Alex Slavenko

Research Scientist

Bachelor of Science (Biology), Master of Science (Zoology), PhD (Zoology)

Alex is an ecologist and zoologist, interested in macroecology, biogeography, natural history, and how big data approaches can be used to make meaningful insights about biodiversity and natural processes. He completed his PhD in Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he studied the macroecology and biogeography of reptiles, with a focus on the lizard fauna of New Guinea. One of his proudest achievements is discovering and naming several species of New Guinean skinks.

Working in our research team, Alex uses ecological modelling and data science tools on a variety of different projects across areas of food security, sustainable agriculture, and pest management. When he’s not at work, he is tricky to find, and is probably out hiking with his camera, scuba diving, bird watching or herping – any activity that allows him to experience nature in all its glory! Otherwise, you can find him at home with a good book, probably fantasy.

Camaiti M, Evans AR, Hipsley CA, Hutchinson MN, Meiri S, Anderson RO, Slavenko A, Chapple DG (2022) A database of morphology, ecology and literature of the world’s limb-reduced skinks. Journal of Biogeography, 49, 1397-1406.

Slavenko A, Dror L, Camaiti M, Farquhar J, Shea GM, Chapple DG, Meiri S (2022) Evolution of diel activity patterns in skinks (Squamata: Scincidae), the world’s second-largest family of terrestrial vertebrates. Evolution, 76, 1195-1208.

Slavenko A, Tamar K, Tallowin OJS, Kraus F, Allison A, Carranza S, Meiri S (2022) Revision of the montane New Guinean skink genus Lobulia (Squamata: Scincidae), with the description of four new genera and nine new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society​, 195, 220-278.

Kiat Y, Slavenko A, Sapir N (2021) Body mass and geographic distribution determined the evolution of flight feather molt strategy in the Neornithes lineage. Scientific Reports, 11, 21573.

Slavenko A, Maza E, Itescu Y (2021) Results of the first herpetological survey of Israel’s Mediterranean coastal islets. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 28, 231-236.

Itescu Y, Foufopoulos J, Schwarz R, Lymberakis P, Slavenko A, Gavriilidi I-A, Meiri S, Pafilis P (2021) The island of extremes: giants and dwarfs on a small remote island. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 28, 225-230.

Chapple DG, Roll U, Böhm M, Aguilar R, Amey AP, Austin CC, Baling M, Barley AJ, Bates MF, Bauer AM, Blackburn DG, Bowles P, Brown RM, Chandramouli SR, Chirio L, Cogger H, Colli GR, Conradie W, Couper PJ, Cowan MA, Craig MD, Das I, Datta-Roy A, Dickman CR, Ellis RJ, Fenner AL, Ford S, Ganesh SR, Gardner MG, Geissler P, Gillespie GR, Glaw F, Greenlees MJ, Griffith OW, Grismer LL, Haines ML, Harris DJ, Hedges SB, Hitchmough RA, Hoskin CJ, Hutchinson MN, Ineich I, Janssen J, Johnston GR, Karin BR, Keogh JS, Kraus F, LeBreton M, Lymberakis P, Masroor R, McDonald PJ, Mecke S, Melville J, Melzer S, Michael DR, Miralles A, Mitchell NJ, Nelson NJ, Nguyen TQ, Nogueira CC, Ota H, Pafilis P, Pauwels OSG, Perera A, Pincheira-Donoso D, Reed RN, Ribeiro-Júnior MA, Riley JL, Rocha S, Rutherford PL, Sadlier RA, Shacham B, Shea GM, Shine R, Slavenko A, Stow A, Sumner J, Tallowin OJS, Teale R, Torres-Carvajal O, Trape J-F, Uetz P, Ukuwela KDB, Valentine L, Van Dyke JU, van Winkel D, Vaconcelos R, Vences M, Wagner P, Wapstra E, While GM, Whiting MJ, Whittington CM, Wilson S, Ziegler T, Tingley R, Meiri S (2021) Conservation status of the world’s skinks (Scincidae): taxonomic and geographic patterns in extinction risk. Biological Conservation, 257​, 109101.

Slavenko A, Allison A, Meiri S (2021) Elevation is a stronger predictor of morphological trait divergence than competition in a radiation of tropical lizards. Journal of Animal Ecology, 90, 917-930.

Jamison S, Maza E, Sinaiko G, Tamar K, Slavenko A, Meiri S (2020) To be or not to be tchernovi: a taxonomic revision of the snake genus Micrelaps (Squamata: Serpentes), in Israel. Zootaxa, 4881, 290-306.

Meiri S, Avila L, Bauer AM, Chapple DG, Das I, Doan TM, Doughty P, Ellis R, Grismer LL, Kraus F, Morado M, Oliver PM, Pincheira-Donoso D, Ribeiro-Júnior MA, Shea GM, Torres-Carjaval O, Slavenko A, Roll U (2020) The global diversity and distribution of lizard clutch sizes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26, 1515-1530.

Uetz P, Slavenko A, Meiri S, Heinicke M (2020) Gecko diversity: a history of global discovery. Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution, 66, 117-125.

Slavenko A, Tamar K, Tallowin OJS, Allison A, Kraus F, Carranza S, Meiri S (2020) Cryptic diversity and non-adaptive radiation of montane New Guinea skinks (Papuascincus; Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 146, 106749.

Slavenko A, Feldman A, Allison A, Bauer AM, Böhm M, Chirio L, Colli GR, Das I, Doan TM, LeBreton M, Martins M, Meirte D, Nagy ZD, Nogueira CC, Pauwels OSG, Pincheira-Donoso D, Roll U, Wagner P, Wang Z, Meiri S (2019) Global patterns of body size evolution in squamate reptiles are not driven by climate. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 28, 471-483.

Itescu I, Schwarz R, Donihue C, Slavenko A, Roussos S, Sagonas K, Valakos E, Foufopoulos J, Pafilis P, Meiri S (2018) Inconsistent patterns of body size evolution in co-occurring island reptiles. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27, 538-550.

Jamison S, Tamar K, Slavenko A, Meiri S (2017) Tarentola annularis: a new invasive species in Israel. Salamandra, 53, 299-303.

Itescu Y, Jamison S, Slavenko A, Tamar K, Roussos SA, Foufopoulos J, Meiri S, Pafilis P (2017) The herpetofauna of Folegandros Island (Cyclades, Greece). Herpetozoa, 29, 183-190.

Slavenko A, Tallowin OJS, Itescu Y, Raia P, Meiri S (2016) Late Quaternary reptile extinctions: size matters, insularity dominates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 25, 1308-1320.

Itescu Y, Slavenko A, Schwarz R, Meiri S, Pafilis P (2016) A new island record for Chalcides ocellatus (FORSKÅL, 1775) from Kythnos, Greece. Herpetozoa, 29, 98-100.

Slavenko A, Itescu Y, Ihlow F, Meiri S (2016) Home is where the shell is: predicting turtle home range sizes. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85, 106-114.

Slavenko A, Meiri S (2015) Mean body sizes of amphibian species are poorly predicted by climate. Journal of Biogeography, 42, 1246-1254.

Slavenko A, Itsecu Y, Foufopoulos J, Pafilis P, Meiri S (2015) Clutch size variability in an ostensibly fix-clutched lizard: effects of insularity on a Mediterranean gecko. Evolutionary Biology, 42, 129-136.

Roll U, Tallowin OJS, Berkowic D, Maza E, Ostrometzky Y, Slavenko A, Shacham B, Tamar K, Meiri S (2013) Rueppel’s Snake-eyed skink, Ablepharus rueppellii (Gray, 1839)(Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae): Distribution extension and geographic range in Israel. Check List, 9, 458-464.