Prof. Yehuda Benayahu

מחלקה לזואולוגיה אמריטוס
Prof. Yehuda Benayahu
Phone: 03-6409090
Another phone: 03-6407292
Fax: 03-6409403
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 324

Research Interests

Professor Yehuda (Hudi) Benayahu is a world-renowned expert on soft coral biology and taxonomy and his team is engaged with studying their life history, phylogeny, symbiotic associations with algae and invertebrates, biomaterials and natural products and distribution throughout the entire Indo-Pacific region. His research also encompasses topics such as recruitment of invertebrates and fish onto artificial reefs, larval hydrodynamics, invasive species and their associated microbial communities, recreational fishing and developing and testing of environmentally-friendly antifouling paints. 


Recent Publications

Since 2012

 D. Zurel, U. Gophna, Y. Benayahu Parity and disparity between two Chama oysters: The reproductive biology of the Indo- Pacific C. pacifica Broderip 1835, invasive to the Mediterranean Sea; and C. savignyi Lamy, 1921, indigenous to the Red Sea Mar. Ecol. Vol. 33, 2012 (pp. 261-271). (DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.2011.00490.x)Mar. Ecol. 


D. Aharonovich, Y. Benayahu Microstructure of octocoral sclerites for diagnosis of taxonomic features Mar. Biodiv. Vol. 42, 2012 (pp. 173-174) (DOI: 10.1007/s12526-011-0102-3)


S.E. Kahng, Y. Benayahu, HR, Lasker  Sexual reproduction in octocorals Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. Vol. 443, 2011 (pp. 265-283)


M. G. Grossowicz, Y. Benayahu Differential morphological features of two Dendronephthya soft coral species suggest 
differences in feeding niches
 Mar. Biodiv. Vol. 42, 2012 (pp. 65-72)


Barneah O, EB Dov, Y Benayahu, I Brickner, A Kushmaro  Molecular diversity and specificity of acoel worms associated with corals in the Gulf of  Eilat (Red Sea)  Aquat. Biol. Vol. 14, 2012 (pp. 277-281)


C. Yoffe, T. Lotan, Y. Benayhau A modified view on octocorals: Heteroxenia fuscescens nematocysts are diverse, featuring  both an ancestral and a novel type PLoS ONE  Vol. 7, 2012 (pp. 1-5)


L.P. van Ofwegen, Y. Benayahu New species of the genus Sinularia (Octocorallia, Alcyonacea) from Penghu Archipelago, Taiwanl.Zool. Stud. Vol. 51 , 2012 (pp. 383-398)


Y. Gabay, Y. Benayahu, M. Fine Does elevated pCO2 affect reef octocorals?
Ecology & Evolution. Vol. 3, 2012 (pp. 465-473) (DOI: 10.1002/ece3.351)


M. Leiba, R. Zuzovsky, D. Mioduser, Y. Benayahu, R. Nachmias Learning about ecological systems by constructing qualitative models with Dynalearn.  Interdic. J. E-Learn. & Learn. Obj. Vol. 8, 2012 (pp. 57-62)


Y. Benayahu, L.P. van Ofwegen, C.-F. Dai, M.-S. Jeng, K. Soong, A. Shlagman, H.J. Hsieh. C.S. McFadden Diversity, distribution and molecular systematics of octocorals (Coelenterata: Anthozoa) on  Penghu archipelago, Taiwan  Zool. Stud. Vol. 51, 2012 (pp. 1529-1548)


L. P. van Ofwegen, Y. Benayahu, C. S. McFadden
Sinularia leptoclados (Ehrenberg, 1834) (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) re-examined
ZooKeys Vol. 272, 2012 (pp. 29-59)

Y. Benayahu Notes on some tropical octocorals at the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Cnidaria: Octocorallia)  The Raffles Bull. Zool. Vol. 61, 2013 (pp. 7-11)


G. Zilman, J. Novak, A. Liberzon, S. Perkol-Finkel, Y. Benayahu  Hydrodynamics of contact of a marine larva Bugula nertina with a cylinder J. Exp. Biol. 2013 (DOI:10.1242/jeb.083352)


R. D. Haverkort-Yeh, C. S. McFadden, A. Halász, M. Berumen, Y. Benayahu, R.J.Toonen. A taxonomic survey of Saudi Arabian Red Sea octocorals (Cnidaria: Alcyonacea) Mar. Biodiv. Vol. 43, 2013 (pp. 279-291) (DOI 10.1007/s12526-013-0157-4)


Y. Hibino1, P. A. Todd, S.-yin Yang, Y. Benayahu, J. D. Reimer Molecular and morphological evidence for conspecificity of two common Indo-Pacific  species of Palythoa (Cnidaria: Anthozoa).Hydrobiologia 2013 DOI 10.1007/s1070-013-1587-5


A. Halász, C. S. McFadden, D. Aharonovich, R. Toonen, Y. Benayahu
A revision of the octocoral genus Ovabunda (Alderslade, 2001) (Anthozoa, Octocorallia, Xeniidae).ZooKeys Vol. 373, 2013 (pp. 1-41)


D. Edelist, A. Scheinin, O. Sonin, J. Shapiro, P. Salameh, G. Rilov, Y. Benayahu, D. Schulz, D. Zeller.Israel: Reconstructed estimates of total fisheries removals in the Mediterranean. 1950–2010. Acta Adriat Vol. 54, 2013 (pp. 253-264)


A. Shabtay, Y. Tikochinski, Y. Benayahu, G. Rilov  Preliminary data on the population genetic structure of a highly successful invading oyster suggests its establishment dynamics in the Levant. Mar. Biol. Res. Vol. 10, 2014 (407-415)


J. P. Ruiz Allais, M. E. Amaro, C. S. McFadden, A. Halász, Y. Benayahu
The first incidence of an alien soft coral of the family Xeniidae in the Caribbean, an invasion in eastern Venezuelan coral communitiesCoral Reefs 2014 (DOI: 10.1007/s00338-013-1122-1)


Y. Gabay, M. Fine, Z. Barkay, Y. Benayahu  Octocoral tissue provides protection from declining oceanic pH PLoS ONE 2014 (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091553)


M. Sharabi, Y. Mandelberg, D. Benayahu, Y. Benayahu, A. Azem, R. Haj-Ali A new class of bio-composite materials of unique collagen fibersJ. Mech. Behav. Biomech.  Mat. Vol. 36, 2014 (pp. 71-81)


A. Halàsz, A. M. Reynolds, C. S. McFadden, R. J. Toonen, Y. Benayahu 

Could polyp pulsation be the key to species boundaries in the genus Ovabunda (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Xeniidae)? Hydrobiologia Vol. 759, 2015 (pp. 95-107)


Y. Mandelberg-Aharon, Y. Benayahu

Reproduction of the Red Sea octocoral Sarcophyton auritum Verseveldt & Benayahu,1978, within generic boundaries and across wide biogeographical regions. Hydrobiologia Vol. 759, 2015 (pp. 119-132)


A. Shabtay, G. Rilov, Y. Benayahu 

The invasive oyster Spondylus spinopsus Schreibers, 1793 into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Sexual reproduction enhances its abundance

Molluscan Res. Vol. 35, 2015 (pp. 206-2012)


M. Grossowicz, Y. Benayahu

Occurrence and survivorship of azooxanthellate octocorals reflect recruitment preferences and depth distribution Hydrobiologia Vol. 759, 2015 (pp. 85-93)


Y. R. Roterman, Y. Benayahu, L. Reshef, U. Gophna

The gill microbiota of invasive and indigenous Spondylus oysters from the Mediterranean Sea and northern Red Sea Environ.

Micro. & Environ. Micro. Reports Vol. 7, 2015 (pp. 860-867)


Sharbi, M., J. Isaacs, Y. Benayahu, D. Benayahu, and R. Haj-Ali

Laminated collagen-fiber bio-composites for soft-tissue bio-mimetics Compos. Sci. Technol. Vol. 117, 2015 (pp. 268-276)


Y. Benayahu, O. Levi, T. Lotan

Lotan Preface to the 8th International Conference on Coelenterate Biology Hydrobiologia, Vol. 759, 2015 (pp. 1-2)


Y. Mandelberg-Aharon, D. Benayahu, Y. Benayahu

Octocoral Sarcophyton auritum Verseveldt & Benayahu, 1978: Microanatomy and presence of collagen fibers Biol. Bull. Vol. 230, 2016 (pp. 68-77)


Y. J. Trifman, M. Aknin, A. Gauvin-Bialecki, Y. Benayahu, S. Carmeli, Y. Kashman

Bisdioxycalamenene: A Bis-Sesquiterpene from the Soft Coral Rhytisma fulvum fulvum Mar. Drugs Vol. 14, 2016, doi:10.3390/md14020041


Z. Barkay, R. Golombick, Y. Gabay, Y. Benayahu

Droplet Contact Angle measurement on Microstructures of Octocoral Sclerites - ESEM Image Analysis J. Chem. Chem. Engin.  Vol. 1, 2016 (pp. 42-47).


L. P. van Ofwegen, C. S. McFadden, Y. Benayahu

Sinularia polydactyla (Ehrenberg, 1834) (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) re-examined, with description of a new species.

ZooKeys, Vol. 581, 2016 (pp. 71-126) 


M. Sharabi, D. Varssano, R. Eliasy, Y. Benayahu, D. Benayahu, R.Haj-Ali

Mechanical flexure behavior of bio-inspired collagen-reinforced thin composites Composite Structures Vol. 153, 2016 (pp. 392–400)


M. H. Schleyer, Y. Benayahu, S. Parker-Nancec, R. W. M. van Soest, J. P. Quode

Benthos on submerged lava beds of varying age off the coast of Reunion, western Indian Ocean: sponges, octocorals and ascidians             

Biodiversity, 2016 Biodiversity, DOI: 10.1080/14888386.2016.1190669            


M. H. Schleyer, Y. Benayahu      

The soft coral fauna (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) of Mayotte

Mar. Biodiv. 2016 DOI 10.1007/s12526-016-0621-z



E. Shoham, Y. Benayahu    

Higher species richness of octocorals in the upper mesophotic zone in Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba) compared to shallower reef zones

Coral Reefs Vol. 36, 2017 (pp 71–81)



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