Prof. Sven Beer

Emeritus in Molecular Biology Ecology of Plants
ביולוגיה מול.ואקול.צמחים אמריטוס
Prof. Sven Beer
Israel Phone: +972 (0)546411449
Office: Britannia-Porter, 610


Born in Sweden, Prof. Beer arrived in Israel in 1973, where he received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University. As well as Hebrew, he is fluent in English, Swedish and German. Since retirement, he now divides his time between Israel and Australia.



1969-1972 B.A.; Biology, Universities of Uppsala and Stockholm
1974-1975 M.Sc.; Botany, Tel Aviv University
1975-1979 Ph.D.; Botany, Tel Aviv University
1979-1980 Post-doctoral research; Limnology, Tel Aviv University


Academic Appointments:

1974 - 1979 Instructor; Botany, Tel Aviv University
1981 - 1986 Lecturer; Tel Aviv University
1985 - 1987  Visiting Scientist; Photosynthesis, University of Florida
1986 - 1991  Senior Lecturer; Tel Aviv University
1988 - 1989 Scientific Advisor; Oceanography, The Open University
1991 - 2000 Associate Professor; Tel Aviv University
1994 - 1995 Visiting Scientist; Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut
2000 - 2011  Full Professor; Tel Aviv University
2000 - 2003 Chairman of the Depatment; Tel Aviv University
2001 - present Lecturer; Marine Botany, Ruppin Academic Center
2003 - 2004 Visiting Scientist; Marine Botany, University of Stockholm
2003 - present Adjunct Professor; Botany, University of Stockholm
2007 - 2008 Visiting Scientist; Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam
2009 Visiting Scientist; Marine Sciences, University of New Hampshire
2011 - present Emeritus Professor; Tel Aviv University


Professional Affiliations:

  Botanical Society of Israel (1981),  Phycological Society of America (1983), American Society of Plant Physiologists (1983-1990), European Phycological Society (1995), World Seagrass Association (2002)  


Honors and Awards:

1981 TAU grant for starting scientists (no. 5203) 
1981 European Atomic Commission, travel grant
1981-1982 TAU grant for young scientists (no. 5229)
1982 Invited Panellist, AAPS Workshop, Athens, GA 
1986 DNR of Florida, Proposal co-author and Project Leader 
1986 Florida Institute of Oceanography, eight shipboard days for scientific cruise to the Bahamas, Proposal author and expedition participant 
1987, 1989 Florida Institute of Oceanography, six shipboard days - same as 1986
1989, 1990 The Danish Science Foundation / Ministry of Education (Photosynthesis), PI
1989 The Hunger Fund/TAU (with Y. Lipkin) (Edible Sea Vegetable Porphyra), PI 
1989, 1990 The Ecology Fund, Israel (Algal Ecology), PI 
1991, 1992 Swedish National Research Council (Marine Algal Ecology), PI 
1991 Florida-Israel Institute (with G. Bowes) (Aquatic Macrophytes), PI 
1991-1993 Israel Academy of Sciences (with A. Zilberstein) (Rubisco SSU physiology and molecular biology , PI 
1991, 1992 TAU Fund for Basic Research (algal responses to CO2 ), PI 
1993-1996 Israel Academy of Sciences (with M. Gurewits) (HCO3 transport in algae), PI
1994-1995 DNR of Connecticut (seagrass biology of Long Island Sound), scientist 
1997-2000 R. Weil Research Grant, Proventus, Sweden (marine algae), PI 
1998-2001 The Israel Science Foundation / Israel Academy of Sciences (with A. Israel) (algal responses to increasing CO2 levels), PI 
1998-2001 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (study grant for African Ph.D. student) 
2001-2004 U.S.-Israel BiNational Science Foundation (BSF) (photosymbiotic relationships in 
marine sponges), PI 
2004 European Community (artificial marine structures), co-PI
2008 Ministry of Nature Protection (molecular identification of phytoplankton), PI
2010 European Community (seagrass biology), Core-group member, Israeli representative


Research Interests

Marine Photosynthesis and Ecophysiology:  Photosynthetic carbon acquisition in marine plants (macroalgae and seagrasses)

  • Photophysiology of marine invertebrate (corals, sponges) photosymbionts
  • Novel in situ optical fluorometric methods for measuring photosynthetic rates under water
  • Active in the environmental organization EcoOcean (


Principal Research Interests:

  • Marine Macrophyte (Macroalgae, Seagrasses)
  • Photosynthetic Carbon Acquisition;
  • Marine Invertebrate Photosymbioses;
  • PAM Fluorometric Methods for in situ Measurements of Photosynthetic Production 


Selected Publications

For a full list 


Selected Works (out of >120 peer-reviewed publications)


Beer, S., Eshel, A. and Waisel, Y. 1977. Carbon metabolism in seagrasses. I. The utilization of exogenous inorganic carbon species in photosynthesis. J. Exp. Bot. 106: 1180-1189


Beer, S., Shomer-Ilan, A. and Waisel, Y. 1980. Carbon metabolism in seagrasses. II. Patterns of photosynthetic CO2 incorporation. J. Exp. Bot. 31: 1019-1026


Beer, S. and Eshel, A. 1983. Photosynthesis of Ulva sp. II. Utilization of CO2 and HCO3when submerged. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 70: 99- 106 


Beer, S., Israel, A., Drechsler, Z. and Cohen, Y. 1990. Photosynthesis in Ulva fasciata. V. Evidence for an inorganic carbon concentrating system, and Rubisco CO2 kinetics. Plant Physiol. 94: 1542-1546


Sharkia, R., Cabantchik, Z.I. and Beer, S. 1994. A membrane-located polypeptide which may be involved in the HCO3‑  transport of Ulva sp. is recognized by antibodies raised against the red blood cell anion exchange protein. Planta 194: 247-249


Axelsson, L., Ryberg, H. and Beer, S. 1995. Two modes of bicarbonate acquisition in Ulva lactuca. Plant Cell and Environ. 18: 439-445


Beer, S. and Koch, E. 1996. Photosynthesis of seagrasses vs. marine macroalgae in globally changing CO environments. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 141: 199-204  


Beer, S., Vilenkin, B., Weil, A., Veste, M., Susel, L. and Eshel, A. 1998. Measuring photosynthetic rates in seagrasses by pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 174: 293-300


Ilan, M. and Beer, S. 1999. A new technique for non-intrusive in situ measurements of symbiotic photosynthesis under water. Coral Reefs 18: 74


Beer, S., Larsson, C., Poryan, O. and Axelsson, L. 2000. Measuring Photosynthetic Rates of the Marine Macroalga Ulva by Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) Fluorometry. Eur. J. Phycol. 35: 69-74


Beer, S., Björk, M., Hellblom, F. and Axelsson, L. 2002. Inorganic Carbon Utilisation in Marine Angiosperms (Seagrasses). Funct. Plant Biol. (former Australian J. Plant Physiol.) 29: 349-354


Winters, G., Loya, Y., Rottgers, R. and Beer, S. 2003. Photoinhibition in shallow water colonies of the coral Stylophora pistillata as measured in situ. Limnol. Oceanogr. 48: 1388-1393


Björk, M., Axelsson, L. and Beer, S. 2004. Why is Ulva intestinalis the only macroalga inhabiting isolated rockpools along the Swedish Atlantic coast? Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 284: 109-116


Saroussi, S. and Beer, S. 2007. Alpha and quantum yield of aquatic plants as derived from PAM fluorometry: Uses and misuses. Aquat. Bot. 86: 89-92


Sharon, Y. and Beer, S. 2008. Diurnal movements of chloroplasts in Halophila stipulacea and their effect on PAM fluorometric measurements of photosynthetic rates. Aquat. Bot. 88: 273-276


Semesi, S., Beer, S. and Björk, M. 2009. Seagrass photosynthesis controls rates of calcification and photosynthesis of calcareous macroalgae in a tropical seagrass meadow. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 382: 41-47


Sharon, Y., Silva, J., Santos, R., Runcie, J., Chernihovsky, M. and Beer, S. 2009. Photosynthetic responses of Halophila stipulacea to a light gradient: II – Plastic acclimations following transplantations. Aquat. Biol. 7: 153-157


Sharon, Y., Levitan, O., Spungin, D., Berman-Frank, I. and Beer, S. 2011. Photoacclimations of the seagrass Halophila stipulacea to the dim irradiance at its 48-m depth limit. Limnol. Oceanogr. 56: 357-362


Beer, S., Björk, M. and Beardall, J. 2014. Photosynthesis in the Marine Environment. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK (ISBN: 978-1-119-97957-9)


Kaewsrikhaw, R., A. Pratheb, A. Darakrai and S. Beer. 2016. Photosynthesis and calcification in two Halimeda species from Phuket, Thailand. Bot. Mar. 59: 187-192.


Winter, G., Beer, S. and others. 2020. The invasive tropical seagrass Halphila ovalis: A review of what we know, and identifying gaps in our knowledge. Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00300/


Beer, S., Björk, M, and Beardall, J. 2020. Chlorophyll Fluorescence: Basic Concepts and Key Parameters of Chlorophyll Fluorescence (Ch. 6:1). In: K. Gao & J. Beardall (Eds.) Research Methods of Environmental Physiology and Aquatic Sciences. Springer and China Science Press.


Beer, S., Björk, M, and Beardall, J. 2020. Fluorescence measurement techniques (Ch. 6:2). In: K. Gao & J. Beardall (Eds.) Research Methods of Environmental Physiology and Aquatic Sciences. Springer and China Science Press.
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