Israel to host 27 US students in new marine sciences exchange program
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Israel to host 27 US students in new marine sciences exchange program

The eastern Mediterranean shore will be a ‘real-world laboratory’ for the next generation of oceanography professionals

Corals at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences coral farm in the Red Sea city of Eilat, southern Israel, January 17, 2019. (Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences/Dror Komet via AP)
Corals at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences coral farm in the Red Sea city of Eilat, southern Israel, January 17, 2019. (Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences/Dror Komet via AP)

Israel has been chosen as one of four countries to host 27 graduate students from 24 US institutions as part of a first cohort of the Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange (LOREX) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, a US entity charged with supporting basic scientific research.

Students will be coming to study at the University of Haifa’s marine sciences school and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat.

The graduate student program was set up to create connections between the next generation of oceanography professionals through international collaborations. The students will work with 25 labs across six host institutions in Israel, Canada, Australia and Sweden, Haifa University said in a statement on Sunday.

Elena Forchielli, a fourth-year PhD student in molecular cellular biology and biochemistry at Boston University, is one participant who will conduct research this coming fall at the University of Haifa’s Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences. Forchielli has previously visited University of Haifa for collaborative research with the Charney School’s Dr. Daniel Sher. She will be working once again with Sher as part of her LOREX experience.

“The Eastern Mediterranean setting enables us to collect valuable samples in the sea, and then to replicate our experiments in an environment which closely resembles the conditions of the real ocean,” Forchielli said in a statement.

Given its home along Israel’s coastline, the Charney School is strategically positioned to study the uniquely diverse Mediterranean Sea in an interdisciplinary manner. The school has four complementary divisions: a department of maritime civilizations, a department of marine geosciences, a department of marine biology and a department of marine technologies.

“Situated at the doorstep of the Mediterranean Sea, the school finds itself at a cradle of maritime civilizations throughout history. There is simply no substitute for a real-world laboratory of that magnitude,” said Karen Berman, CEO of the American Society of the University of Haifa, in the statement.

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