Prof. Eran Gefen

Associate Professor

In the Gefen laboratory, at the Department of Biology, University of Haifa- Oranim, we study animal ecophysiology. Our research is focused respiratory physiology, water and solute management and energy metabolism of terrestrial arthropods in the context of evolution of environmental-stress tolerance. Temperature and water availability regimes are fundamental in determining the geographic distribution of terrestrial arthropods. Their often small body size, and thus their relatively high body surface area to volume ratio, compounds the challenge they face in conserving body water in a predominantly dry environment. Nevertheless, arthropods are the most successful terrestrial animals in both biomass and diversity, many of which occupy some of the hottest and driest habitats on earth. In our laboratory we study various aspects of the physiological mechanisms underlying resistance to these environmental extremes.

Academic Background

B.Sc. Animal Sciences, The Hebrew University

M.Sc. Zoology, Tel Aviv University

Ph.D. Zoology, Tel Aviv University

Selected publications

Talal S., Ayali A. and Gefen E. (2019). Respiratory gas levels interact to control ventilatory motor patterns in isolated locust ganglia. J. Exp. Biol. doi:10.1242/jeb.195388

Talal S., Ayali A. and Gefen E. (2016). An experimental evolution study confirms that discontinuous gas exchange does not contribute to body water conservation in locusts. Biol. Lett. 12: 20160807.

Gefen E., Talal S., Brendzel O., Dror A. and Fishman A. (2015). Variation in quantity and composition of cuticular hydrocarbons in the scorpion Buthus occitanus (Buthidae) in response to acute exposure to desiccation stress. Comp. Biochem. Phys. A. 182: 58-63.

Huang S.P., Sender R. and Gefen E. (2014). Oxygen diffusion limitation triggers ventilatory movements during spiracle closure when insects breathe discontinuously. J. Exp. Biol. 217: 2229-2231.

Berman T.S., Ayali A. and Gefen E. (2013). Neural control of gas exchange patterns in insects: locust density-dependent phases as a test case. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59967. 

Gefen E. (2011). The relative importance of respiratory water loss in scorpions is correlated with species habitat type and activity pattern. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 84: 68-76.


Animal Physiology 1, Animal Physiology 2, Invertebrate Zoology, Tissues – Structure and Function

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