The Annual Haifa Conference on the Mediterranean Sea Research - Speakers

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The 2nd Haifa Conference on Mediterranean Sea Research

Deep Sea Research - The Next Chalenge




Prof. Manuel Pinto de Abreu

manuelSecretary of State for the Sea of Portugal

Title of talk: Concluding Lecture

Manuel Pinto de Abreu holds a master and PhD degree in ‘Physical Oceanography’, Monterey, California, EUA (1991). Professor Pinto de Abreu is a Navy Officer (reserve) which served as hydrographer and on board of several ships. He is also full Professor at the Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias.

From 1992 to 1997, he was the Head of the Cartography and Hydrography Division of the Instituto Hidrográfico. In 2003 he became President of the Consultative Council of the Inter Ministerial Commission for the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf. Until 2010 he was the Head of the Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf.

In 2010 Manuel Pinto Abreu was appointed as Head of the Task Group for Maritime Affairs, Portuguese High Level Focal Point on Integrated Maritime Policy of the EU and the Portuguese National Coordinator of the EU Pilot Project for the Integration of Maritime Surveillance on the Mediterranean Area and it’s Atlantic Approaches - BlueMassMed.

Since the end of June 2011, Manuel Pinto de Abreu is the Secretary of State for the Sea of the Portuguese XIX Government.

Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham

zviHead of the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel, Founding Director of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa

Title of talk: The Levant Basin

Professor Zvi Ben-Avraham, Head of the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel, Founding Director of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa, Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University, the Department of Geosciences and Director of Dead Sea Research Center.

Prof. Ben-Avraham earned his Ph.D. in Marine Geophysics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1973. He has held professional positions in several research institutes and universities worldwide (Stanford University, University of Cape Town, Free University Amsterdam, University of California Los Angeles), and served in editorial positions for several scientific journals of geosciences (Tectonics, Tectonophysics, Annales Tectonicae and more).

Prof. Ben-Avraham is a member of several academies of sciences including Academia Europaea, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded numerous prizes including the prestigious Israel Prize in Science in 2003 and has served as a Scientific Advisor to the President of the State of Israel.

Prof. Lisa Levin

lisaThe Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Title of talk: Deep-Ocean Industrialization and Biodiversity Challenges in the 21st Century

Dr. Lisa Levin is the Oliver Chair, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Dr. Levin is a biological oceanographer who studies benthic ecosystems in the deep sea and shallow water. Her research has been conducted over the past 3 decades on the margins of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans using ships, submersibles and remotely operated vehicles. Dr. Levin is a ‘Fellow’ of the American Geophysical Union, a ‘Fellow of the Association’ of AAAS in Biological Sciences, and a founder of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative.

Prof. Shamay Assif

shamaiFaculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Title of talk: Israel marine spatial planning- challenges and opportunities

Architect, Town Planner and Urban Designer BArch Technion, Haifa, MArchUD, Harvard, Mass| Professor in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning. Technion, Israel Institute of Technology Head, The Philip & Ethel Klutznick Center of Urban and Regional Studies Head, The SPaDe- the Spatial Planning and Design Laboratory Partner-  Gutman Assif Architects Ltd Former City Engineer of Tel Aviv Yafo (1984-1994), founder and partner in Shamay Assif Naama Malis Architecture and Urban Design Ltd (1994-2004) and Director of the Israel Planning Administration (2004-2010) An extensive experience in urban, regional and national planning and design Led (jointly with Professor Arie Shahar of the Hebrew University) the multidisciplinary planning team of NOP 35, the National Outline Plan of Israel.(Approved 2005) Led the preparation of the Israel Integrated Coastal Zone Policy Document. (Approved 1998) Currently leading the Technion's research based participatory Israel marine spatial planning effort.

Prof. Arnon Soffer

arnonHead of the Chaikin Chair of Geostrategy, University of Haifa

Head of the Research Center of the National Defense college

Title of talk:Deep Sea Research and its Implications for Artificial Islands

Professor Emeritus, Head of the Chaikin Chair of Geostrategy, University   of Haifa (1998-2014) Head of the Research Center of the National Defense College,I.D.F (2007-2014) Teaching: Dep. of Geography, Political Sciences, University of Haifa and National Defense College. National Defense College, Army Command and Staff College, Police Command Staff College (1964-2014) Advisor of the Ministries of Defense, Police, Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister, Interior, Education, Housing, Industry – Israel (1980-2014)                                                                                                          Member of the military deligation to the Oslo Peace talks, Advisor to the peace talks with Syria during 1999 (1993-1995) Recently Published: Three publications in the Chair for Maritime Strategy Research about The need to establish artifacts islands in the ocean.

Dr. Jeffrey Royal

geffryDirector, RPM, Nautical Foundation, Adjunct Professor, Maritime Studies Program, East Carolina University

Title of talk: Naval Warfare in the 3rd Century B.C.E. - Warships, Rams, and Tactics. 

After completing a BA degree in Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Royal returned to school for the study of archaeology.  His initial steps included a second BA in Anthropology and a subsequent MA in Anthropology from USC-Columbia.  During his studies at USC, he sought out land excavations in southern Italy in which to participate.  It was on these excavations that his interests in complex economic/exchange systems, communications, and technology of the Roman world were developed.  As the sea has always played a large role in the development of Mediterranean cultures, particularly in the trade and communication, his interests grew to encompass this area.  Dr. Royal understood that watercraft represented one of the most advanced aspects of ancient technology; hence, the need for the integration of maritime components into his studies.  This led him to the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University in 1994.                                                                                                                                                

Dr. Royal was fortunate to study at Texas A&M under the tutelage of some of the foremost scholars in maritime archaeology: Bass, van Doorninck, Hocker, Pulak, and Steffy.  While attaining his doctorate, Dr. Royal participated in numerous maritime excavations and surveys in Turkey, Israel, and Morocco.  Upon completing his degree, he took the position of Archaeological Director at RPM Nautical Foundation (RPMNF) and now serves as Executive Director.  In this position, Dr. Royal steered the areas of study and research towards the Mediterranean and expanded field projects throughout the region.  With RPMNF he has directed projects in Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Malta, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Morocco, Spain, and Tunisia.  Among his ongoing research programs are the Illyrian Coastal Exploration Program (ICEP) and the Ancient Warship Archaeology Program (AWAP).  Numerous articles serve to present this research, and Dr. Royal is currently in the process of writing a book on ancient warships.  His current research includes the development and changes in amphora morphology and the implications on overseas exchange in the Mediterranean; the distribution of Roman annona and associated trade such as construction materials; the assessment of ancient warships, strategies and tactics used in the Mediterranean during the Roman era; and Greco-Roman trade and settlement in the Adriatic Sea, particularly the Illyrian coast between the 3rd century BCE to 4th century CE. 

Dr. George Zodiatis

georgeVice Director, Oceanography Center University of Cyprus

Title of talk: MEDESS-4MS - The Mediterranean Decision Support System for Marine Safety

Dr George Zodiatis has more than 25 years of research experience in marine sciences. The last 15 years he is deep involved in the development of the operational oceanography in Europe, within the frame of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, particularly in projects related to operational ocean forecasting and oil spill predictions. He led the development of the Cyprus Coastal Ocean Forecasting and Observing System-CYCOFOS. He is a co-developer of an advance well established oil spill prediction system, the MEDSLIK, that has been used by European and International key agencies and national institutions throughout the Mediterranean to support in cases of major oil spill incidents and to assist to implement the relevant EU Directives on maritime safety.

He has been participated as a leader and as a partner in more than 30 research projects, most of them funded by the European Commission-EC.

He is the chairperson of the Data Exchange Agreement of the Mediterranean Oceanography Network for Global Ocean Observing Systems, since 2008. Moreover, he is a member of several International and European organizations related to oceanography and marine research, such as CIESM, IODE/IOC, EuroGOOS, GOOS, IOC/NEAMTWS.

He has more than 120 publications in European and United States scientific journals and proceedings of conferences, as well participated in more than a 100 conferences and dedicated workshops as invited and regular oral lecturer on topics related to ocean physics, marine environment, operational oceanography and oil spill predictions.

Dr. Dietrich Wittekind

dietrichNaval Architect - Managing Director DW-ShipConsult Ltd.

Title of talk: underwater noise pollution by commercial shippingand offshore activities

Dr. Wittekind received his degree in naval architecture in 1981 after studies at the Universities of Hanover, Hamburg and Michigan. He worked in the naval departments of German shipyards, predominantly in submarine design. Having been involved in ship noise and vibration and underwater acoustics most of the time he left his shipyard engagements as design manager and joined the Hamburg Ship Model Basin in 1998 as managing director. He founded DW-ShipConsult in 2004 and is since then engaged mainly in acoustic consultancy for ships and offshore structures and underwater sound also for environmental issues.

Dr. Jacob Silverman

jackMarine Biogeochemist, chemistry department at the Israeli National Institute of Oceanographical and Limnological Research in Haifa, Israel.
Title of talk: Ecological Exploration of the Deep Sea in the Levantine Basin – New Insights

He earned his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in atmospheric sciences and oceanography from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After his PhD Jacob won a Chlore Fellowship and went on postdoc at the Weizmann Institute of Science and then continued to be a Moore foundation fellow at the Carnegie Institute of Science in Stanford, California. Jacob's continuing work on the effects of ocean acidification in coral reefs is well recognized and has received allot of attention by the international research community and popular media. Over the 5 years in his current capacity as a senior researcher, Jacob has become heavily involved also in marine environmental impact aspects of coastal development projects such as the Port of Haifa and the Red-Sea Dead-Sea water conveyance, and deep water exploration for oil and gas.

Ms. Maya Jacobs

mayaCEO of "Zalul"

Title of talk: Environmental risks and challenges of offshore drilling

Maya holds an MA in Public Management from the IDC, and an MA in International Affairs and Political Science from Columbia University and BA in Communications and Jewish History from Tel Aviv University.

Before running “Zalul” she was the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a M100$ foundation. Maya has over 15 years of experience in media advising, lobbying and event productions for the public and Third Sectors. She has served in the past as spokesperson and part of the close staff of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, as Chief Information Officer for the Israeli Consulate General in NY, and as Chief Representative of the Geneva Initiative in North America. As owner of MJ Media Solutions she provided PR, Lobbying, fundraising and networking services to Americans in Israel and to Israelis in the US. Upon her return to Israel in 2005, served as Director for the Sheatufim Center for Philanthropy and later as independent social-investment consultant for philanthropists, politicians and organizations. Her clients included the Interdisciplinary Institute in Hertzlia, the Kadima Party, the Reut Institute and many more.


2014 Conference