Dr. Amir Lotan received his PhD in biology from the Hebrew University, where he he investigated, alongside scientists from the United Nations, possible ways to offer protection from jellyfish stings.
His doctorate was based on the toxin injection systems found inside jellyfish. These, as well as sea lice, sea nettles, coral, sea anemone and other organisms that belong to the Cnidaria phylum, have similar stinging cells. Amit Lotan was the first scientist to conduct a comprehensive investigation of their stinging mechanism at a biochemical level.
Amit Lotan, collecting information about jellyfish
These findings were published at the time in Nature magazine, as well as other prestigious marine biology publications from the 90s. To view these scientific articles, please click here.
Clownfish amongst an anemone's tentacles
During his investigation, Lotan observed that the clownfish (a main character in the movie Finding Nemo), wasn't stung neither by jellyfish nor anemones, and he decided to study their mucus coating.
After obtaining his PhD, Lotan spent three years investigating in California, where he was able to isolate the chemical substance that seemed to protect these small, white-and-orange fish.
Amit Lotan included this substance in a sunscreen emulsion, and when he returned to Israel in the late 90s, he founded Nidaria Technology Ltd. in order to develop Safe Sea, a unique sunblock.