Leon Blaustein Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology
Office: Multi-Purpose Building, Room 240 | Phone: 972-4-8240-736 | Fax: 972-4-8288-235
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Subject: Behavioral, population and community ecology, conservation ecology, biological control, epidemiology of vector-born diseases
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Research Interests

I am interested in conceptual problems in ecology at the behavioral, population, and community levels and applied problems including epidemiology, biological control and conservation. Much of my research centers around temporary pools as a model for addressing conceptual ecological questions and for addressing questions dealing with such applied problems as mosquito population regulation, amphibian conservation and biodiversity conservation. My colleagues and I take several approaches, including a reductionist one, to assess how various factors affect temporary pool community structure - both abiotic and biotic factors. Current research problems include:

  • oviposition habitat selection in response to risk of predation, competition and desiccation and the consequences of such behavior on population and community dynamics at various scales.
  • population ecology and life history strategies of amphibians, particularly the fire salamander, Salamandra infraimmaculata.
  • determinants of, and conservation of, biodiversity in temporary pools.
  • roles of behavioral ecology and community ecology in understanding the dynamics and control vector populations and vector-borne diseases.

Selected Publications

(for pdfs, go to http://research.haifa.ac.il/~leon/html/Leon_Page.htm )

Kotler, B. P. and L. Blaustein. 1995. Titrating food and safety in a heterogeneous environment: When are the risky and safe patches of equal value? Oikos 74:251-258

Blaustein, L. and J. Margalit. 1996. Priority effects in temporary pools: Nature and outcome of mosquito larva-toad tadpole interactions depend on order of entrance. Journal of Animal Ecology 65:77-84.

Blaustein, L., J. Friedman, and T. Fahima. 1996. Larval Salamandra drive temporary pool community dynamics: evidence from an artificial pool experiment. Oikos 76:392-402.

Blaustein, L. 1997. Nonconsumptive effects of larval Salamandra on its crustacean prey: can eggs detect predators? Oecologia 110:212-217

Blaustein, L. 1999. Oviposition habitat selection in response to risk of predation: Consequences for populations and community structure. In: Evolutionary Processes and Theory: Modern Perspectives. Ed. by S. P. Wasser, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 441-456.

Spencer, M., L. Blaustein, S.S. Schwartz, and J.E. Cohen. 1999. Species richness and the proportion of predatory species in temporary pools: relationships with habitat size and permanence. Ecology Letters 2:157-166

Blaustein, L., and S.S. Schwartz. 2001.Why study ecology in temporary pools? Israel Journal of Zoology 47:303-312

Spencer, M., L. Blaustein and J.E. Cohen. 2002. Oviposition habitat selection by mosquitoes (Culiseta longiareolata) and consequences for population size. Ecology 83:669-679

Kiflawi, M., Blaustein, L., and M. Mangel. 2003. Predation-dependent oviposition habitat selection by the mosquito Culiseta longiareolata: a test of competing hypotheses. Ecology Letters 6:35-40

Kiflawi, M., Eitam, A., and Blaustein, L. 2003. The relative impact of local and regional processes on macro-invertebrate species richness in temporary ponds. Journal of Animal Ecology 72: 447-452

Blaustein, L., Kiflawi, M., Eitam, A., Mangel, M. and Cohen, J.E. 2004. Oviposition habitat selection in response to risk of predation: Mode of detection consistency across experimental venue. Oecologia 138: 300-305.

Eitam, A., L. Blaustein and Marc Mangel. 2005. Density and intercohort priority effects on larval Salamandra salamandra in temporary pools. Oecologia 146:36-42

Blaustein, L. and Chase, J.M. 2007. The role of species sharing the same trophic level as mosquitoes on mosquito populations. Annual Review of Entomology 52:489-507

Sadeh, A., M. Mangel, L. Blaustein. 2009. Context-dependent reproductive habitat selection: the interactive roles of structural complexity and cannibalistic conspecifics. Ecology Letters 12:1158-1164

Silberbush, A., S. Markman, E. Lewinsohn, J.E. Cohen, L. Blaustein. 2010. Mosquitoes use hydrocarbons to detect larval predators when selecting an oviposition site. Ecology Letters (in press)

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