Omer Tzuk

PhD Student, Physics Dept. Ben Gurion University
Advisor - Prof. Ehud Meron

Research Area - Nonlinear Dynamics and Pattern Formation in Ecosystems

(x,y,z) = (Bldg. 54, Room 317, TBD)
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Brief Academic CV

2008 - 2011 B.Sc. Astronomy, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy (Cum Laude)
2012 - 2014
M.Sc. Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2013        Summer Research Assistantship at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
2014 -      Ph.D. Physics, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva


Ecological Integrity is a new concept in ecology that aims to capture the degree to which an ecosystem is in a state of self-organization that represents a high level of ecosystem functioning in terms of functional diversity, bio-productivity, resource-use efficiency, resilience to varying environments, etc. Water-limited ecosystems provide a good case study for putting the integrity concept on firm mathematical grounds and studying factors that affect ecosystem integrity and means for increasing it. This is because they allow for spatial self-organization, in addition to community-structure self-organization, and because well-developed mathematical models are available.
The approach to be pursued will be based on the identification of the eigenmodes that control various forms of self-organization and on the study of factors that affect their amplitudes and growth rates. Specific contexts to be considered include rehabilitation of degraded landscapes by water harvesting methods, the structure of spatially uniform plant communities, the coupling of this structure to spatial self-organization, and development of biomimetic approach to agro-ecology. We will study ecological integrity in these contexts using the mathematical model introduced by Gilad et al. (2007), and various extensions and simplifications thereof. The studies will include mathematical analysis along with numerical studies using continuation methods and integration in time. We intend to cooperate with ecologists who will monitor ecosystem states using field studies and remote sensing methods, and to confront theoretical predictions with empirical observations.

Teaching assistance

Physics 3B (2015B) - TA lecture notes - Homework submission
Physics 1C (2015B)

Scholarships & Awards

Amsterdam Merit Scholarship (2012-2014)