Author of more than 100 scientific papers and winner of the Maks and Rochelle Etingin Chair Award for Desert Research
My plant sciences research began when academia started shifting toward a systematic approach in the exploration of metabolism and its complexity.
I believe that my research on wine grapevines at the desert frontiers has already prompted a rethinking of viticulture in Mediterranean-like climates and I hope that the science we do will be increasingly relevant in light of climate challenges.
Concepts that were relevant two decades ago aren’t helpful in an increasingly erratic climate. Practices like drip irrigation in vineyards are no longer taboo in the best wine-producing areas. Thus, the keyword is versatility and reconsidering viticulture from a climate based approach.
I am motivated by love for the desert, respect for nature, a healthy curiosity, my dedication to plant biochemistry, and my Italian palate.
The greatest challenge I’ve had to overcome concerns the “culture shock” many of us new immigrants face. Coming from a region where English was not the second language (German was), I had to take classes in a mix of Hebrew/English and confirm what I learned with material written in Italian, until I mastered scientific English.
At the professional level, challenges are every day’s diet. But if I had to mention one, I believe it was the introduction of a new field of research in the Institute and integrating it with more classic approaches.
I deeply believe in the education of new generations to the challenges that we are facing. Thus I invest much of my time in teaching courses, seminars and lectures.
In the future, I hope to witness one of the most fundamental changes in recent human history, the shift from polluting energy to clean energy.