Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - MEDFISH (Causes and Consequences of Mediterranean Fish Invasions)

My career integration grant started in September 2013 and focused on the effect of non-indigenous species on biodiversity in the Mediterranean. Results suggest that biotic resistance by indigenous species plays an important role in determining non-indigenous species establishment. Yet, over time, biotic resistance seems to be getting weaker which may hint at an invasion meltdown. Faced with an accelerating pace of invasion, this raises considerable concerns about the ability of the Eastern Mediterranean ecosystem to retain its original faunal characteristics. It appears that the Eastern Mediterranean is likely going to be transformed to an extension of the Red Sea in terms of species and trait composition. Nevertheless, the impact of these non-indigenous species on native species remains unclear and it appears that the main driver of change for indigenous species is climate warming. During the CIG grant I have published six papers related to this project. My research on this subject is assisted by a vibrant group, including 10 graduate students and a lab manager. The work performed by this group enabled me to gather preliminary data which greatly aided in receiving funding from five major granting agencies. In addition, I am involved in public outreach activities through Tel Aviv University and through the Israel Zoological Society. I have actively maintained my contacts abroad and established new collaborations in Europe and the USA. My academic file will is now strong enough to apply for tenure.

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Life Sciences
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