Zur Shalev completed his studies at Princeton University (history, 2004). Since 2005/6 he teaches at the General History and Land of Israel Studies departments of the University of Haifa. He specialize in early modern European cultural and intellectual history, with particular interest in geographical and religious thought and Oriental scholarship. Currently he works on geographical Hebraism: an attempt to understand the reception of medieval geographical Hebrew texts in early modern Christian Europe. Another project is focused on the tradition of learned travel to the Levant in the 17th and 18th centuries, thereby tracing the real and perceived geographical boundaries of the European Republic of Letters. At the University of Haifa he convenes the Medieval-Renaissance seminar and runs the innovative teaching program Nofei Yeda (Landscapes of Knowledge).
His published research includes Sacred Words and Worlds (Leiden: Brill, 2011); Ptolemy's Geography in the Renaissance, co-edited with Charles Burnett (London: Warburg Institute, 2011); “The Travel Notebooks of John Greaves,” in The Republic of Letters and the Levant, ed. A. Hamilton et al. (Leiden: Brill, 2005), pp. 77-102; "Benjamin of Tudela, Spanish Explorer," Mediterranean Historical Review 25, no. 1 (2010): 17-33.; “Measurer of All Things: John Greaves (1602-1652), the Great Pyramid, and Early Modern Metrology,” Journal of the History of Ideas 63, no. 4 (2002): 555-575.