Meet the women behind the next groundbreaking scientific discovery

Written on | ,

For International Women’s Day, TAU PhD students from different disciplines share their passion for research

This year, for International Women’s Day, we’d like to introduce you to some of the amazing women working on the next groundbreaking scientific discovery across the TAU campus. 

Fixing the environment

Judy Lax is a doctoral student from the Department of Environmental Studies, who spends her time trying to solve the climate crisis in creative ways.

“For me, the climate crisis is the most important and urgent issue there is,” Lax says. “Every moment of my day I deal with the issue in two ways. First, through my research, led by Prof. Colin Price and Prof. Hadas Saaroni, we examine how the humidity in the air can be utilized to generate and store renewable energy in relatively high humidity areas, based on our knowledge of atmospheric electrical phenomena.

“At the same time, through a special project led by former United States Vice President Al Gore (known for his commitment to environmental issues), I give lectures for the general public, which is my way of passing on knowledge and ecological conviction. The combination of passing on knowledge, together with continuing research and trying to develop crisis solutions, is my way of working for the benefit of my daughters and all of our children, so that they have a cleaner and safer world.”

 

 

Bats are our future

What brings an experienced veterinarian like Dr. Maya Weinberg to go back to school and study bats?

“I ended up with the bats accidentally and stayed because they’re unlike anything else I knew before. So much about them is still unknown, and they have some extraordinary qualities,” says Dr. Weinberg, a doctoral student at the School of Zoology, part of Dr. Yossi Yovel’s research group. “It seems like everything about this animal is interesting and unusual: the social aspect, the immune system, their fertility, their healing. My PhD combines my love of bats as a clinician and as a researcher. I study the bats’ immune system in relation to non-harmful bacteria (microbium) and also bacterial disease.

“This is because I find bats to be a very healthy animal, and if there is a dominant disease in them, it comes from bacteria (and not from viruses, which people are used to blaming). I have a good adviser who gives me a lot of guidance when necessary but also a lot of freedom. I’m also a mother of three girls, which shows you can do both. When I grow up, so to speak, I want to be at the center of things, researching and being creative. Which is exactly what I’m doing now. My message is clear: always follow what interests you.”

 

 

Engineering with beetles

Dr. Bat-El Pinchasik, of the School of Mechanical Engineering, was fascinated by the creative ways beetles and lizards utilize the water around them, and today she develops biomimetic systems that mimic desert animals’ solutions to water scarcity.

“Insects and lizards that live in areas where water is inaccessible need to collect it from other sources. For example, from the air and morning fogs,” explains Dr. Pinchasik. “At times when temperatures are lower, when there’s higher wind and humidity in the air, the air condenses on their bodies. Evolution has made them ‘smart surfaces’ that spontaneously transport the water that has collected directly into their mouths.”

For example, the Texas horned lizard has three-dimensional trenches on its back that serve as its “pipeline”. With the Namib Beatle beetle, most of the body is hydrophobic (water repellent), but it’s sprinkled with hydrophilic micrometric protrusions, which concentrate the droplets in defined places, and roll them directly into the beetle’s mouth. “Our ambition is to define the laws that make such systems effective, to develop smart materials similar to beetles, and to use advanced 3D-printing technologies to build systems that can change lives in areas where water is inaccessible.”

 

 

Over the past week, we’ve shared the stories of these women of science on our LinkedIn page, which you can follow for more interesting stories in the future. For now, we wish you a happy, productive and educational International Women’s Day.

 

Related posts

“In Wars, there are Winners and Losers. In Peace, Everyone Wins”

October 20, 2021

This Week: TAU Board of Governors Meeting 2021

October 11, 2021

Be My Guest

September 19, 2021

Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel Receives the IEEE Leadership Award

August 13, 2021

See You at Naftali

July 22, 2021

Digital Learning: TAU 1st in Israel According to International Ranking

July 12, 2021

Celebrating 20 Years of Gender Studies

June 16, 2021

TAU Alumni Fill Ranks in Israel’s New Government

June 15, 2021

TAU Graduates Bolster Israel’s Global Standing

June 14, 2021

TAU and Columbia University Launch Dual Degree Program

May 31, 2021

Standing With The Tel Aviv University Community

May 13, 2021

Promoting Equality on Campus

May 12, 2021

“Arabic for Beginners” – TAU’s Most Popular Course

March 24, 2021

Add ‘Zoom w. Dubai University’ to Your Calendar

March 18, 2021

Prof. Zvi Galil, Former President of Tel Aviv University, is Ranked 7th Among the World’s Most Influential Computer Scientists

March 18, 2021

Dafna Meitar-Nechmad Tapped as Chair of TAU’s Board of Governors

March 8, 2021

TAU Launches Israel’s First Center for AI and Data Science

February 25, 2021

TAU Announces First of Its Kind International Programme

February 16, 2021

More than 20,000 participants on TAU’s Open Day 2021

February 15, 2021

Online Impact: TAU 1st in Israel, Among Top 100 Worldwide

February 9, 2021

Increased Diversity Secured On TAU Campus

February 4, 2021

See you in Dubai

January 17, 2021

Accelerating Jewish-Arab Entrepreneurship

January 10, 2021

2020 Kadar Ceremony Celebrates Pioneering Spirit and Hard Work

January 6, 2021

Two TAU Professors Win 2020 Nature Mentoring Award

December 28, 2020

Enemies: A Love Story

December 23, 2020

Twelve TAU Researchers among Top 50 in their Fields

December 20, 2020

Hollywood Legend Martin Scorsese Meets with TAU Students, Donors

December 14, 2020

Attracting Students with “Fire in Their Hearts”

November 18, 2020

European Association of Law and Economics recognizes TAU President

November 17, 2020

Unique Collaboration Between Tel Aviv University And Local Fashion Designers

November 17, 2020

Online With Students From Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq

November 12, 2020

Historic TAU-UAE Partnership Symbolizes Hopeful Future

October 26, 2020

TAU Prof. Wins Schmidt Science Polymath Award

October 26, 2020

New Program Fosters Well-Rounded STEM Graduates

September 17, 2020

“A Scientific Discovery Can Never Be Undone”

September 16, 2020

Dan David Prize to Focus on Medicine, Public Health in 2021

August 3, 2020

TAU medical researcher wins Israel Prize

May 6, 2020

Milner Foundation Donates $3 million to Tel Aviv University, Magen David Adom and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov)

March 25, 2020

The power of women in 2020

March 2, 2020

New Dual Degree Program – TAU & Columbia University

February 28, 2020

TAU Embraces Australia after Bushfires

February 19, 2020

Who are the 2020 Dan David Prize laureates?

February 13, 2020

TAU researcher first female Israel Prize laureate in Talmud

February 12, 2020

TAU’s Open Day draws over 17,000 visitors

February 10, 2020

TAU’s first-of-its-kind “Twitter conference”

February 10, 2020

Most cited: TAU 1st in Israel according to international ranking

February 5, 2020

TAU’s new center will combine medicine and food security

January 22, 2020

Making the future accessible

January 6, 2020

Tel Aviv University Trust jazzes up its fundraising in UK to a record £12 million

October 7, 2019

Pursuing the Unknown

Copyright ©  Tel Aviv University Trust. All rights reserved.
Registered charity number 314179.