The science center is involved in a research on climate change impact on frequency and magnitude of flood events, funded by the Ministry of Science & Technology. Dr. Elli Groner and colleague study the effect of floods in 3 Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites along a climate gradient on the ecosystem. One of the variables measured is soil mesofauna. Soil mites are often found in samples obtained through the Berlese funnel method, a process in which arthropods instinctively move away and downward from an artificial light source, falling through a screen and into an ethanol-filled container.
The photo below exhibits various species of soil mites captured at the Mata LTER site, a research site dedicated to studying the effect of climate change on biodiversity. Mites are one of the most diverse, prolific and widespread arthropods, successfully inhabiting a diverse class of environments. They often play an important and beneficial role in the decomposition and breakdown of organic matter.
The photo was taken through the lens of an optical microscope by Sofia Galeano who works at the DSASC lab located in MItzpe Ramon.