Dr. Ido Aviani
Ido’s interest in the research and implementation of innovative sustainable agriculture practices began in his B.Sc. days in Agricultural Studies at the Hebrew University. Soon after he received his degree he traveled westwards to California to become an Intern at Enterprise Vineyards, working closely with viticulturist Phil Coturri on practices of organic high end wine grapes production. When returning to Israel Israel he became the viticulturist at Saslove Winery and managed organic and conventional vineyards in the Upper Galilee, completing his M.Sc. in Soil Science and Microbial Ecology in parallel. His thesis on ‘The effects of organic and conventional fertilization regimes on the physical, chemical and microbial parameters of soil’ corroborated the positive effects of organic farming not only on soil but also on crop yields.
Ido’s Ph.D dissertation focused on agricultural waste management and recycling, an expertise that led him to initiate an innovative cost-effective production process for turning anaerobic digestion effluents into a valuable organic liquid fertilizer. Dr. Aviani has been teaching sustainable agriculture and fruit tree farming courses to international students at the Agro-Studies International College in Israel since 2011, has served as the scientific consultant to the EU ENPI CBC MED project "MEDOLICO" at MATIMOP, and was the coordinator of the ENPI CBC MED project "Protecting Ground Water" at Eco Peace, an NGO specializing in water related projects and managed jointly by Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians. Ido is currently developing a commercial scheme for compost tea (a biological soil conditioner aimed at improving crop yields) production in Israel, and serves as the technical advisor for Wormarvell group - a Start-up Company turning vermicomposting organic wastes into valuable bio-humus and protein for animal feed.
Ido co-founded two community environmental projects: a food forest in his hometown of Binyamina, and the rehabilitation and revival of the “Taninim” coastal river. When he is not working with farmers and students, Ido enjoys nutritious and healthy cooking, playing his guitar, and travelling in Israel and abroad with his family.
Dr. Eldad Elron
Eldad is an independent ecologist specializing in conducting large scale ecological surveys in preparation for conservation and restoration projects, and is one of Israel’s leading experts on freshwater habitats.
In previous positions he served as the head of the Environmental Quality department in Bactochem Laboratories, a company specializing in monitoring and analyzing water and soils, and as the head of the Environmental Resources group in DHV MED, part of a Netherlands based multinational corporation specializing in environmental projects and consultancy. In the past decade Dr. Elron led and participated in numerous scientific studies and environmental surveys conducted with Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, Israel Nature and Parks Authority, Drainage and River Authorities, City Municipalities, and NGOs specializing in environmental conservation (e.g., Society for the Protection of Nature, EcoPeace Middle East).
Dr. Elron earned his B.Sc. in Biology and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Quality from Tel Aviv University. His passions include soccer, hiking, reading and growing vegetables in his garden.
In memory of Prof. Dov Pasternak
Dov Pasternak was a world known expert and researcher on irrigation systems, crop optimization in arid and semi-arid climates, and the reclamation and agricultural utilization of degraded lands. His work in developing countries focused on vegetables and fruit trees production in semi-arid regions, use of saline water for irrigation, desertification control, and environmental control in greenhouses.
Dov served as the Principal Scientist for crops and systems diversification at ICRISAT-Niger, Director of the International Program for Arid Land Crops, Head of the Institute for Agriculture & Applied Biology at Ben Gurion University, the Scientific Coordinator of the regional Middle East (Israel-Egypt) Cooperative Arid Lands Research Program, the Morocco Vegetables Development project, and the 'Intensification of Agriculture in Ethiopia project through high value trees crops'.
His extensive international experience included consultations in 24 different countries on agricultural development, initiating and directing of the International Program for Arid Land Crops (IPALAC), introducing the African Market Garden to 8 Sahelian countries. He served as senior adviser to MASHAV's trilateral Italy-Senegal-Israel TIPA project in Senegal and to the USAID food security and agricultural development program in East and North East Senegal.
Dov led the selection and development of 16 vegetable and fruit tree varieties and participated co-developing 30 new species of ornamentals for export for the Sahel. He is the owner of five patents, author and co-author of 105 articles and 352 technical reports, author and editor of several scientific books, and the author of "Agricultural Prosperity in Dry Africa" – a book aimed at decision makers and leaders of agricultural projects aimed small farmers.
One of Dov’s great prides is the Farmers of the Future Project in Niger which he initiated, led, and continued to advise after his return to Israel and until his last days here. The project continues to create a new generation of farmers by educating primary school children and their mothers to approach farming as a business.
Dov was a mentor for us since our inception. We miss him and his generous support and advice.