Professor from Tel Aviv University receives 2021 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists in Israel

Professor Yossi Yovel, Associate Professor of Zoology at Tel Aviv University (TAU), is one of three Laureates to be awarded 2021 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Professor Yovel was recognized for his work in the area of Life Sciences and will receive $100,000.

Professor Yovel is working to bridge the gap between two of the most influential fields in biology -- ecology (the study of animals in their environment) and neuroscience (the study of how the brain controls actions).

He has helped to establish the new field of neuroecology, the study of how the brain controls behavior in a rapidly changing natural environment.

He is a leading expert on the use of bats in scientific research and studies their use of echolocation to perceive and navigate through the world as a model for how the brain integrates sensory information to guide behavior. This work provides broader insight into group behaviors, integration of sensory information in the brain, and real-time decision making.

The 2021 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel will be conferred, as pandemic restrictions allow, at a ceremony held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on August 1, 2021. This year's Laureates also include Professor Ido Kaminer of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Physical Sciences & Engineering Laureate; and Professor Rafal Klajn of the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Chemistry Laureate.

The Blavatnik Awards recognize outstanding, innovative scientists at the early stages of their careers for both their extraordinary achievements and their promise for future discoveries. The prizes are awarded to researchers aged 42 and younger for groundbreaking work in the disciplines of Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences & Engineering. The Blavatnik Awards in Israel sit alongside their international counterparts, the Blavatnik National Awards and Blavatnik Regional Awards in the United States, and the Blavatnik Awards in the United Kingdom.

The Laureates will join a cadre of young scientists from across Israel who have been honored by the Blavatnik Awards in Israel since their launch in 2017. In addition, the Laureates will become part of the international Blavatnik Science Scholars community, which, by the close of 2021, will total 350 young scientists from around the world.

Each summer the Laureates are invited to attend the annual Blavatnik Science Symposium in New York City at the New York Academy of Sciences, where past and present Blavatnik Awards honorees from around the world come together to share new ideas and forge collaborations for novel, cross-disciplinary research.

The passing year has demonstrated just how important groundbreaking science is, it's imperative to encourage young scientists to venture broadly in their respective fields and to push the boundaries of scientific discovery. The achievements by these three outstanding Israeli scientists are testament to their brilliance, perseverance, and imagination -- characteristics held by many young Israeli researchers who will continue to make remarkable contributions to science for generations to come."

Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation, American Friends of Tel Aviv University

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