Arik Kershenbaum
Arik.jpg

PhD Student

arik@nimbios.org
Phone: +1-865-974-4980

I'm currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) http://www.nimbios.org/personnel/pd_Kershenbaum

Research Interests

I am interested in the behavioural ecology of animals, their vocal communication, and particularly how it relates to their distribution in space. Some animals have habitat requirements that are scarce in the environment, or spread out, so that the animals have to move around to meet their needs. Populations become more or less isolated and aspects of their behaviour - such as their vocalisations - may diverge. Examples of isolated habitats include boulder piles for hyraxes, and breeding pools for salamanders.

Specifically, I am looking at how the patterns of vocalisations of the hyrax vary with their location, and whether nearby animals "learn" particular songs from their neighbours.

I am also interested in the mathematical modelling of the effect of environmental change on the ecology of such species, and to predict the outcome of environmental disturbance. Man-made environmental changes can destroy these micro-habitats, or multiply them. How does this affect the migratory or foraging behaviour of these animals, and is it likely to cause conservation problems (for endangered species) or unwanted proliferation (for pest species)?

Education

1984-1991 University of Cambridge, BA (Hons), MA. Natural Sciences.

List of Publications

Kershenbaum A, Blank L, Sinai I, Merilä J, Blaustein L, Templeton A (Accepted). Genetic indications of landscape dispersal behaviour: a theoretical model and empirical test using the fire salamander, Salamandra infraimmaculata. Oecologia PDF [* Journal Link]

Kershenbaum A, Stone L, Ostfeld RS, Blaustein L (2012) Modelling transmission of vector-borne pathogens when vector-feeding sites are limited: a departure from frequency-dependence. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36730 PDF Journal Link

Kershenbaum A, Ilany A, Blaustein L, Geffen E (2012) Syntactic structure and geographic dialects in the songs of male rock hyraxes. Proc. Royal Soc. B. 279, 2974–2981 PDF Journal Link

Kershenbaum A, Spencer M, Blaustein L, Cohen JE (2012) Modelling evolutionarily stable strategies in oviposition site selection, with varying risks of predation and intraspecific competition. Evolutionary Ecology 26: 955-974 PDF Journal Link

Segev O, Mangel M, Wolf N, Sadeh A, Kershenbaum A, Blaustein L (2011) Spatio-temporal reproductive strategies in the fire salamander: a model and empirical test. Behavioral Ecology 22:670–678 PDF Journal Link

Kershenbaum A, Kershenbaum A, Blaustein L (2011) Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) den site selection: preference for artificial sites. Wildlife Research 38, 244–248 PDF Journal Link

Kershenbaum A, Stone L, Kotler BP, Blaustein L (2010) Predation risk can drive cycles in zoonotic disease prevalence. Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution 56: 281-295 PDF Journal Link

Kershenbaum A, Kershenbaum A, Tarabeia J, Stein N, Lavi I, Rennert G (2011) Unraveling seasonality in population averages: An examination of seasonal variation in glucose levels in diabetes patients using a large population-based dataset. Chronobiology International 28(4):352-360

Conference Presentations

Invited:

  • Kershenbaum A., Stone L., Kotler B.P., Blaustein L. (2011) Predation risk can drive cycles in zoonotic disease prevalence. Naomi Bouskila Prize for best student paper in zoology, 48th Meeting of the Israel Zoological Society

Participant:

  • Kershenbaum A., Ilany A., Blaustein L., Geffen E. (2011) Syntactic structure in the vocalizations of the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis). 3rd Symposium on Acoustic Communication by Animals, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Kershenbaum A., Spencer M., Blaustein L., Cohen J.E. (2011) Modelling evolutionarily stable strategies in oviposition site selection, with varying risks of predation and intraspecific competition. British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Kershenbaum A., Kershenbaum A., Blaustein L. (2011) Den site selection by the rock hyrax - a preference for artificial sites. Israel Society for Ecology and Environmental Sciences Annual Meeting, Megiddo, Israel
  • Kershenbaum A., Blaustein L., Andersen, M. (2010) Migration speed across a patchy environment – modelling the effect of anthropogenic landscape changes. American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, San Diego
  • Kershenbaum A. (2010) Patch connectivity and its implications for migration speed. Israel Society for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Annual Meeting, Be'er Sheva
  • Kershenbaum A. (2009) The Delaunay Triangulation – a powerful tool for the ecologist. 46th Meeting of the Israel Zoological Society
  • Kershenbaum A., Stone L., Kotler B.P., Blaustein L. (2008a) A preliminary mathematical model of the dynamics of the Leishmania parasite amongst migrating populations of rock hyrax. Annual meeting of the Israel Society of Parasitology Protozoology and Tropical Diseases
  • Kershenbaum A., Stone L., Kotler B.P., Blaustein L. (2008b) Preliminary modeling of the Leishmania dynamics among migrating hyrax populations: How can group behaviour affect disease dynamics? 45th Meeting of the Israel Zoological Society

Popular Media

BBC Science & Environment, April 2012, The rock hyrax surprises with syntax skills http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17729868

The New York Times Science, April 2012, Looks Like a Rodent, Croons Like a Bird http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/science/hyrax-songs-have-orderly-syntax-researchers-say.html?_r=1

Nature, April 2012, Mammal sings with syntax http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v484/n7395/full/484418c.html

BBC Radio 4, PM Program, April 2012 http://research.haifa.ac.il/~leon/documents/BBCRadio4PMprogram.mp3

BBC Nature, August 2011, Hyraxes: why Israel's 'rock rabbits' have become pests http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14405051

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Community Ecology Lab
Institute of Evolution, Room 240
Dep. of Evolutionary & Environmental Biology
Faculty of Sciences
University of Haifa
Haifa 31905, Israel


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