Apex marine predators

Long-term ecological research of marine mammals, sharks, rays, and bony fishes

The Apex Marine Predator (AMP) Laboratory specializes in long-term ecological research of marine mammals, sharks, rays, and bony fishes such as tunas and swordfish. Our research objectives are all aligned in order to promote the conservation status of those taxa along the coastal shelf of Israel and regionally. Apex predators are important for maintaining the integrity of ecosystems, yet there exists a huge knowledge gap concerning their distribution and abundance throughout the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

We are continuously engaged in developing new sampling protocols and monitoring indicators for pelagic megafauna. Emphasis is placed on the function of those species as sentinels of the marine environment and their ability to inform about human perturbations. Our focus is newly turned towards the effects of climate change on the biochemistry and physiology of AMPs. We employ unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs), active and passive acoustic surveying techniques, mark-recapture methods, underwater observations, non-invasive diagnostic tools, and cutting-edge technologies for molecular and stable isotope analyses. In addition, the AMP Lab is collaborating with other partners on the development of remote sensing algorithms providing for a fishery-independent sampling of the species under study.

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