Gila Gat-Tilman was born in Haifa in 1941 to pioneer settlers who came to Israel from Ukraine; her father, a building engineer, arrived in 1922 and her mother, a teacher, in 1930.
She and her twin sister grew up on the slope of Mount Carmel in Haifa. they were six during the War of Independence in 1948 and their house was literally caught in the crossfire of combat.
In 1959, she graduated from Re’ali, which was a high school for the gifted, then was drafted for 2 years of military service.
In 1964, she began her studies in Biology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and received B.Sc. degree in 1967 and M.Sc. degree in physiology in 1969. Her thesis in the faculty of agriculture in Rehovot, “The Influence of Water and Growth Regulators on the Vegetative and Generative Development of Alfafa” resolved a scientific dilemma for the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture.
During 1970-1971, she worked eight months in research in Tel Aviv University and her results were published. She then started her doctorate at a London university. In the beginning of 1973, she had to leave the program, despite her academic success, and return to Israel. This is described in Islamic Intrigue At The University: The Story of an Israeli Doctoral Student, published by Mazo Publishers in 2004 and available for free in Hebrew on this website.
In 1981, she met Daniel Gat in the courtyard of Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva and they married a few months later.
He works in the university administration, while Gila went on to earn an MA in Philosophy at Ben Gurion in 1987 and in 1989 returned to biological research, specifically ecophysiology.
Now enjoying a well-earned retirement, Gila writes and remains very intellectually active.