University of Haifa Professor Emeritus Eviatar Nevo to be Receive the Israel Prize in Life Science

Prof Nevo Photo - Cropped 2-25-16

Professor Emeritus Eviatar Nevo

Professor Emeritus Eviatar Nevo, who founded the University of Haifa’s Institute of Evolution in 1973 and directed it until 2008, will be the recipient of the prestigious Israel Prize for Life Sciences Research on Independence Day.


Presented annually on Independence Day, the Israel Prize is regarded as the State’s highest honor. Past winners include illustrious figures such as Martin Buber, Amos Oz, Golda Meir and Teddy Kollek.

In announcing the award, the Prize Committee noted that Professor Nevo is one of the fathers of modern evolutionary biology, into which he has instilled the study of flora and fauna in Israel and neighboring countries. He has deepened and broadened our knowledge of biological species in nature and their adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

“Winning this distinguished award is a testament to a long and outstanding career” University of Haifa President Amos Shapira said in response to the news.  “Professor Eviatar is highly deserving of this great distinction and it fills all of us at the University of Haifa with pride and honor”.


Professor Nevo, a member of the Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, founder of the Institute of Evolution and the International Center for Advanced Studies in Evolution, has been part of the University family since 1973. Today he continues to research, break barriers of knowledge and to mentor many students.

His groundbreaking research on the blind mole rat is opening up exciting new directions that could lead to developing ways to heal disease, including cancer. Among his discoveries important to agriculture is his work on fungi at the Dead Sea, which has a potential for a revolution in growing plants in a salty environment. Professor Nevo’s studies into wild cereals and his creation of the world’s largest gene bank at the Institute of Evolution could help improve genetic properties of cereals, the main component of the human diet.


Author of over 1,000 peer-reviewed research articles and 20 books on a wide variety of fields related to biology and the evolution of species, he is one of the most cited researchers in the world in his field.


Born in 1929 in Haifa to a pair of teachers who came here from Lithuania, he received a master of science and doctorate from the Hebrew University, writing his doctorate thesis on “Population studies of Anurans [order of amphibians including frogs and toads] from the lower Cretaceous of Machtesh Ramon [the Ramon Crater].”


Professor Nevo is a foreign member of the Linnean Society of London, the Ukraine Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Ukraine Botanical Society, the American Society of Mammalogists and the Israel Zoological Society.

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