French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands
Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research
BGU, Sede-Boqer Campus, 84990, Israel
Telephone: +972-8-6596755
Fax: +972-8-6596757

Born: 1946, Argentina.


Research Activities:


The main focus of my work is the study of the movement of water in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (SPAC) and the associated dissipation of radiant energy, with particular emphasis on agroforestry systems irrigated with runoff water. Within these systems I seek to develop the appropriate technologies in order to minimize above and below ground competition for resources between the perennial and annual components. A particular interest of mine is the studying and modeling of the evaporation of water from the surface of bare soils and between the rows of crops with the practical objective of devising the agrotechniques that will minimize this flux and thus increase the water use efficiency of crops. Lately I have turned my attention to the study of the effects of using treated wastewaters of various qualities on previously mentioned processes.


Research in progress:

1.           Effect of various mulches on the productivity and water use efficiency of dryland wheat and irrigated cotton

2.           Water evaporation from trenches in the presence of trees.

3.           Testing and modeling of a runoff irrigated olive orchard in which the trees are planted in the runoff collecting trenches.

4.           Modeling the effect interrow polyethylene mulches of varying width on the energy balance, energy and mass fluxes in the soil,   and the evaporation of water from the soil surface of irrigated row crops.

5.           Evaporation from irrigated gardens in an Open-Air Scaled Urban Surface.

6.           Response of isolated trees to partial soil covering

7.             Irrigation of various loessial soils with treated wastewater.




B.Sc.  1972       Dept. Soil Science. Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

M.Sc. 1975       Dept. Soil Science.Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Ph.D. 1989       Dept. Soil Science. Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Professional Activities:

Positions in academic administration:

2006 - 2009           Director, Blaustein Center for Scientific Cooperation, Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University, Israel.

2005 - 2007           Elected as member of the Senate of the Ben Gurion University by the BIDR faculty.

1998 - 2001           Chair, Wyler Department of Dryland Agriculture, Blasutein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University, Israel


Professional functions outside universities/institutions:

2008                     Panel member, BARD-Texas,(USA-Israel bi-national research fund)

2005- present        Representative of the Israeli Ministry of Science to COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology, European Science Foundation )  “Domain: Forestry and Forest Products".

2005, 2007            Member of the Israeli delegation to the Sixth and Seventh Conference of the Parties meeting of the UN Convention for Combatting Desertification, Nairobi, Kenya(2005), Madrid, Spain (2007)

2004 - 2008           Member of the Chief Scientist's steering committee on "Efficient use of water in agriculture ", Dept. of Agriculture.

2004 - 2007           Member of the Chief Scientist's steering committee on "Efficient use of treated waste water in agriculture". Dept. of Agriculture.

2000 - 2003           Member of the Israeli National Management Committee of the Initiative for Collaboration to Control Natural Resource Degradation (Desertification) of Arid Lands in the Middle East" of the Working Group on the Environment within the Multilateral Peace Talks in the Middle East (Phase II).


Editor or member of editorial board of scientific or professional journal:

2003-        Member of the Editorial Board of the “Environmental Control in Biology" (Formerly “Biotronics"), Fukuoka, Japan.


Reviewer of articles in professional Journals:

Agricultural Water Management

Ecollogical Modelling

Forest Ecology and Management

Journal of Arid Environment

Pland and Soil

Vadose Zone Journal


Reviewer of scientific proposals:

BARD (USA-Israel Agricultural fund for Research and Development)

GIF (Germany Israel Fund for Research)

Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist projects)


Membership in professional/scientific societies:

American Society of Agronomy

Israeli Society of Soil Science

International Soil Science Society

European Geophysical Union



Latest refereed articles and Chapters in collective volumes:  

1.      Qin, Z., A. Karnieli and P. R. Berliner (2002).Remote sensing analysis of the land surface temperature anomaly in the sand dune region across the Israel-Egypt border. International Journal of Remote Sensing.23:3991-4018

2.      Qin, Z., P. R. Berliner and A. Karnieli (2002).Numerical solution of a complete surface energy balance model for simulation of heat fluxes and surface temperature under bare soil environment. Applied Mathematics and Computation. 130(1):169-198

3.      QIN,A., P. R. BERLINER and A.KARNIELI (2002). Micrometeorological modelling to understand the thermal anomaly in the sand dunes across the Israel-Egypt border. Journal of Arid Environment, 51(2):281-318.

4.      NINARI, N. and  P.R. BERLINER  (2002). The role of dew in the water and heat balance of bare Loess soil in the Negev Desert: Quantifying the actual dew deposition on the soil surface. Atmospheric Research, 64 (1-4): 325-336.

5.      DROPPELMANN, K. and BERLINER, P.R.  2003. Runoff agroforestry - a technique to secure the livelihood of pastoralists in the Middle East. Journal of Arid Environments. 54: 571-577

6.      Berliner, P. R. and K. Droppelmann.(2003) Validation in an arid area of an algorithm for the estimation of daily solar radiation.  Journal of Hydrometeorology 297-303

7.      Wengwang, ZHAO, Russell J. Qualls and Pedro. R. BERLINER (2003)  Modeling of the short wave radiation distribution in an agroforestry system . Agricultural and Forestry Meteorology118:185-206.

8.      Agam (Ninari) N. & Berliner P.R. (2004)  .  Diurnal water content changes in the bare soil of a coastal desert.  Journal of Hydrometeorology. 5 (5), 922-933.

9.      QIN, Z., Berliner, P. R. and Karnieli, A. (2004)  .  Ground temperature measurement and emissivity determination to understand the thermal anomaly and its significance on the development of an arid environmental ecosystem in the sand dunes across the Israel-Egypt border.  Journal of Arid Environments, 60, 27-52.

10.   Pearlmutter, D., P. R. Berliner, and E. Shaviv (2004)   “Open-air modeling of urban surface geometry and energy balance in the Negev," Merhavim 6: 67-89.

11.   Agam (Ninari) N., Berliner P.R., Zangvil A. & Ben-Dor E. (2004)  .  “Soil water evaporation during the dry season in an arid zone".  Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmosphere Vol 109

12.   Berliner, P. R. (2005)  . “Runoff Agriculture" In "Advances in Water Science Methodologies", U. Aswathanarayana, Editor. Balkema Publishers, The Netherlands

13.   Pearlmutter, D., P. R. Berliner, and E. Shaviv (2005)   "Evaluation of urban surface energy fluxes using an open-air scale model," Journal of Applied Meteorology, 44(4(:532-545)

14.   Figuerola, P. and P.R. Berliner (2005)   “Evapotranspiration under Advective Conditions" International Journal of Biometeorology.  Volume 49, Issue Number 6 pages: 403 – 416.

15.   AGAM, N and P.R. BERLINER (2006)  . “Dew Formation and Water-Vapor adsorption in Semi-Arid Environments –a Review “. Journal of Arid Environments 65(4):572-590

16.   Pearlmutter, D., P. R. Berliner and E. ShaviV (2006)  . “Physical modeling of pedestrian energy exchange within the urban canopy". Building and Environment , Vol. 41, Issue No.6, pp 783-795

17.   Figuerola, P.  and P.R. Berliner (2006)  ."Characteristics of the surface layer above a row crop in the presence of local advection". Atmosfera 19(2), pages 49-82

18.   Pearlmutter, D., P. R. Berliner and E. Shaviv (2007)   “Integrated modeling of pedestrian energy exchange and thermal comfort in urban street canyons". Building and Environment.42(6):2396-2409

19.   Pearlmutter, D., P. Berliner and E. Shaviv (2007)   .“Urban climatology in arid regions:current research in the Negev desert". International Journal of Climatology. 27(14):1875-1885

20.   SPRINTSIN, M., A. KARNIELI, P. BERLINER, E. ROTENBERG, D. YAKIR AND S. COHEN (2007)   "The Effect of Spatial Resolution on the Accuracy of Leaf Area Index Estimation for a Forest Planted in the Desert Transition Zone". Remote Sensing of Environment. 109 (2007) 416–428

21.   Zegada, W., Y. Ephrath and P. Berliner    (2007) "Above and below ground development of Acacia saligna shrubs grown under different irrigation frequencies in an arid environment. Pland and Soil. 297:157-169

22.   M. Eggleton, W. Zegada-Lizarazu, J. Ephrath and P. Berliner   (2007) “The effect of brackish water irrigation on the above-and below-ground development of pollarded Acacia saligna shrubs in an arid environment". Pland and Soil. 299:141-152.

23.   Katata G., Haruyasu N., Ueda H., Agam N. and Berliner P.R.   (2007)  “Development of a land surface model including evaporation and adsorption processes in the soil for the land-air exchange at arid regions".  Journal of Hydrometeorology,8:1307-1324

24.   Haiim, D., M. Schechter and P. Berliner    (2008). “Assessing the Impact of Cliimate Change on Representative Field Crops in Israeli Agriculture: A Case Study of Wheat and Cotton." Climatic Change, 86 (4):425-440

25.   Y. Schachnovich, P.R. Berliner and P. Bar  , (2008) “Rainfall interception and spatial distribution of throughfall in a pine forest planted in an arid zone", Journal of Hydrology .349:168-177

26.   G. Carmi and P. Berliner (2008)  . “The effect of soil crusting on the runoff generation of small plots in an arid environment". CATENA74:37-42

27.   Zhao, W, R. Quall and P. Berliner (2008)" A Two-Concentric-Loop Iterative (TCLI) Method in Estimation of Displacement Height and Roughness Length for Momentum and Sensible Heat". International Journal of Biometeorology.

28.   D. Pearlmutter, E.L. Krüger, P. Berliner (2009)  . “The Role of Evaporation in the Energy Balance of an Open-Air Scaled Urban Surface “International Journal of Climatology.

29.   M. Sprintsin,  A. Karnieli, P.R. Berliner, E. Rottenberg, D. Yakir and S. Cohen (2009). “Evaluating the performance of the MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) product over a Mediterranean dryland planted forest". International Journal of Remote Sensing.

30.   M. Sprintsin, A. Karnieli, S. Sprintsin, S.Cohen and P. Berliner (2009).  “Relationships between Stand Density and Canopy Structure in a Dryland Forest as Estimated by Ground-based Measurements and Multi-spectral Spaceborne Images" Journal of Arid Environments.

31. U. Safriel,  P. Berliner,  A. Novoplansky, J. Laronne, A. Karmieli,  I. Moshe,  A. Kharabsheb, A. Mohammad and G. Kusek, 2010, " Soil erosion-desertification and the Middle Eastern landscapes"  in "Sustainable Land Management", S. Kapur et al., Editors, Springer.

 32. F. Gallard and P. Berliner (2011). “Hydrology of Mediterranean

      ecosystems". In “Water for Forests and people in the mediterranean

      Region" Y. Birot, C. Garcia and M. Palahi, Eds. ISBN:978-952-5453-80-5

      European Forest Institute.

33. O. RieSman-Berman, L. Rojo and P. Berliner (2011).

      “Afforestation to combat desertification in arid zones requires a concerted

      endeavor" ". In “Water for Forests and people in the mediterranean

      Region" Y. Birot, C. Garcia and M. Palahi, Eds. ISBN:978-952-5453-80-5

      European Forest Institute.

 34. Zegada Lizarrazou, W and P.R. Berliner (2010). "The effects of

      the degree of soil cover with an impervious sheet on the establishment of

      tree seedlings in an arid environment" .New Forests.  In press

35. Zegada Lizarrazou, W and P.R. Berliner (2010)." Inter-row mulch

      increases the water use efficiency of ffurrow-irrigated maize in an arid

      environment". J. of Agronomy and Crop Science. In press

36. Sprintsin M; S. Cohen; K. Maseyk; E.l Rotenberg; J.

      Grünsweig; A Karnielli; P Berliner; D Yakir (2011) "Long term

      and seasonal courses of leaf area index in a semi-arid forest plantation".

      Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. In Press

37. Maman, L.  Orlovsky, D.  G Blumberg, P.  Berliner and B.  Mamedov.

     (2011) “A landcover change study of takyr surfaces in Turkmenistan",

     Journal of Arid Environments. In Press