National Geographic names Haifa professor as an ‘Emerging Explorer’

University of Haifa’s Dr. Aviad Scheinin is the second Israeli to receive the honor

James Spiro 16:3231.05.21

National Geographic has announced that it has named Dr. Aviad Scheinin from the University of Haifa as one of its ‘Emerging Explorers’ in 2021. Dr. Scheinin was named as one of the 15 individuals from all over who are changing the world “one idea at a time”.


Dr. Scheinin is a marine conservationist who heads the University of Haifa’s Marine Apex Predator Lab at the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station. He is also the Apex Predators Principal Investigator at the Leon Charney School of Marine Sciences and has more than 20 years of experience in conservation, behavioral science, and long-term ecological research of coastal dolphins, sharks, rays, and bluefin tunas.


Dr. Aviad Scheinin. Photo: University of Haifa. Dr. Aviad Scheinin. Photo: University of Haifa.


“This is a very significant milestone for me,” Scheinin said. “After twenty years of intensive research at sea, this major demonstration of international recognition is an exciting and empowering opportunity which will provide the university access to the most impressive minds in the field.”


Dr. Scheinin is only the second Israeli who has been selected as an ‘Emerging Explorer’, following the announcement of Dr. Beverly Goodman from the same university who received the accolade in 2009. In the official announcement, National Geographic highlighted Dr. Scheinin’s work in examining the behavior of coastal dolphins, and for being the first to notice the presence of grey whales and false killer whales in the Eastern Mediterranean.


National Geographic said its cohort of storytellers, researchers, and conservationists “are conducting innovative work focused on a range of topics such as inventing space technologies, ocean exploration, understanding the past through archaeology and anthropology, species conservation, storytelling, and elevating young voices for the future of education.”

“Prof. Scheinin’s work is not only a point of pride for the university but for Israel,” said Prof. Ron Robin, University of Haifa President. “His research spotlights how unique and ecologically robust the Mediterranean is, and seeing his work recognized in such a global forum is incredibly gratifying. Together with Dr. Goodman and others, the university is at the forefront of research bringing us closer to understanding the complex relationship between humans and our oceans.”


To date, only 200 researchers have been selected as part of the effort to document, educate, and conserve the planet and its resources. He joins other researchers and educators including Jane Goodall and Jacques Cousteau.