Prof. Joseph Loya

Emeritus in School of Zoology
ביה"ס לזואולוגיה אמריטוס
Prof. Joseph Loya
Phone: 03-6407683
Another phone: 03-6409809
Fax: 03-6407682
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 327


Yossi Loya was born in Bulgaria in 1942 and as a baby fled with his parents to Israel in the middle of the second world war in 1944; served in the army as a communication officer; He is currently Professor Emeritus at Tel-Aviv University (TAU), where he has been a faculty member at the School of Zoology for 50 years. He completed B.Sc. in Biology (1965) and M.Sc. in Zoology (1967) at Tel Aviv University (TAU); Ph.D. in Ecology (1971) at SUNY Stony Brook; post-doc (1972) at Woods-Hole Oceanographic Institute; appointed lecturer of Zoology at TAU (1972); full Professor of Ecology(1985); Chair of Zoology Dept. (1989-90); Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences (1990-95), during which he initiated and established the Ecology and Environmental M.Sc. program (the largest in Israel) and the Porter Center for Ecological and Environmental studies (currently a school); in 1996 nominated incumbent of the Raynor Chair for Environmental Conservation Research; in 2009 elected member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences.

His research has focused on the ecology, evolution, management, and conservation of coral reefs. He has published over 300 papers, including nine in Nature and Science and four books. His work on coral community structure, life history strategies, biodiversity, and conservation has become classic in ecological literature. His pioneering groundbreaking research on quantifying changes in biodiversity and assessing reef health has been widely conducted by reef scientists and resource management agencies worldwide.

He made a remarkable contribution to promoting ecological research and education in Israel, mentoring several generations of graduate students who now form a substantial part of the country's marine ecology scientists and leaders in environmental conservation.

His scientific achievements have earned him prestigious international and national prizes and honors, including the international Senior Queen Elizabeth Fellow (1979), the international highly prestigious Darwin Medal (2000), the Israeli Landau Prize (2003), the Honorable membership of the Israel Society of Zoology (2011), the Israeli highly prestigious scientific prize–the EMET Prize (2015), and The Israeli Association for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (2023). 



Please see Full CV


B.Sc. -   Biology, Tel Aviv University (1962-1965).  
M.Sc. -  Zoology, Tel Aviv University (summa cum laude) (1965-1967).  
Ph.D. -  Ecology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York (1967-1971).
Post-doc - Ecology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, (WHOI) Mass. (1971-1972). 

Academic and Professional Experience 

Member-School of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University 
Lecturer (1972-1976).
Senior lecturer (1976-1980). 
Associate Professor (1980-1986. 
Full Professor-(1986-2011).
Professor Emeritus (since 2011). 
Chairman - The Zoological Society of Israel (1977-1979). 
Chief Scientist- Ship expeditions to the Southern Red Sea (1980,1982,1984,1986,1988, 1991). 
Chairman - Dept. of Zoology, TAU (1988-1989). 
Dean - Faculty of Life Sciences, TAU (1990-1995). 
Director- The Porter Center for Ecological and Environmental Studies (1995-2000). 
Endowed Chair- Raynor Professor for Environmental Conservation Research (1997-2012). 
Adjunct Professor – Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies James Cook Univ., Townsville, Australia (2008- 2018).
Member of Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (since 2009). 

Visiting Professor:

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and James Cook Univ. (JCU) of North Qld. Dept. of Marine Ecology
(Senior Queen Elizabeth Fellow) (1979-1980).
Scripps Inst. of Oceanography La Jolla, San Diego USA (1985-1986).
 Univ. of the Ryukyus, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, Okinawa, Japan 
 (During June to Aug. of 1995, 1997,1999,2004,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2012,2014).
Univ. of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Dept. of Ecology and Evolution (2007-2008).
Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook Univ., Townsville, Australia (2009).

Tel Aviv University Administrative Duties:

Dean - Faculty of Life Sciences (1990-1995).
Member - Board of Governors (1990-1995); Central Committee (1990-1995); 
Board of Trustees (1990- 2002); High Academic Nomination Committee (2004-2007).            

Israeli Academic Advisory Boards:

Member- Scientific advisory board Nature Protection Authority, Israel (1980-1985).
Member- Israel Academy of Science- Basic Research Foundation: (1986-1991).
Member- Israeli Ministry of Science: Germany- Israel Marine Biology Program (1995-1999).
Member- Israel Science Foundation (Ecology committee): (1997-1999, 2007, 2012).
Chair- Board of Directors- Inter-Univ. Inst. of Marine Sci. (IUI), Eilat (1995-1999).  
Member- Advisory Board: Batsheva de Rothschild Fund for the Advancement of Science (2012-2016).
Chair- Advisory Board: Batsheva de Rothschild Fund for the Advancement of Science (Since 2016). 

International Scientific Committees:

Member- The Scientific Organizing Committee of the following International Coral Reef Symposia:
3d ICRS Miami, Florida (1977); 4th ICRS: Philippines (1981); 5th ICRS: Tahiti (l985);
6th ICRS; Australia (l988); 7th ICRS: Guam, June (l992). 
Council member- The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) – (1982-1992).
Head- The Israeli Scientific Delegation to the UN Conference on Environmental Development (UNCED), Rio-de Janeiro, Brazil - (1992).
Member- The Israeli scientific delegation to the Israel-Jordan Peace Talks establishing the Red Sea Marine Park Aqaba, Jordan (1993-1994).
Chair- The Israeli Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Committee, UNESCO (1993-2000).

International Advisory Boards and Working Groups

Member- The Scientific Review Board, Oil Spill Project, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI, Panama) – (1986-1991).       
Member- The Advisory and Review Board of the Research Institute of the 
Subtropics, Okinawa Japan (Coral bleaching project) (2002-2006).
Co-Chair- GEF/IOC/World Bank Working Group on Coral Bleaching (2004- 2011).
Chair- Israeli Scientific Committee for Oceanic Research (SCOR) (since 2012).
Chair- Scientific Board of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Research (2006 - 2014).
Chair- Israel Academy of Sciences Committee on scientific relations with Japan
National representative - Israel’s scientific representative in a High-Level Symposium at the United Nations:
"One Ocean: Achieving Sustainability through Sanctuaries” (2015).

Founding Editor -“Coral Reefs” (Biology Section) Springer-Verlag (1982-1986).

Prizes and Honors:

Senior Queen Elizabeth Fellow (79-80) Australian Inst. of Mar. Sci. and James Cook Univ. of N. Qld.

The Darwin Medal (Millennium Year -2000):
  The most prestigious prize of the International Society for Coral Reef Studies (ISRS), awarded once every four years, "for life contribution to coral reef research".    

The Landau Prize (2003):
   Awarded, together with Professor E. Rosenberg (TAU) by Mifaal Hapais for "original outstanding research contribution to the field of   Ecology and Environmental Quality".  

Honorable membership in the Israel Society of Zoology (2011): 
   "in recognition of his important contribution to research, teaching, education and nature conservation"  

EMET Prize in Environmental studies (2015): 
   "for his pioneering and groundbreaking achievements in coral–reef research and for his seminal contribution in developing quantitative methodologies for assessment of biodiversity and health of coral communities and significant contribution to the knowledge of their reproductive strategies" 

Israeli Association for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (2023):
   Lifetime Achievement Award “for brilliant research excellence of the coral reef, for endless public activity and struggles to preserve the coral reefs in Eilat, and the leadership of the Faculty
   of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University, while educating a huge generation of students and developing the future generation of sea researchers in Israel”.

Research Grants (1972-2022):

Recipient of over 60 competitive National and International grant awards including: BSF, ISF, GIF NIH, MERC- AID, EU, Harbor Branch Sea Pharm, NOAA,
BMBF, MED-POL, GEF/IOC/World Bank, ITI; Italian Ministry of the Environment; Israeli Ministries of: Science, Environmental Protection, Commerce and
Industry; BSF-NSF, and others.             

Supervision of Graduate Students:

So far, 53 M.Sc. students, 30 Ph.D. students and 13 Post docs graduated under my supervision, comprising a significant proportion of the academic  
backbone of environmental researchers in Israel (faculty members of almost all academic and research institutions in Israel).
Currently supervising two Ph.D. and three MSc students, and one post-doc.                   

 Active Participation in Scientific Meetings:

Invited Keynote speaker (25 meetings); speaker in over 150 international conferences, symposia and workshops in the fields of: Biodiversity; 
Marine Ecology and Environmental Quality; Marine Pollution; Global warming effects on coral reefs; Coral bleaching and diseases; Environmental 
Conservation and Management of Nature Reserves;    

Publications (see selected PDFs in Recent Publications)

Author and Editor of four books on coral reefs and >300 publications in leading international journals of Ecology, Marine Biology, 
Marine Biotech, Evolutionary Biology, Theoretical Ecology, as well as general journals such as Nature and Science (9 publications).
Some of the seminal publications on biodiversity, coral reproduction, coral bleaching and nature conservation have become classic milestones 
in the ecological literature.         

Research Interests

Ecology and Evolution of reef corals; Coral reef community structure; Species diversity and community structure of corals; Life history strategies of reef corals and their associated fauna; Sex change in corals; Competitive networks and space partitioning within coral populations; Effects of oil-pollution on coral- reef communities; Effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on coral reef communities; Conservation ecology and management of coral reef nature reserves; Biologically active compounds derived from coral-reef organisms in search for new drugs; Global climatic changes and its effect on coral-reef communities; Coral bleaching; Coral diseases; Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs).

Recent Publications

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