Laboratory for cross-disciplinary study of marine systems

Dr. Yoav Lehahn

Research activities


Picture: Hagai Nativ

Jellyfish Dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean (JellyDEM)

Jellyfish are ubiquitous gelatinous predators that have important consequences for human livelihood, marine ecosystem structure and functioning, and marine biogeochemical cycles. Integrating data from airplanes, unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) and in-situ measurements we quantify motions and spatial characteristics of the jellyfish Rhopilema nomadica along the Israeli coast of the Eastern Mediterranean, linking swimming behavior at the scale of the individual jellyfish to spatial patterning at the scale of the jellyfish swarm.

Field experiments 2020 - 2022.

Lagrangian study of fine-scale biophysical interactions.

In the marine environment, distant from the coast and from the seabed, there is no obvious spatially fixed reference frame for describing the dynamics
of the planktonic organisms inhabiting it. Thus, a natural perspective for studying phytoplankton dynamics is to follow the trajectories of water
parcels in which the organisms are embedded. This kind of Lagrangian approach is being used in our lab to study various interactions between the organisms and the environment.

A Lagrangian view on the evolution of a plankton patch (illustration)


UAS-based remote sensing of the marine and coastal environment.

We are developing tools for acquisition and analysis of very high resolution remote sensing data from cameras mounted on unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones).

Platforms and payload.

Ocean-science Data INtegration Initiative (ODINI).

The ability to comprehensively utilize the huge amount of available ocean data is currently hindered by the difficulty to integrate different datasets, which is largely done in a time and labor intensive manual manner. The Ocean-science Data INtegration initiative (ODINI) is aimed at addressing this challenge by resolving key missing tools and methods currently limiting the automation of the ocean data integration process, covering its three main phases: discover, merge, and evaluate.

The ODINI website.


Spatiotemporal changes in Israel's nearshore environment.

We combine observations from multiple remote sensing platforms to quantify spatiotemporal changes in different areas along the Israeli coasts of the Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea.

Long-term changes in the Gulf of Aqaba coral reef.

Spatial patterning in marine and terrestrial systems.

Spatial patterns in complex systems often reflect discernible interactions between the system's components. We explore spatial patterning in remote sensing imagery of marine and terrestrial systems, with the goal of resolving the governing processes underlying pattern formation.