Numerous species of organisms live on our planet. Ordinarily-familiar members include vascular plants, insects, fish, beasts, and birds. The number of known organismal species is said to be about 1.5 million; the actual number is estimated to be ten to hundredfold. Animals comprise the most diverse group among them. Then,
・Where and how are they originated from?
・How many species of animals do exist on the Earth?
・What kind of relationships do they have between other organisms?
We are interested in the above issues, and tackling to solve these promlems in our lab.
Hiroshi Kajihara / 柁原 宏
- Marine invertebrate morphology, taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography
- My main interest is the systematics of phylum Nemertea (ribbon worms), which comprises about 1200 species distributed worldwide. Ongoing projects in my laboratory include descriptive taxonomy of representatives of Gastrotricha, Polychaeta, Platyhelminthes (Kalyptorhynchia), and the enigmatic interstitial archiannelid Diurodrilus, whose relationship to existing phyla is unclear.
Helena Fortunato / エレーナ・フォルトゥナート
- Evolution and ecology of marine invertebrates
- My research focuses on the evolution, biogeography, and adaptation of coastal invertebrates, and the ecology of coastal invertebrate communities, using both Recent and paleontological data. An important theme is the impact of ocean acidification on carbonate-building organisms, and the consequences of acidification for coastal biodiversity. The organisms I study include mollusks, bryozoans, and coralline algae.
Toru Katoh / 加藤 徹
- Molecular phylogeny, Population genetics
- My research uses DNA sequence data to elucidate the phylogeny, phylogeography, and population diversity of insects. Projects currently underway include 1) the molecular phylogeny of fruit flies (family Drosophilidae); 2) the molecular phylogeography of ladybird beetles (subfamily Epilachninae); and 3) the population genetics of East Asian eplachnine beetles.
Keiichi Kakui / 角井 敬知
- Invertebrate systematics; tanaidacean biology
- I am interested in the taxonomy, phylogeny, reproductive biology, morphology, and evolution of invertebrate animals. The main focus of my research is the order Tanaidacea, a group of tiny aquatic crustaceans, with around 1200 species. However, past or ongoing collaborative projects in taxonomy and phylogeny have dealt with animal groups other than tanaidaceans, including isopods, amphipods, copepods, mites, nematodes, octocorals, entoprocts, nemerteans, and echinoderms.
Chizuko Nishida / 西田 千鶴子
- Karyotypes, which are species-specific descriptions of the number and morphology of chromosomes, are more conservative in birds than in mammals and are quite similar even in phylogenetically distant orders. On the other hand, karyotypic changes due to chromosome rearrangements occur in many avian lineages, especially in Accipitridae (Accipitriformes). I study the evolution of avian karyotypes through comparative analyses of basic and modified karyotypes.