Michael Avishai
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
Jerusalem, Israel

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Michael Avishai was born 1935 in Berlin, Germany. After surviving the Holocaust, he came to Israel in 1948. He grew up as a gardener and later graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a PhD in plant breeding. His research interests cover a wide range: the genetics of the rare Oncocyclus Irises of the Levant; taxonomy, evolution and speciation patterns of Near Eastern oaks; plant introduction for ornamental and commercial floriculture; the assessment of Stevia rebaudiana as a low calorie sweetener; and the promotion of Mediterranean Horticulture.

Since 1962 he has been engaged, as Scientific Director, in the founding and development of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, the largest of its kind in Israel, in the heart of modern Jerusalem. Michael retired from University service in 2001 but continues to teach, lecture and guide at the Garden and its School of Horticulture. He is married and has a daughter and son, both married.  

Michael beside a pond at Jerusalem Botanical Gardens >

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