​​Marco and Louise Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology (MDDE)

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Two main goals underpin research at the Marco and Louise Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology: the first is the study of the desert (primarily the Negev Desert) as a model ecosystem and the second is to ensure that departmental experience and expertise are ultimately used for the conservation and prudent, sustainable development of desert habitats.

Towards this end, the department has worked with researchers and scientists from Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority all affected environments and the plants and animals that depend on them. 

​​Research covers a wide range of topics including:
​​​* Landscape ecology - the creative use of landscape management to arrest dese​rtification;

Conservation ecology - for the preservation of biological diversity; 

Physiological and behavioral ecology - adaptation strategies for people and drylands;

Population dynamics - patterns and processes of desert life, both plants and animals; * Integrated ecology - strategies for a healthy ecosystem in desert environments.            

   Read more about YDSEEP

The Alexandre Yersin Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics is an interdisciplinary research group. It includes scientists with training in geography, meteorology, mechanical engineering, applied mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Research work at the department covers various aspects of the physical environment. These include solar energy utilization and applied optics, the desert climate, remote sensing, vegetation pattern formation and modeling of desertification, and basic aspects of nonlinear dynamics and thermodynamics as related to the environment. The department provides consultation services to government agencies and to municipalities with regard to the optimal utilization of solar energy in specific projects, and to industry - on the development of novel solar devices.    ​


Bona Terra Department of Man in the Desert (BTMID)

Since 2017, BTMID is no longer part of the SIDEER.

​The Faculty Members have been integrated into the Faculty of Engin​eering Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, at Ben-Gurion University, Marcus Family Campus.

​​Read more about BTMID

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The Bona Terra Department of Man in the Desert brings together social scientists, architects, and urban planners in one integrated academic framework. Experience proves that sustainable development in drylands requires solutions that are appropriate to the climate and physical environment and are likewise compatible with cultural, socio-economic, and political considerations unique to dryland societies.  

Research topics include:
  • * Life-cycle energy efficiency of buildings with an emphasis on passive and low-energy systems for heating and cooling, indoor air quality, and thermal and visual comfort;

  • * Urban design and microclimate in built-up areas, focusing on pedestrian thermal stress and resource-efficient landscape strategies;

  • * Policy tools for encouraging energy conservation and reducing environmental impact;

  • * Behavioral and cultural aspects of resource consumption in built-up environments.

  • In addition to research, the department’s specialists in desert architecture are engaged as consultants and design​ers for selected architectural projects – which are used for monitoring, testing, and analysis, as well as for the public demonstration of accumulated expertise. ​