The majority of the Earth’s water is contained in its oceans, seas, and bays. Geographically, oceans cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface. The world’s oceans supply at least half of the world’s oxygen, produced by the photosynthetic organisms that live there, and influence Earth’s climate through a constant transfer of heat from the equator towards the poles. The oceans are home to the planet’s largest mountain ranges and deepest canyons, which provide shelter to the vast diversity of plant and animal species that live there.

Despite the vital role that oceans play in sustaining life on Earth, less than 2% of oceans are protected, and commercial fishing has brought most of the large marine predators close to extinction. Pollution, which has already destroyed 20% of our coral reefs, is damaging aquatic ecosystems in ways we are only beginning to understand. The documented rise in global temperatures and increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is causing the ocean to get warmer and more acidic. Projections indicate that the rising water levels, heat waves, increased storm activity, and flooding we are currently experiencing may worsen in the coming years.

The Center for Marine Research aims to expand the scale and impact of marine science research, bringing together scientists from across the Weizmann Institute to study marine biology and climate change at all levels—from the effect of rising temperatures and acidity on microscopic organisms in the water to the weather systems that carry plastics and bacteria from coastal cities to the middle of the ocean. The Center will support multidisciplinary projects involving collaborations between microbiologists, oceanographers, ecologists, biogeochemists, materials scientists , physicists, and climate scientists, among others. The research will contribute to a deeper understanding of how climate change and anthropogenic influences are affecting marine ecosystems. Center researchers will attempt to develop both the tools needed to evaluate current marine ecosystems, and ways to avoid further damage and possibly even repair these delicate ecosystems. 

For more info about the Center for Marine Research, please watch this short video.

Research Groups

Prof. Assaf Vardi

Head, Center for Marine Research 

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Prof. Yinon Rudich

Head, Center for Environment and Health

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Dr. Assaf Gal

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Dr. David Zeevi

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Prof. Ilan Koren

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Dr. Rei Chemke

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Dr. Einat Segev

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Prof. Aldo Shemesh

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