Dr Meirav Meiri (née Yizhaq)

Post-Doctoral Researcher,
Institute of Archaeology,
Tel-Aviv University,
P.O. Box 39040,
Tel-Aviv 69978,
Israel

Tel: +972 3 6409817

Current Research:

Reconstructing Ancient (Biblical) Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences Perspective


PhD Research:

The role of climate change in species range shifts: an ancient DNA study of Quaternary deer.

My PhD focused on the genetic diversity and phylogeography of two deer species: the red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the moose (Alces alces) since the Late Pleistocene - around 60,000 years ago, until today. I used these species as models for evolutionary divergence, migration and expansion. The Pleistocene was a period of substantial environmental change, which saw glaciations, extinctions of large animals, the rise of modern humans, and widespread intercontinental migrations.

I analysed ancient DNA of subfossil and modern red deer and moose specimens from across their geographic range to test how these two large herbivores responded to environmental changes in the end of the Pleistocene. I reconstructed population histories and movements and examine the phylogeographic patterns that emerge. These data, together with radiocarbon data and existing climatic records, help to clarify how geographic, ecological and evolutionary change in the populations were related to climatic changes.

Some of the questions I studied included:

  • Were red deer in Europe restricted to Southern refugia (Italy, Balkan and Iberia), during Last Glacial Maximum (23,000- 18,000 years before present), when most of Europe was covered with Ice?
  • Is there evidence for cryptic refugia in northern Europe during the glacial periods, and if so, how does this affect the phylogeographic pattern we see today in modern red deer?
  • Did the Last Glacial Maximum affect the distribution range and migration of the Siberian and North American red deer?
  • What are the origin and the history of the modern red deer population/s of North America?
  • How and when did the moose colonise North America?

 

Meirav_deer3 Meirav_deer2 Meirav_deer1



PhD supervisors:
Dr Ian Barnes (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Prof. Adrian Lister (Natural History Museum, London)


Brief CV:

2010-present....Post-Doc. Researcher, Institute of Archaeology, Tel-Aviv University. 2006-2009........PhD Student, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
2005-2006........Research Assistant, Imperial College London, UK
2004-2005........Research Assistant, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
2002-2004........MSc., Archaeological Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
2001-2002........Analytical lab technician Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc., Israel
2000-2002........Group Guide, Tel-Aviv Ramat-Gan Zoological Centre, Israel
1998-2001........BSc., (with Distinction) double major (Biology & Chemistry), Tel Aviv University, Israel


Grants:

2009 Anglo-Jewish Association: Roden Scholarship (Grant independently written)
2009 NERC/ARHC ORADS (Oxford Radiocarbon Dating Service) grant application to radiocarbon dating of 24 red deer specimens (Grant co-written with Ian Barnes and Adrian Lister)
2008 Anglo-Jewish Association: Eskell Scholarship (Grant independently written)
2008 NERC/ARHC ORADS grant application to radiocarbon dating of 33 moose specimens (Grant co-written with Ian Barnes and Adrian Lister)
2007 Anglo-Jewish Association: Roden Scholarship (Grant independently written)
2007 NERC/ARHC ORADS grant application to radiocarbon dating 34 red deer specimens (Grant co-written with Ian Barnes and Adrian Lister)
2006 Overseas Research Students Award Scheme (ORSAS) (Grant co-written with Ian Barnes)
2006 College Research Scholarship by Royal Holloway University of London


Publications:

Khalaily, H., Bar-Yosef, O., Barzilai, O., Boaretto, E., Bocquentin, F., Eirikh-Rose, A., Greenhut, Z., Goring-Morris, A.N., Dosseur, G.L., Marder, O., Sapir-Hen, L. and Yizhaq, M. 2007. Excavations at Motza in the Judean Hills and the early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B in the Southern Levant. Paléorient, 33, 5-37.

Yizhaq M., Mintz G., Cohen I., Khalally H., Weiner S. and Boaretto E. 2005. Quality controlled radiocarbon dating of bones and charcoal from the early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) of Motza (Israel). Radiocarbon 47, 193-206.

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