Yael Leshno Afriat

PhD candidate, Geology
Fredy & Nadine Herrmann Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Geological Survey of Israel

Supervised by Prof. Rivka Rabinovich and Dr. Yael Edelman-Furstenberg
Thesis: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Middle Jurassic using benthic macrofaunal assemblages: Outcrops in northern and southern Israel

My research focuses on the exceptional outcrops of the Middle Jurassic at Makhtesh Gadol and Mount Hermon to quantitatively investigate the benthic macrofaunal assemblages. The Middle Jurassic of Israel has a rich fossil record of well-preserved benthic macrofauna including bivalves, gastropods, corals, sponges and stromatoporoids. I use quantitative field methods such as quadrate sampling and line transects to study the macrobenthic assemblages of these richly fossiliferous Middle Jurassic sequences. In addition, I combine virtual paleontology methods such as micro-CT together with geometric morphometrics to taxonomically identify specimens of Nerineoidea gastropods, one of the most abundant and widespread macrobenthic groups of the Mesozoic.


Leshno, Y., Benjamini, C., and Edelman-Furstenberg, Y., 2016. Ecological Quality Assessment in the Eastern Mediterranean combining live and dead molluscan assemblages. Marine Pollution Bulletin, v. 104, p 246-256. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.01.014.

Leshno, Y., Edelman-Furstenberg, Y., Mienis, H., and Benjamini, C., 2015. Molluscan live and dead assemblages in an anthropogenically stressed shallow-shelf: Levantine margin of Israel. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatolology Palaeoecology, v. 433, p 49-59. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.05.008.