Yael Mandelik’s Lab

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Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

yael mandelikI am an ecologist and conservation biologist working on the interaction between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and land-use change. Much of the work in my lab focuses on insect pollinators and pollination, as a central ecosystem service, and explores questions related to pollination services to crops and wild plants, anthropogenic-induced changes in pollinator communities, pollinators health and pollinators conservation. We seek ways to restore communities of these beneficial insects in agricultural, afforested and natural landscapes and contribute to sustainable agriculture production and biodiversity conservation. 



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Our research activities include these main topics:

  • Ecosystem services and dis-services

  • Land-use effects on pollinators and pollination

  • Pollinators health and virus transmission

  • Conservation and restoration of pollinators

  • Tools for biodiversity quantification and mapping


We study the diversity, function and conservation needs of beneficial insects, pollinators in particular, in a variety of environmental and geographic context and scales. Our overarching goal in to gain insight on the main factors that shape the diversity, stability and resilience of pollinator communities and the pollination services they provide, to inform land management and conservation efforts.







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Ecosystem services and dis-services

Ecosystem services are ecological functions important for human survival and wellbeing. We focus on pollination and pollinators, in particular wild and managed bees, as a main ecosystem service to agriculture and nature. We use this as a model system to study questions related to the provision, stability, and value of pollination services. Studies are performed in both agricultural and natural settings and involve field surveys of pollinators, pollination experiments, behavioral studies, and modelling. Currently studied topics include:

  • Pollination services by wild insects to a variety of crops including almond, apple, strawberry, sunflower, watermelon, onion.
  • The relationship between pollinator diversity and their pollination services, patterns of inter and intra-specific complementary in pollinator communities.
  • Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture, plant-mediated interactions between pollinators, natural enemies and pests.





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Land-use effects on pollinators and pollination

ym14Pollinators across the globe are decreasing due to anthropogenic disturbances. Land-use change and habitat degradation are a major threat. We study how bee communities, pollination networks and pollination services are affected by different land-uses and habitat management practices in natural, agricultural and forested ecosystems. Among the specific questions we study are:


  • How do pollinator communities change along land-use gradients at different spatial scales and landscape context?
  • What is the effect of grazing on bee communities along a climatic gradient?
  • How are bee communities and their pollination activity affected by different forest management regimes?
  • What is the effect of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) on bee diversity and pollination activity?


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Pollinators health

Pathogens, viruses in particular, are a main threat to wild and managed pollinator populations worldwide. Our studies focus on mapping patterns of virus prevalence in bee communities, exploring intra- and inter-specific transmission of viruses in these communities, and elucidating the underlying mechanisms. We study the effects of virus infection on bee survival and behavior, and possible implication for the delivery of pollination services.



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Conservation and restoration of pollinators

We study ways to enhance and restore the diversity and functioning of beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes, while minimizing the delivery of dis-services by pests. Specifically, we study the effects of wild bloom along field edges on the diversity and interactions between three important guilds - pollinators, natural enemies (insect predators and parasitoides) and insect pests. We also study successional processes in bee communities in novel habitats, and the cost-effectiveness of different restoration approaches. 

See also: Yael Mandelik

Tools for biodiversity quantification and mapping

Direct measurement of biodiversity is usually too time, money and knowledge demanding to be performed. Hence, when mapping and monitoring biodiversity there is usually need to use surrogate measures i.e. biodiversity indicators. We study the ecological reliability and cost-effectiveness of different environmental and biological indicators using both empirical and modelling approaches. We also explore innovative approaches to monitor wild bee communities and habitat resource availability using advanced photogrammetric and remote-sensing tools.

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Cole, L.J., Kleijn, D., Dicks, L.V., Stout, J.C., Potts, S.G., Albrecht, M., Balzan, M.V., Bartomeus, I., Bebeli, P.J., Bevk, D., Biesmeijer, J.C., Chlebo, R., Dautarte, A., Emmanouil, N., Hartfield, C., Holland, J.M., Holzschuh, A., Knoben, N.T.J., Kovacs-Hostyanszki, A., Mandelik, Y., Panou, H., Paxton, R.J., Petanidou, T., de Carvalho, M.A.A., Rundlof, M., Sarthou, J.P., Stavrinides, M.C., Suso, M.J., Szentgyörgyi, H., Vaissière, B.E., Varnava, A., Vila, M., Zemeckis, R., & Scheper, J. 2020. A critical analysis of the potential for EU Common Agricultural Policy measures to support wild pollinators on farmland. Journal of Applied Ecology 57(4): 681-694.

Shapira, T., Henkin, Z., Dag, A., Mandelik, Y. 2019. Rangeland sharing by cattle and bees: moderate grazing does not impair bee communities and resource availability. Ecological Applications 30(3) e02066.


Lotan, A., Kost, R., Mandelik, Y., Peled, Y., Chakuki, D., Zemah, S. & Ram, Y. 2018. National scale mapping of ecosystem services in Israel – genetic resources, pollination and cultural services. One Ecosystem 3: e25494. https://doi.org/10.3897/oneeco.3.e25494.

Pisanty, G., Afik, O., Wajnberg, E., & Mandelik, Y. 2016. Watermelon pollinators exhibit complementarity in both visitation rate and single-visit pollination efficiency. Journal of Applied Ecology 53(2): 360-370.

Rader, R., Bartomeus, I., Garibaldi, L.A., Garratt, M.P.D., Howlett, B., Winfree, R., Cunningham, S.A., Mayfield, M.M., Arthur, A.D., Andersson, G.K.S., Bommarco, R., Brittain, C., Carvalheiro, L.G., Chacoff, N.P., Entling, M.H., Foully, B., Freitas, B.M., Gemmill-Herren, B., Ghazoul, J., Griffin, S., Gross, C.L., Herbertsson, L., Herzog, F., Hipólito, J., Jaggar, S., Jauker, F., Klein, A.M., Kleijn, D., Krishnan, S., Lemos. C.Q., Lindström, S.A.M., Mandelik, Y., Monteiro, V.M.,   Nelson, W., Nilsson, L., Pattemore, D., Pereira, N. de O., Pisanty, G., Potts, S.G., Reemer, M., Rundlöf, M., Sheffield, C.S., Scheper, J., Schüepp, C., Smith, H.G., Stanley, D.A., Stout, J.C., Szentgyörgyi, H., Taki, H., Vergara, C.H., Viana, B.F., & Woyciechowski, M. 2016. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(1): 146-151.

Kark, S., Sutherland, W.J., Shanas, U., Klass, K., Achisar, H., Dayan, T., Gavrieli, Y., Justo-Hanani, R., Mandelik, Y., Orion, N., Pargament, D., Portman, M., Reisman-Berman, O., Safriel, U.N., Schaffer, G., Steiner, N., Tauber, I., & Levin, N. 2016. Priority questions and horizon scanning for conservation: a comparative study. PLOS ONE 11(1): e0145978. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145978.

Pisanty, G., & Mandelik, Y. 2015. Profiling crop pollinators: life-history traits predict habitat use and crop visitation by Mediterranean wild bees. Ecological Applications 25(3): 742-752.

Schäckermann, J., Mandelik, Y., Weiss, N., von Wehrden, H., & Klein, A.M. 2015. Natural habitat does not mediate vertebrate seed predation as an ecosystem dis-service to agriculture. Journal of Applied Ecology 52(2): 291-299.

van Rijn, I., Neeson, T.M., & Mandelik, Y.  2015. Reliability and refinement of the higher taxa approach for bee richness and composition. Ecological Applications 25(1): 88-98.

Kleijn, D., Scheper, J., Winfree, R., Benjamin, F. , Cariveau, D. , Bartomeus, I. , Carvalheiro, L.,  Henry, M., Le Féon, V. , Isaacs, R. , May, E., Klein, A., Kremen, C., Sardinas, H., Sciligo, A., M'Gonigle, L., Rader, R., Ricketts, T., Williams, N., Lee Adamson, N., Ascher, J., Báldi, A., Batary, P. C, Tscharntke, T., Biesmeijer, K., Blitzer, E., Park, M., Danforth, B., Bommarco, R., Brand, M., Bretagnolle, V., Button, L., Elle, E., Chifflet, R., Colville, R., Garratt, M., Potts, S.,  Herzog, F., Holzschuh, A., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Howlett, B., Jauker, F., Jha, S., Knop, E., Krewenka, K., Mandelik, Y., Pisanty, G., Reemer, M., Riedinger, V. C, Rollin, O., Rundlöf, M.,  Smith, H., Thorp, R., Verhulst, J. , Viana, B., Vaissière, B., Veldtman, R., & Westphal, C.C  2015. Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation. Nature Communications 6, article no. 7414.  

Schäckermann, J., Gesine P., Mandelik, Y., & Klein, A.M. 2015. Agro-ecosystem services and dis-services in almond orchards are differentially influenced by the surrounding landscape. Ecological Entomology 40(1): 12-21.

Neeson, T.M., & Mandelik, Y. 2014. Pairwise measures of species co-occurrence for conservation biology and community ecology. Ecological Indicators 45: 721-727. F

Pisanty, G., Klein, A.M., & Mandelik, Y. 2014. Do wild bees complement honey bee pollination of confection sunflowers in Israel? Apidologie 45(2): 235-247.

Fleischer, A. , Shafir, S. , & Mandelik, Y. 2013. A proactive approach for assessing alternative management programs for an invasive alien pollinator species. Ecological Economics 88: 126-132.

Garibaldi, L.A., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Winfree, R., Aizen, M.A., Bommarco, R., Cunningham, S.A., Kremen, C., Carvalheiro, L.G., Afik, O., Bartomeus, I., Benjamin, F., Boreux, V., Cariveau, D., Chacoff, N.P., Dudenhöffer, J.H., Freitas, B.M., Greenleaf, S., Harder, L., Hipólito, J., Holzschuh, A., Howlett, B., Isaacs, R., Javorek, S.K., Kennedy, C., Krewenka, K., Mandelik, Y. , Mayfield, M.M., Motzke, I., Munyuli, T., Nault, B.A., Otieno, M., Petersen, J., Pisanty, G., Potts, S.G., Rader, R., Ricketts, T.H., Rundlöf, M., Seymour, C.L., Schüepp, C., Smitha, K., Szentgyörgyi, H., Taki, H., Tscharntke, T., Vergara, C.H., Viana, B.F., Wanger, T.C., Westphal, C., Williams, N., & Klein, A.M. 2013. Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey bee abundance. Science 339(6127): 1608-1611.

Kennedy, C.M., Lonsdorf, E., Neel, M.C.,  Williams, N.M., Ricketts, T.H., Winfree, R., Bommarco, R., Brittain, C., Burley, A.L., Cariveau, D., Carvalheiro, L.G., Chacoff, N.P., Cunningham, S.A., Danforth, B.N., Dudenhöffer, J.H., Elle, E., Gaines, H.R., Gratton, C., Greenleaf, S.S., Holzschuh, A., Isaacs, R., Javorek, S.K., Jha, S., Klein, A.M., Krewenka, K., Mandelik, Y. , Mayfield, M.M., Morandin, L., Neame, L.A., Otieno, M., Park, M., Potts, S.G., Rundlöf, M., Saez, A., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Taki, H., Tuell, J.K., Viana, B.F., Veldtman, R., Westphal, C., & Kremen, C. 2013. A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems. Ecology Letters 16(5): 584-599.

Neeson, T.M. , Van Rijn, I., & Mandelik, Y. 2013. How taxonomic diversity, community structure and sample size determine the reliability of higher taxon surrogates. Ecological Applications 23(5): 1216-1225.

Rotholz, E., & Mandelik, Y. 2013. Roadside habitats: effects on diversity and composition of plant, arthropod, and small mammal communities. Biodiversity and Conservation 22(4): 1017-1031.

Mandelik, Y., Winfree, R., Neeson, T. & Kremen, C. 2012. Complementary habitat use by wild bees in an agro-natural landscape. Ecological Applications 22(5): 1535-1546.

Mandelik, Y., Chiktunov, V., Kravchenko, V., & Dayan , T. 2012. The relative performance of taxonomic vs. environmental indicators for local biodiversity assessment: a comparative study.  Ecological Indicators 15(1): 171-180.

Garibaldi, L. A., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Kremen, C., Morales, J. M. , Bommarco, R. , Cunningham, S. , Carvalheiro, L. , Chacoff, N. , Dudenhöffer, J.H., Greenleaf, S. C, Holzschuh, A. , Isaacs, R. , Krewenka, K. , Mandelik, Y. , Mayfield, M., Morandin, L., Potts, S. , Ricketts, T. , Szentgyörgyi, H. , Winfree, R. , & Klein, A.M.  2011. Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honey bee visits.  Ecology Letters 14(10): 1062-1072.

Gotlieb, A., Hollender, Y., & Mandelik, Y. 2010. Gardening in the desert changes bee communities and pollination network characteristics . Basic and Applied Ecology 12(4): 310-320.

Mandelik, Y., Roll, U., & Fleischer, A. 2010. Cost-efficiency of biodiversity indicators for Mediterranean ecosystems and the effects of socio-economic factors. Journal of Applied Ecology 47(6): 1179-1188.

2009 and before

Mandelik, Y., & Roll, U. 2009. Diversity patterns of wild bees in almond orchards and their surrounding landscape. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 57(3): 185-191.

Mandelik, Y., Chiktunov, V., Kravchenko, V., & Dayan, T. 2007. Reliability of the higher-taxa approach for diversity assessment at the local scale. Conservation Biology 21(6): 1506-1515.

Mandelik, Y., Dayan, T., & Feitelson, E. 2005. Planning for biodiversity: The role of Ecological Impact Assessment. Conservation Biology 19(4): 1254-1261.

Mandelik, Y., Jones, M.E., & Dayan, T. 2003. Structurally complex habitat and sensory adaptations mediate the behavioral responses of a desert rodent to an indirect cue for increased predation risk. Evolutionary Ecology Research 5: 501-515.

 Kronfeld-Schor, N., Dayan, T., Jones, M.E., Kremer, I., Mandelik, Y., Wolberg, M., & Gaton, D.D. 2001. Retinal structure and foraging microhabitat use of the golden spiny mouse: a nocturnal rodent seeing its way in the desert sun. Journal of Mammalogy 82 (4): 1016-1025.

Jones, M.E., Mandelik, Y., & Dayan, T. 2001. Coexistence of temporally partitioned spiny mice: roles of habitat structure and foraging behavior. Ecology 82 (8): 2164-2176.

Other publications:

Gil, H., Ziv, Y., Rotem, G., Ramon, U., Mandelik, Y., Keasar, T., Rotem, D., Shelef, O., Shapira, I., & Levi, A. 2020. Wildlife friendly agricultural practices – Natural habitat patches and field margins – Experts’ opinion. The Israel Society of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Pp. 32. In Hebrew, English abstract.

Golan, A., & Mandelik, Y. 2011. The effect of wild flowers in agricultural field margins on diversity patterns and pollination activity of honeybees and wild bees. Proceedings of the annual Nekudat Hen Conference, In Hebrew, English abstract.

Kaspi, R., Asher, M., Mandelik, Y., & Shafir, S. 2010. Danger! The dwarf honey bee is still here. Yalkut Hamichveret 49: 112-116. In Hebrew.

Mandelik, Y., & Dayan, T. 2010. The Israeli national biodiversity action plan: research and monitoring. Ministry of the Environment, Jerusalem. In Hebrew.

Mandelik, Y., Dayan, T., & Feitelson, E. 2005. Issues and dilemmas in ecological scoping: scientific, procedural and economic perspectives. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 23 (1): 55-63.

Mandelik, Y., Gutman, R., & Dayan, T. 2002. Biodiversity indicators: proposed action plan for Israel. The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Jerusalem. In Hebrew.

Leshem, Y., Mandelik, Y., & Shamoun-Baranes, J. (editors). 1999. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Birds and Flight Safety in the Middle East. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.

See also: Yael Mandelik



Principal Investigator

Yael Mandelik, Ph.D

Lecturer, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services


Ph.D. Biodiversity Conservation, Tel Aviv University, 2005
M.Sc. Ecology and Environmental Quality, Tel Aviv University, 1999
B.Sc. Animal Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1996

Research interests

  • Ecosystem services
  • Pollination ecology
  • Pollinator health
  • Biodiversity indicators
  • Biodiversity conservation


  • Ecological Principles in Spatial Conservation Planning (71947, grad level)
  • Integrated landscape management (71082, undergrad level)
  • Pollination workshop (73514, grad level)


yael mandelik

Lab manager


Karmit Levy



Ph.D students

Karmit Levy

Karmit studies restoration and succession processes in bee and plant communities.


Tal Shapira

Tal studies the effect of sowing wild flowers along field edges on the diversity, functioning and interactions between pollinators, natural enemies and pests within agricultural fields.

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Idan Kanonitch

Idan studies spatio-temporal patterns and functional effects of interspecific virus transmission in pollinator communities


Avi Eliyahu


Avi studies the mechanisms and epidemiological implications of floral-mediated intra- and inter-specific virus transmission in bee communities



M.Sc. students

Tohar Roth

Tohar studies the effects of non-cultivated habitats on beneficial insect communities accros land-use gradients.


Eran Carmel


Eran studies complementarity between managed pollinators of onion.




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Roy Kaspi 

Research title: Development of techniques for monitoring, trapping and destroying colonies of Apis florea 
Co-hosted by: Prof. Sharon Shafir


Thomas Neeson 

Research title: Taxonomic and ecological factors affecting the reliability of higher taxa surrogates 
Co-hosted by: Prof. Moshe Coll

See also: Yael Mandelik

Ohad Afik 

Research title: The effect of pollinator diversity on pollination and yield of watermelon

See also: Yael Mandelik

Jessica Schaeckermann  

Research title: The effect of sowing wild flowers along watermelon field edges on the diversity and abundance of pollinators and natural enemies.

Co-hosted by: Prof. Moshe Coll

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PhD students

Gideon Pisanty

Thesis title: Pollination services in Mediterranean natural- agricultural systems: assessing wild bees' contribution to crop pollination and the effects of land use on them.

Thesis abstractPDF

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Ariella Gotlieb

Ariella is interested in nature conservation and in the effects of human disturbance on natural ecosystems. She has a B.Sc. in Biology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She studied the effects of stone-mining on biodiversity in the ancient delta of Wadi Tze’elim during her M.Sc. in Ecology in Tel Aviv University. Her PhD research (also in Ecology, Tel Aviv University) looked into the effects of human settlements in the desert on local plant and bee communities and on local pollination networks.

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Yael Hollender 

Thesis title: Biodiversity and pollination services provided by bees in natural and anthropogenic landscapes of the Arava Rift Valley 
Thesis abstractPDF


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Eliav Rothholz 

Thesis title: The influence of post-fire salvage logging on soil- dwelling arthropods and implications on biodiversity conservation 
Thesis abstractPDF

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Hilla Carmely

Thesis title: Tools for quantifying diversity and composition patterns of wild bees in the Arava Rift Valley and the effect of honey bees on these patterns 
Thesis abstractPDF

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Itai vanRijn 

Thesis title: Evaluation of the ‘Higher Taxa Approach’ for assessing patterns of species richness and composition in Bee communities 
Thesis abstractPDF

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Hadas Marshall

Thesis title: The effects of bee characteristics and foraging history on the pollination efficiency of bees in a desert environment

Thesis abstractPDF

See also: Yael Mandelik

Adir Golan

Thesis title: The effect of wild flowers bloom in agricultural field margins on diversity patterns and activity of honey bees and wild bees

Thesis abstractPDF


Tal Shapira

Thesis title: The effect of cattle grazing on bee diversity along a climatic gradient.

Thesis abstractPDF


Yael Brener

Thesis title: The effect of pollinators' diversity on pollination services and reproductive success of wild plants. PDF


Ziv Omer

Thesis title:  The link between pollinators' diversity and pollination services and possible mechanisms underlying this link in the pollination of seed watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). PDF


Idan Eliakim

Idan studies the effect of wild bloom along strawberry field  edges on pollinator diversity and their pollination activity within the fields. 


Oded Winberger

Oded studies the effect of pest management practices (IPM vs conventional management) on pollinator diversity in apple orchards.


Tamar Chaprazaro

Thesis title: Bee communities and pollination networks in planted pine forests compared to adjacent shrublands. PDF


Omri Avrech

Thesis title: The effect of distance from honeybee hives on wild pollinator activity, crop quality and crop quantity in apple orchards PDF



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Open Positions


Please email me with your CV and research interests.

Graduate students

I admit students through both the Agroecology and Plant Health and the 
Environmental Quality and Natural Resources in Agriculture  graduate programs.

PhD and MS candidates

Please email me with your CV, grades and research interest.

Undergrad students

Students with excellent academic record and interest in ecology and biodiversity conservation are welcome to contact me regarding opportunities for doing research in the lab. Please email me with your CV, the ecological related courses you took and grades and why you are interested in doing research in the lab.

Field assistants

We hire research assistants for help in field and lab work during the spring and summer months. Ecological background and experience in ecological field work is an advantage but not a pre-requisite. Please email me with your CV.


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Lab Picnics

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Picnic in Corona times…

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At Work

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Picnic 2013

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Contact Us

Aharonson Bldg. 
Department of Entomology
Faculty of Agriculture, Food & Environment
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
POB 12, Rehovot 76100 Israel

Yael Mandelik

Phone: +972-8-9489224
Fax: +972-8-9466768
Email: Yael.Mandelik@mail.huji.ac.il

Lab phone