Dr. Inon Scharf

מחלקה לזואולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Dr. Inon Scharf
Phone: 03-6408006
Fax: 03-6409403
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 202


Inon Scharf has been a senior lecturer at the Department of Zoology since 2012. He completed his PhD in 2009 with distinction at Ben-Gurion University and continued to a 3-year post-doc position in Germany. He researches animal behavior and life history of insects, and in particular of antlions, wormlions, ants, and beetles. He engages with various questions, such as what is the optimal way to obtain food, when should an insect mate and reproduce, and how to balance between conflicting energetic demands, such as feeding and reproduction. With his background as an evolutionary biologist, he examines the functions of different traits and inquires into how they promote the insects' survival and reproduction. He also teaches two courses in animal behavior, focusing on how evolution shapes behavior. His most recent work deals with thermal ecology, particularly relating to how insects cope with an unfavorable climate, and what dictates the level of repeatability in insect behavioral traits.




Ph.D.; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

2004-2006 M.Sc.; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
2001-2004 B.Sc.;  Hebrew University 


Academic Appointments:

2012-present Senior Lecturer, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University
2009-2012 Post-doctoral research at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany


Research Interests

Inon Scharf studies the behavior and ecology of insects using various insect models, such as antlions, ants, and beetles. He focuses on two main research themes: The effect of climate on behavior, morphology, and development, and additional related questions, such as the benefits vs. costs of acclimation to unfavorable climate; and,  the advantages and disadvantages of learning demonstrated by insects, in relation to their physiology (e.g., levels of stress or hunger) and the environment (e.g., unfavorable climate).  Specific research interests are:

  • Foraging Behavior
  • Mating Behavior
  • Anti-Predation Behavior
  • Animal Personality
  • Competition
  • Phenotypic Plasticity
  • Life History
  • Thermal Ecology


Recent Publications

Recent publications (since 2013):

For full list please see my lab website.


Halle S, Nowizki A, Scharf I (2015) The consequences of parental age for development, body mass and resistance to stress in the red flour beetle. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (in press).


Scharf I, Galkin N, Halle S (2015) Disentangling the consequences of growth temperature and adult acclimation temperature on starvation and thermal tolerance in the red flour beetle. Evolutionary Biology (in press).


Scharf I, Feldman A, Novosolov M, Pincheira-Donoso D, Das I, Böhm M, Uetz P, Torres-Carvajal O, Bauer A, Roll U, Meiri S (2015) Late bloomers and baby boomers: ecological drivers of longevity in squamates and the tuatara. Global Ecology & Biogeography (in press).


Alcalay Y, Ovadia O, Scharf I (2014) Behavioral repeatability and personality in pit-building antlion larvae under differing environmental contexts. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 68:1985-1993.


Dor R, Rosenstein S, Scharf I (2014). Foraging behavior of a neglected pit-building predator: The wormlion. Animal Behaviour 93:69-76.


Scharf I, Sbilordo SH, Martin OY (2014) Cold tolerance in flour beetle species differing in body size and selection temperature. Physiological Entomology 39:80-87.


Alcalay Y, Barkae ED, Ovadia O, Scharf I (2014) Consequences of the instar stage for behavior in a pit-building antlion. Behavioural Processes 103:105-111.


Kramer B, Scharf I, Foitzik S (2014). The role of per-capita productivity in the evolution of small colony sizes in ants. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 68:41-53.


Scharf I, Meiri S (2013) Sexual dimorphism of heads and abdomens: different approaches to “being large” in female and male lizards. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 110:665-674.


Scharf I, Martin OY (2013) Same-sex sexual behavior in insects and arachnids: ethology, prevalence, causes and consequences. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 67:1719-1730.


Scharf I, Peter F, Martin OY (2013) Reproductive trade-offs and direct costs for males in arthropods. Evolutionary Biology 40:169-184.


Modlmeier AP, Foitzik S, Scharf I (2013) Starvation endurance in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi depends on group size, body size and access to larvae. Physiological Entomology 38:89-94.


Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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