and the abundant centre hypothesisJournal of Biogeography 38:1546–1556.              


VonHoldt BM, Pollinger JP, Earl DA, Knowles JC, Boyko AR, Parker H, Geffen E, Pilot M, Jedrzejewski W, Greco C, Randi E, Musiani M, Kays R, Qian Z, Zhang Y, Bustamante CD, Ostrander EA, Novembre J, Wayne RK. 2011. A genome-wide perspective on the evolutionary history of enigmatic wolf-like canidsGenome Research, 21:1294-1305.            


Barocas A, Ilany A, Koren L, Kam M, Geffen E. 2011. Variance in centrality within rock hyrax social networks predicts adult longevityPLoS ONE 6:e22375.            


Ilany A, Barocas A, Koren L, Kam M, Geffen E. 2011. Singing rock hyraxes exploit conspecific calls to gain attentionPLoS ONE 6:e28612.           


Geffen E, Kam M, Hefner R, Hersteinsson P, Angerbjörn A, Dalèn L, Fuglei E, Norèn K, Adams J, Vucetich J, Meier TJ, Mech LD, vonHoldt BM, Stahler DR, Wayne RK. 2011. Kin encounter rate and inbreeding avoidance in canids. Molecular Ecology 20:5348–5358.          


Koren L, Nakagawa S, Burke T, Soma KK, Wynne-Edwards KE, Geffen E. 2012. Non-breeding feather concentrations of testosterone, corticosterone and cortisol are associated with subsequent survival in wild house sparrowsProceedings of the Royal Society B, 279, 1560–1566.          


Yom-Tov Y, Hatzofe O, Geffen E. 2012. Israel’s breeding avifauna: A century of dramatic change. Biological Conservation, 147:13–21.          


Cohen O, Barocas A, Geffen E. 2013. Conflicting management policies for the Arabian wolf in the Negev Desert: Is this justified? Oryx, 47:228–236.          


Kershenbaum A, Ilany A, Blaustein L, Geffen E. 2012. Syntactic structure and geographical dialects in the songs of male rock hyraxesProceedings of the Royal Society B, 279:2974-2981.          


Pienaar J., Ilany A., Geffen E., Yom-Tov Y. 2013. Macroevolution of life-history traits in passerine birds: adaptation and phylogenetic inertiaEcology Letters, 16:571–576.        


Ilany A, Barocas A, Kam M, Ilany T, Geffen E. 2013. The energy cost of singing in wild rock hyrax males: evidence for an index signalAnimal Behaviour, 85:995-1001.    


Ilany A, Barocas A, Koren L, Kam M, Geffen E. 2013. Structural balance in the social networks of a wild mammal.Animal Behaviour, 85:1397–1405.      


Biton R, Geffen E, Vences M, Cohen O, Bailon S, Rabinovich R, Malka Y, Oron T, Boistel R, Brumfeld V, Gafny S. 2013. The rediscovered Hula painted frog is a living fossil. Nature Communications, 4:1959 


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