The family of Merav Ziv generously donated money for a graduate student prize in ecology in her memory. An endowment has been established for this purpose at Ben-Gurion University. Each year an ad hoc committee examines applications, which include a summary of their research and their academic record, from students in all branches of ecology at Ben-Gurion University.  The prizes are awarded to one M.Sc. student and one Ph.D. student. The awards are presented at the annual Symposium in Memory of Merav Ziv held at the Sede Boqer Campus of BGU.
Recipients of the prizes are listed below:


   MSc Student

   PhD Student

​Goni Barki

Thesis: Examining and estimating the conservation status of the world’s rarest snakes, and elucidating drivers, patterns, and biases of global snake​

​Ron Flatau

Thesis: The reciprocal interaction between Wolbachia and their flea host (Synosternus cleopatrae): ecological and evolutionary perspectives​


​Sarah Leduc
Thesis: Potter wasps' prey selection​

​Ron Efrat
Thesis: Behavior and conservation of vultures


Yael Lehnardt

Thesis title: The effects of noise pollution generated by wind turbines on so​​ng-birds at migratory stopover sites

Adi Yechezkel-Domer

Thesis title: Stopover ecology of migrating passerines at desert edge


Nitsan Bar-Shmuel

Thesis: Tripartite underground symbiosis: a complex nitrogen fixation system

Jorge Menezes



Irene Steves

Thesis: The possible role of trapdoors in maintaining favorable thermal and hydric conditions in spider burrows

Yehonatan Alcalay

Thesis: The combined effects of local and regional scale processes on the complex dynamics of spatial and stage-structured mosquito populations


Efrat Dener

Thesis: Plants disperse offspring from distance pollen donors closer and vice versa

Carmit Cohen

Thesis: The topic of her research is The reciprocal interactions between a host and its symbionts and within the symbiotic community


Lior Ventura

Thesis: The effect of colony density of fitness and dispersal in the colonial spider Cyrtophora citricola

Oren Hoffman

Thesis: Assessing vegetation and ecosystem responses to environmental drivers using a structural-functional state and transition model


  • Yonatan Alkalay

  • Thesis: Testing for personality and syndromes in pit-building antlion larvae

Erez Barkai

Thesis: Investigating species interactions in a terrestrial food web: the role of cannibalism, intra-and inter-guild predation on antlion community structure


  • Carmit Cohen

  • Thesis: Host age and bacterial composition: patterns and mechanisms

  • Shai Pilosof

  • Thesis: Individual-based host-pathogen networks: environment, genes and implications for disease risk


  • Edith Sapir

  • Thesis: Preservation of genetic diversity in a reintroduced population: the Asiatic Wild Ass in the Negev

Oded Berger-Tal

Thesis: Confronting Novel Environments: The Trade-Off between Exploration and Exploitation


  • Nimrod Ben-Aharon

  • Thesis: Are Roads Ecological Traps For Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens)?

  • Anton Issa Halila
    Thesis: The physiological responses to food deprivation in a passerine bird (Passer domesticus) ostensibly not adapted to prolonged fasting

  • Reut Berger-Tal

  • Thesis: Costs and benefits of inbred sociality



Shai Pilosof

Thesis: The effect of anthropogenic habitat disturbance on the interactions between bats and their ectoparasites.

  • Hagai Shemesh

  •  Thesis: Future perception in plants



  • Michael Dorman

  • Thesis: Phenotypic variation and local adaptation in Oncocylus Irises of Israel

  • Michal Gruntman

  • Thesis: Ecological implications of compensatory mechanisms in plants


Orly Razgour

Thesis: The effect of microhabitat characteristics and interspecific interactions on bat community patterns over natural water bodies in desert environments

Inon Scharf

Thesis: Foraging behavior and life history of trap-building predators


Oded Berger-Tal

Thesis: Foraging behavior of a predator in the face of risk of injury

Shomen Mukherjee

Thesis: Understanding the interplay between time allocation, vigilance and state dependent foraging behavior


  • Yoav Perlman

  • Thesis: Foraging ecology, body temperature patterns and space use characteristics of the Nubian Nightjar, Caprimulgus nubicus, in Israel

  • Hadas Hawlena

  • Thesis: Interrelated nature of host-parasite interaction: role of ecological factors


  • Efrat Elimelech

  • Thesis: The effect of food availability on the prey-capture method used by antlion larva, Myrmecaelurus sp. (Neuroptera, Myrmeleontidae)



Tzur Magen

Thesis: A game theoretic approach to studying related decisions made under predation risk

Francisco Sanchez

Thesis: The effects of ethanol in food on the foraging behavior of Egyptian fruit bats


Jonathan Bellmaker

Thesis: Factors shaping coral reef fish assemblages: from the local to the regional scale

Dror Hawlena

Thesis: Ecological and evolutionary consequences of spatial variation in the lizard Acanthdactylus beershebensis


Nir Sapir

Thesis: Stopover ecology of autumn migratory passerines in a man-made wood at desert edge

Alexei Maklakov

Thesis: Evolution of polyandry: sexual conflict and sexual selection in a spider Stegodyphus lineatus


  • Dror Hawlena

  • Thesis: Ecological and evolutionary consequences of spatial variation in the lizard Acanthdactylus beershebensis

  • Shai Markman

  • Thesis: Parental investment: the trade-off between feeding oneself and attending to one's offspring in the Palestine sunbird (Nectarinia osea)