Candidate for Member at Large: Ilana Berman-Frank

Ilana Berman-Frank

Ph.D. 1996 (Ecology and Limnology, University of Bar Ilan, Israel)


Biographical Information

Currently the Director of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, and Professor at the Department of Marine Biology - School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa-Israel. Research in my lab is focused on how global change and environmental stressors influence phytoplankton and microbial populations with projects in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Pacific Ocean. During my career, I have shifted from working on the dinoflagellates of Lake Kinneret (Israel) to the oceanic realm and marine dinitrogen fixers. Research in my lab also focuses on the eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) and includes projects on the impacts of discharges from desalination industries; and examining uncoupling between primary productivity and export flux in the EMS. I am currently co-leading (with Eric Achterberg-GEOMAR) a 17 member team in a HELMHOLTZ International Laboratory focusing on the EMS as a model system for oceans under climate change. I have served as President of the Israeli Association of Aquatic Sciences; Chair of the Education Committee of the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel; Co-Chair of the International Group of Aquatic Primary Productivity (GAP); Member Board of Directors for "EcoOcean", an NGO promoting marine research and education; Section Editor in Limnology & Oceanography and in Aquatic Microbial Ecology; and member of two SCOR working-groups. Nationally, I advise the Ministries of Energy and Environmental Protection on relevant marine issues.

Candidate Statement

As an aquatic and marine scientist for the past 30 years, I believe that contributing to and interacting with the larger scientific community, the public, and the policy makers/and regulators is our responsibility as well as an important source for inspiration and motivation. While the importance of aquatic ecosystems is gaining world-wide recognition – there is still a long way prior to this being translated via funding, policies, and training of relevant skills and professions that are needed in the next decade.

I have been a member of ASLO since I was a PhD student, my students and I have participated and contributed to the ASLO annual meetings regularly. I have also served ASLO in various other capacities: a 6-year member of the Ethics Committee, member of the Scientific Organizing Committee for the Granada Ocean Sciences meeting, and presently as Section Editor of Limnology and Oceanography (from 2019).

As the foremost professional association for aquatic scientists worldwide, I believe that much can be done via ASLO to promote expanding interactions with the different stakeholders, and most importantly to tap the growing community of aquatic scientists to make a difference with their science at local to global scales. Moreover, a community such as ASLO can help bridge crucial international issues as aquatic and environmental sciences have no political boundaries. One of the highlights of my career was organizing and leading an international course (on behalf of EcoOcean) bringing together graduate students from Mediterranean countries in conflict to work jointly on marine and environmental issues affecting us all beyond national borders. Seeing the students being able to put aside religious, cultural, and political differences to work and study together on issues affecting them all was an enlightening moment that I believe can make a difference that is required to address many of the issues we globally face. As such, one of my goals if elected to ASLO is to help ASLO students across these traditional divides establish networks that facilitate and expand emerging collaborations between scientists and colleagues from conflict areas for our joint future.

Hoping that I will be able to further contribute to ASLO!

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