Introducing Sefano, our marine biologist

We would like to introduce our new employee and Marine Biologist Sefano M. Katz and give you a brief summary of what he is doing at Beqa Lagoon Resort.

Sefano grew up in Israel along the Mediterranean coast and the Gulf of Eilat.

Sefano M. Katz

He obtained a B.Sc of marine – and environmental sciences from the Ruppin Academic Centre (RAC) in Israel. During the past decade Sefano had been partaking in marine and tropical scientific activities, primarily surrounding coral reef environments in the northern Red sea, along the Australian Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and lately In Fiji. Sefano had participated in many field-based studies, as principal investigator and as a team member research assistant and technician.

Sefano Katz Coral Restoration at Beqa Lagoon Resort

He had been involved in encompass assessing methods for reef restoration in the northern Red Sea, with RAC, University of Haifa and the Israel Oceanography and Limnology Research institute (IOLR); designing a marine and coastal protected area on the Israeli coast of the Mediterranean Sea, with RAC, Israel National Parks Authority and Eco-Ocean organisation; investigating the microbial ecology of corals’ health and disease, with James Cook University (JCU), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and Boise State University along the GBR; and developing strategies for regulated coral reproduction for research and restoration purposes in north-eastern Australia, with JCU, AIMS and University of Texas at Austin.

Some of the research Sefano had been involved in had been published in scientific journals, and made it to the podium in different conferences and meetings, and had been featured in news stories and documentary.

Sefano and one of our guests

Sefano has joined Beqa Lagoon Resort a couple of weeks ago and is currently developing the projects he will be leading and executing. The primary projects he will be conducted are 1) Shark Provisioning Ecology, and 2) Coral Reef Restoration.

1) The exciting ‘Shark Provisioning Ecology’ project will encompass several aspects allowing a deeper understanding of the levels of change produced by shark feeding, wherein a simulation of carcase feeding is performed to primarily entice [tiger] sharks to the feeding site. Specifically, the project will aim at investigating the ethology of the tiger sharks encountered in the feeding site; the behavioral ecology of sharks and dominant fish species encountered in the feeding site and proximate reef; and the effects on adjacent coral reef ecosystem.

Coral gardening

2) One of the biggest threats to coral reefs is coral bleaching. This phenomenon is increasing in frequency and severity, and in many cases can diminish whole reef tracks. A way to actively safeguard the adaptive capacity of reefs to bleaching events is increasing the number of bleaching resistant coral on the reef. Among the most effective approaches is the “gardening” concept of actively restoring reefs, by construction, on a two-step process – nursery and transplantation.

Beqa Lagoon Resort under supervision of it’s marine biologist Sefano has erected underwater nurseries for bleaching-resistant corals, producing propagules to be transplanted on degrading reef patches.

We can’t wait to show you our projects in which you will be able to actively take part 🙂

May 17, 2016