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Dr. Malka Halpern
Senior Lecturer


Contact
Department of Biology and Environment,
University of Haifa at Oranim,
Tivon 36006, Israel
Tel: (972) 4 9838978
Fax: (972) 4 8451644
E-mail: mhalpern@research.haifa.ac.il


M.Sc. 1997, Tel Aviv University, George S. Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Zoology (Summa Cum Laude) Ph.D. 2003, University of Haifa, Dept. of Science and Science Education (Summa Cum Laude)

Research Interests

  1. The natural reservoirs and vectors of Vibrio cholerae and the emerging pathogen Aeromonas
  2. The "probiotic" role of endogenic bacteria in chironomids (Diptera; Chironomidae)
  3. Psychrotrophic microbial community in raw milk
  4. The anti-herbivore role of bacteria on plant thorns
  5. The role of secondary metabolites in floral nectar in mediating the interactions between plants and microorganisms
Bacterial systematics and industrial exploitation of novel bacteria


Teaching:

Level
Type
Title
B.Sc. 6 points, Lecture + laboratory Introduction to Microbiology
B.Sc. 4 points, Lecture Environmental Microbiology
M.Sc. 2 points, Lecture Environmental Microbiology
B.Sc. 4 points, Laboratory Workshop in Environmental Microbiology
B.Sc. 3 points, Lecture Medical Microbiology

Graduate Students Supervised

Completed Theses

Student’s Name
Degree
Thesis Title
Elionora Hantsis-Zacharov M.Sc.- 2007 Characterization and extracellular activity of psychrotrophic bacteria in raw milk
Yigal Senderovich M.Sc.- 2007 Vibrio cholerae and pathogenic Aeromonas - new insights into their natural reservoir
Dina Raats M.Sc.- 2008 Raw milk bacterial community; structure and dynamics
Yana Gershtein M.Sc.- 2009 Evaluation and assimilation of Real Time PCR method for a rapid detection of pathogens in drinking water
Svetlana Fridman M.Sc.- 2010 Do Bacteria inhabit floral nectar? (with Prof. Ido Izhaki)
Tamar Shaked M.Sc.- 2010 Evaluation and assimilation of Real Time PCR method for detection of Vibrio cholerae in drinking water and for monitoring of V. cholerae and Aeromonas spp. populations in   chironomid egg masses
Anat Dekel M.Sc.- 2010 Study of microorganisms communities as a tool for developing an attached growth treatment process for greywater. (with Dr. Eran Friedler, Dept of Environmental, Water and Agricultural Engineering, the Technion)

Current Graduate students

Student’s Name Degree Thesis Title
Yigal Senderovich Ph.D. Chironomids fish and waterbirds as natural reservoirs and vectors of Vibrio cholerae
Yana Gershtein Ph.D. The role of secondary metabolites in floral nectar in mediating the interactions between plants and microorganisms (with Prof. Ido Izhaki)
Sivan Laviad M.Sc. Dependent population dynamics between chironomids  and Aeromonas
Rotem Waise M.Sc. The role of honey bee and thrips in introducing bacteria to plant nectar

Selected Publications

1. Broza, M., Halpern, M., Teltsch, B., Porat R. and Gasith, A. (1998) Shock chloramination: A potential treatment for Chironomidae (Diptera) larvae nuisance abatement in water supply systems. Journal of Economic Entomology. 91: 834-840. Ref

2. Halpern, M., Gasith, A., Porat, R., Telsch, B. and Broza, M. (1999) Synergistic effect of chloramine and copper sulfate as control agents of planktonic midge larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) in drinking water supply systems. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 15: 453-457. Ref

3. Broza, M., Halpern, M. and Inbar, M. (2000) Non-biting midges (Diptera; Chironomidae) in waste stabilization ponds: an intensifying Nuisance in Israel. Water Science and Technology. 42: 71-74. Ref

4. Broza, M. and Halpern, M. (2001) Chironomids egg masses and Vibrio cholerae. Nature 412: 40. Ref

5. Halpern, M., Gasith, A. and Broza, M. (2002) Does the tube of a benthic chironomid larva play a role in protecting its dweller against chemical toxicants? Hydrobiologia. 470: 49-55. Ref

6. Halpern, M., Gasith, A., Bresler, V. M. and Broza, M. (2002) The protective nature of Chironomus luridus larval tubes against copper sulfate. Journal of Insect Science. 2: 8. Ref

7. Broza, M., Halpern, M., Gahanma, L. and Inbar, M. (2003) Nuisance chironomids in waste stabilization ponds: monitoring and action threshold assessment, based on public complaints. Journal of Vector Ecology. 28: 31-36. Ref

8. Halpern M., Gancz H., Broza, M. and Kashi, Y. (2003) Vibrio cholerae Hemagglutinin/Protease Degrades Chironomid Egg Masses. Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 69: 4200-4204. Ref

9. Halpern M., Broza, Y. B., Mittler, S., Arakawa, E. and Broza, M. (2004) Chironomid egg masses as a natural reservoir of Vibrio cholerae non-O1 and non-O139 in freshwater habitats. Microbial Ecology. 47: 341-349. Ref

10. Broza, M., Gancz, H., Halpern, M. and Kashi, Y. (2005) Adult Non-Biting Midges: Possible windborne Carriers of Vibrio cholerae. Environmental Microbiology. 7 : 576-585. Ref

11. Halpern, M., Raats, D., Lavion, R. and Mittler, S. (2006) Dependent population dynamics between chironomids (nonbiting midges) and Vibrio cholerae. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 55: 98-104. Ref

12. Raates, D. and Halpern, M. (2007) Oceanobacillus chironomi sp. nov., a halotolerant and facultative alkaliphilic species isolated from a chironomid egg mass. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 57: 255-259. Ref

13. Halpern, M., Landesberg, O., Raates, D. and Rosenberg E. (2007) Culturable and VBNC Vibrio cholerae; Interactions with chironomid egg masses and their bacterial population. Microbial Ecology. 53: 285-293. Ref

14. Halpern, M., Raats, D. and Lev-Yadun, S. (2007) Plant biological warfare: Infecting pathogenic bacteria into herbivores by thorns. Environmental Microbiology. 9: 584–592. Ref

15. Halpern, M., Senderovich, Y. and Sagi Snir (2007) Rheinheimera chironomi sp. nov., isolated from a chironomid (Diptera; Chironomidae) egg mass. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 57: 1872-1875. Ref

16. Lev-Yadun, S and Halpern, M. (2007) Ergot (Claviceps purpurea) – An aposematic fungus. Symbiosis. 43: 105–108. Ref

17. Hantsis-Zacharov, E., and Halpern, M. (2007) Chryseobacterium haifense sp. nov., a psychrotolerant bacterium isolated from raw milk. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 57: 2344-2348. Ref

18. Halpern, M., Raats, D. and S. Lev-Yadun. (2007) The potential antiherbivory role of microorganisms on plant thorns. Plant Signaling and Behavior. 2: 503-504. Ref

19. Hantsis-Zacharov, E., and Halpern, M. (2007) Culturable Psychrotrophic Bacterial Communities in Raw Milk and Their Proteolytic and Lipolytic Traits. Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 73: 7162–7168. Ref

20. Senderovich, Y., Gershtein, Y. Halewa Etti and Halpern, M. (2008) Vibrio cholerae and Aeromonas; do they share a mutual host? The ISME Journal 2: 276–283. Ref

21. Hantsis-Zacharov, E., Senderovich, Y. and Halpern, M. (2008) Chryseobacterium bovis sp. nov. isolated from raw cow's milk. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 58: 1024-1028. Ref

22. Halpern, M., Senderovich, Y. and Izhaki I. (2008) Waterfowl — the missing link in epidemic and pandemic cholera dissemination? PloS Pathogens. 4: e1000173. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000173. Ref

23. Hantsis-Zacharov, E., Shakéd T., Senderovich, Y. and Halpern, M. (2008) Chryseobacterium oranimense sp. nov., a psychrotolerant, proteolytic and lipolytic bacterium isolated from raw cow's milk. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 58: 2635-2639. Ref see also Ref

24. Halpern, M., Shakéd, T., Pukall, R. and Schumann, P. (2009) Leucobacter chironomi sp. nov., in the family Microbacteriaceae, a chromate resistant bacterium isolated from a chironomid egg mass. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 59: 665–670. Ref

25. Halpern, M., Shakéd, T. and Schumann, P. (2009) Brachymonas chironomi sp. nov., isolated from a chironomid egg mass, and emended description of the genus Brachymonas. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 59: 3025-3029. Ref

26. Senderovich, Y., Izhaki, I. and Halpern, M. (2010) Fish as reservoirs and vectors of Vibrio cholerae. PLoS ONE 5: e8607. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008607. Ref

27. Shakéd, T., Hantsis-Zacharov, E. and Halpern, M.(2010) Epilithonimonas lactis sp. nov., isolated from raw cow's milk. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 60: 675 – 679. Ref

28. Halpern, M. (2010) Novel Insights into Hemagglutinin Protease (HAP) Gene Regulation in Vibrio cholerae. Molecular Ecology. 19: 4108–4112. Ref

29. Raats, D., Offek, M., Minz, D. and Halpern, M. (2011) Molecular analysis of bacterial communities in raw cow milk and the impact of refrigeration on its structure and dynamics. Food Microbiology. 28: 465-471. Ref

30. Figueras, M. J., Beaz-Hidalgo, R., Senderovich, Y., Laviad, S. and Halpern, M. (2011) Re-identification of Aeromonas isolates from chironomid egg masses as the potential pathogenic bacteria Aeromonas aquariorum. Environmental Microbiology Reports. 3: 239–244. Ref

31. Halpern, M., Waissler, A., Dror, A. and Lev-Yadun, S. (2011) Biological warfare of the spiny plant: introducing pathogenic microorganisms into Herbivore's tissues. Advances in Applied Microbiology. 74: 97-116. Ref

32. Vaz-Moreira, I., Novo, A., Hantsis-Zacharov, E., Lopes, A.R., Nunes, O.C., Gomila, M., Nunesc, O. C, Manaiaa, C. M. and Halpern, M. (2011) Acinetobacter rudis sp. nov. isolated from raw milk and raw wastewater. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. ijs.0.027045-0v1-ijs.0.027045-0. Ref

Book chapters:

1. Lev-Yadun S. and Halpern M. (2008) External and internal spines in plants insert pathogenic microorganisms into herbivore's tissues for defense. in Microbial Ecology Research Trends. Thijs Van Dijk (ed), Nova Science Publishers, Inc. NY. pp. 155-168. Ref

2. Halpern, M. and Izhaki, I. (2010). The environmental reservoirs and vector of Vibrio cholerae. in Handbook of Disease Outbreaks: Prevention, Detection and Control. Holmgren, A. and Borg, G. (eds), Nova Science Publishers, Inc. NY pp. 309-320. Ref

3. Halpern, M. (in press) Chironomids and Vibrio cholerae. in The Role of Microorganisms in Adaption and Evolution of Humans, Animals, and Plants. Rosenberg, E. and Gophna, U. (eds), Springer, Heidelberg, Germany.