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.
|* Landscape ecology - the creative use of landscape management to arrest desertification;|
* 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.
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.