Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, PhD

Date of Birth: 12 April 1975


Current position: Post-doc (Marie Curie Fellow)

Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica Sperimentale &
Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali in Ravenna, University of Bologna

Mailing address: 

Scienze Ambientali - Università di Bologna 

Via S. Alberto 163

I-48123 Ravenna (Italy)


Phone: +39 0544 937 302 Fax: +39 0544 937 303



Research interests


My research focuses primarily on sustainable management of urban marine structures, utilizing field experiments with community surveys. I give strong emphasis to applicative multidisciplinary science combining aspects of ecology, biology, environmental science and socioeconomics, with a great attention to experimental design and analysis. Most of my experience comes from tropical environments, where I worked on biological and ecological aspects of artificial reefs, with particular attention to 1) comparison of benthic communities between artificial and natural reefs, the time frame for achieving mature coral communities on artificial reefs, environmental aspects (e.g., orientation, substratum complexity, hydrodynamics, age) shaping benthic communities on man-made habitats, and 2) life history traits and reproductive biology of corals as well as other fouling invertebrates, including settlement preferences, recruitment, and post-recruitment mortality. I also have a strong background in small scale hydrodynamic processes on man-made substrata, especially in relation to the ability of larvae to contact hard surfaces. My major research interests include:

·         Environmental sciences, conservation and restoration biology and ecology.

·         Ecology and design of coastal urban habitats, including coastal development, artificial reefs, human impacts on marine systems, and coastal management.

·         Biology and ecology of coral reefs, including coral reef rehabilitation and monitoring.

·         Reproductive biology, larval ecology including settlement and dispersal.

·         Aquaculture, cultivation and transplantation techniques.

·         Algal ecology, particularly assisted ecosystem recovery of fragmented canopy-forming algae.

·         Ecology of non-indigenous species.

Academic qualifications


2008     Post-doc: Plant Sciences. Tel-Aviv University ( Israel )

2007     Ph.D: Zoology (Marine Science), Tel-Aviv University ( Israel )

2001     M.Sc.: Zoology, Ecology & Environmental Quality. Summa cum laude, Tel-Aviv University ( Israel )

1998     B.Sc.: Life Sciences. Magna cum laude, Tel-Aviv University (Israel)



Current research project


MarUrbe: Sustainable Urban Development: solutions to promote the biological and conservation value of marine urban structures. European Union (EU – FP7-PEOPLE-2007-2-1-IEF-219818. Coordinator: Dr. L. Airoldi, Bologna University .

Urbanization has been historically widespread and one of the leading causes for habitat and species loss in coastal waters. Today 22,000 km2 of the European coastlines are covered by urban marine structures such as marinas, breakwaters, and seawalls, and development is expected to increase further. MarUrbe aims to encourage sustainable management of coastal urban structures by acquiring and disseminating knowledge on methods to promote desired species or prevent nuisance species in order to meet specific management goals, including 1) mitigating loss of species with high conservation value (e.g. Cystoseira spp.), 2) monitoring/controlling the spread of invasive/nuisance species, 3) enhancing fishery resources (e.g. mussels, crabs, and fish stocks) and 4) improving water quality. These goals will be achieved by: 1) exploring, through monitoring and experiments, the relationships between the characteristics of urban marine structures, species distribution and ecological functioning; 2) experimentally testing the effects of fine structural modifications to urban marine structures on the distribution of target species and 3) open communication with the public, local authorities and the scientific community. Expected deliverables include baseline information on the relationships between structure and ecological functioning of urban marine structures, protocols for enhancing or restricting the abundance of target species, and site-specific management guidelines.

Awards & fellowships


1996-1998    Scholarship from the Dean of Students Office. TAU.

2001           Rami Levine Award for excellence in M.Sc. achievements, Zoology Dept. TAU.

2002            Salim and Rachel Banin Foundation, Joint Jewish Drive, The Federation, NY.

2002            The Aharon Katzir Center, Weizmann Inst. of Science. Travel Scholarship.

2002, 2004   Rieger Foundation – JNF Fellow in Environmental Studies.

2002            Joan and Jaime Constantiner Inst. of Molecular Genetics. Travel Scholarship. TAU.

2003            Morris Waldman Doctoral Fellowship, Zoology Dept. TAU.  

2004            Wolf Foundation – Award for excellence in Ph.D. achievements.

2005            Tobias Landau Award for PhD students.

2006            The George S. Wise fellowships for Post-Doc studies at the Faculty of Life Sciences.

2007            The Sussman Center of for Environmental Sciences, Weizmann Inst. of Science, 2007 Postdoctoral Fellowship.

2008-2010    Marie Curie Fellow - Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development. MarUrbe (EU – FP7-PEOPLE-2007-2-1-IEF-219818)

2008            Levi Eshkol Fellowship, Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport ( Israel , renounced).


Field and research experience:


Nov. 1998         Soft coral survey in   Taiwan  .  

Dec. 1998         Research assistant in coral mass spawning experiments, Orpheus Isl.,   James Cook University , Australia.

Jan. 1999          Research assistant at Leigh Marine Lab,   Auckland University ,  New Zealand  .  

2000-2004         Yearly coral reef surveys in  Kenya.

Sept. 2000        Artificial reefs survey in the southern tip of Sinai, project coordinator (National Geographic Society funded expedition). 

July 2002         Tropical Marine Invertebrate Zoology Field Course, Jamaica.   

Jan. 2003          Primer v5 training course,   Plymouth , UK.

July 2004          Soft coral survey in Okinawa, Japan. 

Dec. 2004         Marine invertebrate survey on Tanzanian reefs.

Feb. 2005         Marine invertebrate survey on Eritrean reefs.

Mar. 2008         Bologna Winter School : Detecting biological and environmental changes: design and analysis of monitoring and experiments.

June-July 08      Ascidians surveys in the north Adriatic , Italy & Croatia .

Membership in professional societies, review services:


Zoological Society of Israel , International Society for Reef Studies, Society
for Conservation Biology.

Reviewer for: Biofouling; Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science; Experimental
Marine Biology;
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Selected publications


Perkol-Finkel S. and Benayahu Y. (2004) Community structure of stony and soft corals on vertical unplanned artificial reefs in Eilat ( Red Sea ): comparison to natural reefs. Coral Reefs 23: 195-205.

Perkol-Finkel S. and Benayahu Y. (2005) Recruitment of benthic organisms onto a planned artificial reef: shifts in community structure one decade post deployment. Marine Environmental Research 59: 79-99.

Perkol-Finkel S., Shashar N., Barnea O., Ben David-Zaslaw R., Oren U., Reichart T., Yacobovich T., Yahel G., Yahel R., Benayahu Y. (2005) Fouling coral communities of artificial reefs: does age matter? Biofouling 21: 127–140.

Perkol-Finkel S., Shashar N., Benayahu Y. (2006) Can artificial reefs mimic natural reef communities? The roles of structural features and age. Mar Environ Res 61: 121-135.

Perkol-Finkel S., Miloh T., Zilman G., Sella I., Benayahu Y. (2006) Floating and fixed artificial reefs: the effect of substratum motion on benthic communities. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 317: 9-20.

Perkol-Finkel S. and Benayahu Y. (2007) Differential recruitment of corals onto artificial and natural reefs. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 340: 25–39.

Perkol-Finkel S., Miloh T., Zilman G., Sella I., Benayahu Y. (2008). Floating and fixed artificial habitats: spatial and temporal patterns of benthic communities in a coral reef environment. Coast Estuar Sci 77: 491-500.

Perkol-Finkel S. and Benayahu Y. (2009) Differential survivorship of two coral species on artificial and natural reefs. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 369: 1–7.







Last update 13/04/2010