Assaf is a conservation biologist who specializes in theoretically-grounded applied research into how to promote environmental stewardship and human well-being. His main drive is to find sustainable solutions for the planning and managing human-dominated and pristine environments for the mutual benefit of people and biodiversity. He leads empirical research aiming to integrate humans into ecological research, by breaking traditional disciplinary boundaries and exploring various ecological and social costs and benefits of different interventions.
Assaf graduated in Biology and Geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he continued to do his MSc in Ecology, studying urban ecology and invasion biology. He gained his PhD in urban ecology at the Sorbonne University and Natural History Museum, in Paris, France. From 2012, he was a postdoctoral research associate working on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services (Natural History Museum) and then large scale conservation initiatives at DICE, University of Kent (UK). He formed his Human and Biodiversity research group at the end of 2014 in the Faculty Architecture and of Town Planning.