Graduate School of Science
Hokkaido University

International Course in Graduate School of Science

Natural History Sciences

Natural History Sciences

The Department of Natural History Sciences encompasses three main research areas: 1) Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2) Biodiversity and Organismal Evolution, and 3) Science Communication. The scientific interests of this department span a size scale from molecules to the solar system, and a time scale from microseconds to billions of years. We also recognize the importance of disseminating cutting-edge scientific results to the public.

Research Fields

Earth and Planetary Dynamics

The Division of Earth and Planetary Dynamics conducts basic research across a broad range of both temporal and spatial scales to better understand the Earth as a dynamic system constituted by the Earth’ s crust, the oceans, and the atmosphere. We investigate diverse topics in geophysics, including mantle dynamics, earthquakes, volcanic activity, surface and ground water, and atmosphere-ocean circulation. To elucidate the nature of the dynamic Earth, we take a comprehensive approach based on theoretical and experimental studies, analyses of geophysical data, and fieldwork that takes advantage of the distinctive location of Hokkaido University. There are four laboratories in this Division: Physical Oceanography and Climatology, Physical Hydrology, Space Geodesy, and Seismology.
Meteorology
Keywords: Meteorology, Dynamics and Forecast, Cyclones and Fronts, Theory and Numerical Modelling, Meso-scale phenomena, Cloud, Rain and Snow, Material Transport, Application
  • Masaru Inatsu
    Masaru Inatsu

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Meteorology, Climatology

    My major research topics are global-to-synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation and climate variability, investigated mainly using numerical models and observational data. In collaboration with other researchers, my laboratory has also studied atmospheric multi-scale interactions, air-sea interactions, theoretical meteorology and predictability, and the impacts of climate change.

Physical Oceanography and Climatology
Keywords: Physical oceanography, Meteorology, Air-Sea interaction, Climate variability & change, Ocean's role in climate, Multi-disciplinary challenges, Numerical modelling, Data analysis
  • Shoshiro Minobe
    Shoshiro Minobe

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Climate dynamics, Physical oceanography, Meteorology

    The themes of my research are air-sea interactions, interannual-to-decadal variability in the atmosphere and ocean, and the effects of climatic change on ecosystems. The ocean and the atmosphere are the major bodies that transport heat and water in the earth’s climate system. Interactions and co-variability between the atmosphere and oceans are fascinating research fields. My students and I use data analysis and numerical modeling, including general circulation models and regional models for the atmosphere and the ocean.

  • Yoshinori Sasaki
    Yoshinori Sasaki

    Lecturer

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Physical oceanography, Climatology

    My research interests are the dynamics of interannual to decadal oceanic fluctuations (e.g., the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio) and air-sea interactions in a mid-latitude ocean, which I study using data analysis and numerical modeling. I am also interested in the connection of these topics to climate and the marine ecosystem.

Space Geodesy
Keywords: Space geodesy, GNSS, GPS, InSAR, GRACE, Gravity, Earth rotation, Atmospheric sensing, Crustal deformation, Glaciology, Planetary geodesy, Ionosphere
  • Masato Furuya
    Masato Furuya

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Space geodesy, Geodynamics, Glaciology

    My research employs modern geodetic techniques to observe slow but measurable phenomena, and seeks to better understand them by quantitative modeling. I study crustal mechanics, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and the interaction between the solid Earth and its fluid envelope, including glacier dynamics.

  • Kosuke Heki
    Kosuke Heki

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Space geodesy, Earth and planetary dynamics

    I apply space geodesy to a variety of scientific topics, with methods including positioning with GNSS, gravimetry by GRACE, atmospheric sensing with GNSS, measurements of earth rotation, and planetary geodesy. My scientific targets cover a wide range of disciplines, including geodynamics, seismology, tectonics, upper atmospheric physics, hydrology, and environmental sciences.

  • Youichiro Takada
    Youichiro Takada

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Space geodesy, Landscape evolution process

    My goal is to understand the deformation mechanisms of continental crust including seismic rupture and rock flow, and to identify the key factors controlling landscape evolution process based on that understanding. I mainly use the geodetic tools (InSAR, GNSS, etc.) and the numerical simulation.

Seismology
Keywords: Seismic wave propagation, Internal structure of the Earth, Seismic tomography, Broadband waveform analysis, Lateral heterogeneity and anisotropy
  • Kiyoshi Yomogida
    Kiyoshi Yomogida

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Theoretical seismology, Lateral heterogeneity, Scattering, New analysis of seismic data.

    My research mainly covers the laterally heterogeneous structure of the Earth. As new theoretical and numerical methods are developed to study seismic wave propagation, I try to apply them to seismic data, at both local and global scales.

  • Kazunori Yoshizawa
    Kazunori Yoshizawa

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Global seismology, Seismic tomography

    My major research interest is the Earth’s internal structure and dynamics, investigated primarily using seismological approaches at both global and local scales. My recent research emphasis has been high-resolution, 3-D mapping of mantle structures, including seismic anisotropy and anelastic attenuation. To better understand Earth’s interior, my laboratory also conducts a variety of seismological research, including seismic wave propagation in 3-D complex media, seismic source processes, and the development of techniques on seismic waveform analysis and geophysical inversion.

Earth and Planetary System Science

The Division of Earth and Planetary System Science has a rich tradition of leadership in geoscience research and education, consolidated through 80 years of accumulated experience and expanding in new directions. The Division offers graduate courses in a wide range of fields in the modern Earth and planetary sciences to allow students to understand the Earth as a system of interrelated physical, chemical, and biological processes, encompassing the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. There are six laboratories in this Division: Petrology and Volcanology, Paleobiology, Geochemistry, Earth Materials Science, Earth System Evolution, and Geotectonics.
Petrology and Volcanology
Keywords: Petrology and geochemistry of igneous rocks, Magmatology, Volcanic geology and physical volcanology, Long-term eruption forecasting and mitigation of volcanic disaster
  • Mitsuhiro Nakagawa
    Mitsuhiro Nakagawa

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Igneous Petrology, Volcanology, Geochemistry

    My research interests are structure and processes in magma systems, including magma generation, evolution, and eruption processes. My laboratory also studies the temporal and spatial evolution of volcanism to understand the relationship between magma and tectonics. Recently, we have focused on long-term eruption prediction and mitigation of the hazards of active volcanoes using geological and petrological approaches.

  • Takeshi Kuritani
    Takeshi Kuritani

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Igneous Petrology, Geochemistry

    I am involved in petrological, geochemical, experimental, and theoretical studies principally aimed at quantitative understanding of (1) generation, ascent, evolution, and eruption processes of magmas, (2) differentiation processes of the lunar magma ocean, (3) global material circulation in the Earth’s interior, and (4) thermal evolution of the Earth.

  • Shumpei Yoshimura
    Shumpei Yoshimura

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Experimental petrology and volcanology

    My area of expertise is experimental petrology and volcanology. I am primarily interested in the relation between micro-scale processes in magma and the dynamics of volcanic eruptions. I carry out laboratory experiments to simulate molten magma under high temperature and pressure conditions, and model igneous processes beneath active volcanoes.

Earth Environmental History
Keywords: Vertebrate, Marine biota, Evolution, Phylogenetic relationships, Comparative anatomy, Embryology, Extinction, Biogeography, Global environmental change
  • Yoshitsugu Kobayashi
    Yoshitsugu Kobayashi

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Vertebrate paleontology

    To address significant questions about vertebrate evolution, I utilize various fields such as anatomy, physiology, phylogeny, and biogeography. My fieldwork is currently focused in Mongolia, China, and Alaska, in order to understand patterns of adaptation to different environments from the poles to the equator.

  • Yasuhiro Iba
    Yasuhiro Iba

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Paleontology, Paleobiogeography

    The history of life on Earth is fairly long, extending over roughly 4 billion years. My field is paleontology, the study of ancient animals. My research focuses on macroevolutionary trends in the Mesozoic marine biota, and the response of the latter to environmental changes across time scales ranging from 10 to 200 million years. My research is based on fieldwork in various parts of the circum-North Pacific and East Asia regions (Alaska, California, Japan, Philippines, China, etc.).

Geochemistry
Keywords: Cosmochemistry, Galaxies, Planets, Meteorites, Earth, Environment, Life, Geofluid, Mass spectrometry, Microscopy, Solar system evolution, Planetary exploration
  • Hisayoshi Yurimoto
    Hisayoshi Yurimoto

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Geochemistry, Cosmochemistry

    I am interested in the origin and evolution of the solar system, as well as the origin and evolution of Earth. My research is based on meteorites from asteroids, the Moon, and Mars, and on terrestrial samples.

  • Shogo Tachibana
    Shogo Tachibana

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Cosmochemistry, Geochemistry

    My primary research interests are the origin and evolution of the solar system and the chemical diversity within planets. I conduct laboratory experiments to simulate chemical reactions occurring around evolved stars, in protoplanetary disks, and within asteroids and planets. I compare my experimental results with observations, analyses of natural samples, and models to elucidate the chemical evolution of the solar system, planets, and the Earth.

  • Junji Yamamoto
    Junji Yamamoto

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Geochemistry

    I am interested in where subducted slabs occur in the Earth’s mantle, which can clarify whether the Earth’s deep mantle has been affected by subducted materials. A clear understanding of how much mantle has been processed can provide entirely new insights into the evolution of the Earth’s interior. I study the isotopic composition of deep-derived materials such as ocean basalts and mantle xenoliths.

  • Ken-ichi Bajo
    Ken-ichi Bajo

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Cosmochemistry

    I am interested in the origin and evolution of the solar system. My research is based on noble gas cosmochemistry and radioactive dating, such as K-Ar age, I-Xe age, and cosmic-ray exposure age which are determined by using noble gases measurements. I study the noble gas isotopic composition of extraterrestrial matters and develop a novel noble gas mass spectrometers.

Earth Materials Science
Keywords: Mineralogy, Crystallography, Crystal growth, Physics and chemistry of minerals
  • Takaya Nagai
    Takaya Nagai

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Experimental mineral physics, Crystallography

    My research interests cover a wide range in the field of mineralogy. I am especially attracted to mineral stabilities, phase transformations, and structural modifications at high pressure and temperature in order to understand mineral behavior in the Earth’s interior. Specific problems our research group has recently tackled include various solid solutions in materials with the perovskite structure and hydrogen bonding in minerals.

  • Jun Kawano
    Jun Kawano

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Mineralogy, Crystal Growth

    My research interests are crystal growth and phase transformation mechanisms in various minerals, which I investigate using both experimental and computational techniques. I am especially interested in nucleation and surface processes in carbonate minerals, which are common biominerals forming hard biological tissues like shells and coral skeletons.

  • Ayako Shinozaki
    Ayako Shinozaki

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:High pressure earth science

    My research interest is chemical revolution of organic and carbonaceous materials at subducting slab and the mantle. I am experimentally investigated chemical reaction of aromatic compounds or other organic materials at high pressure and temperature condition. Also, I’m interested in interaction of organic materials with mantle minerals.

Earth System Evolution
Keywords: Organic Geochemistry, Earth's hydrocarbon resources, Molecular paleobiology, Biogeochemistry of sedimentary organic matter, Carbonate geochemistry, Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Noriyuki Suzuki
    Noriyuki Suzuki

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Organic geochemistry, Sedimentary geoscience

    My research interests include the fate of sedimentary organic matter, generation of methane and hydrogen gas in the sedimentary basin, the long-term carbon cycle and climate change in the Cenozoic, and the application of biomarkers and stable carbon/hydrogen isotopes to oil and gas exploration.

  • Ken Sawada
    Ken Sawada

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Organic biogeochemistry, Paleobiochemistry

    My primary area of specialization is organic biogeochemistry, applied to long-time scale evolution and variation in Earth’s biosphere. My research focuses on biogeochemical processes in marine phytoplankton (microalgae) and terrestrial higher plants, paleoclimatic variation in oceans and land areas, biogeochemical linkage between terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the evolution of terrestrial plants and vegetation, and the biogeochemical roles of production and deposition of bio- and geomacromolecules (kerogen).

  • Tsuyoshi Watanabe
    Tsuyoshi Watanabe

    Lecturer

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Carbonate Geochemistry, Coral Reefs Earth Environmental Sciences

    Recent research interests in my laboratory are: (1) Mechanisms and processes in the formation of carbonate rocks, especially biogenic carbonates such as living/fossil corals, mollusks, and sclerosponges. (2) Reconstructing past environmental changes at high temporal resolution using daily to annual growth bands in these materials. (3) Biological responses to past and/or future climatic/environmental changes.

  • Atsuko Yamazaki
    Atsuko Yamazaki

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Carbonate Geochemistry, Marine biogeochemistry, Paleocenography

    My research interests are marine nutrient cycles, carbonate production of coral reefs, and their connections to global climate change through the geological timescale. My approach is reconstruction of environmental and metabolic records in modern and fossil coral skeletons.

Geotectonics
Keywords: Microtectonics, Seismogenesis, Soft-sediment deformation, Formation of continental crust, Magmatic processes in mid-ocean ridge, Oman ophiolite, Water-rock interaction
  • Toru Takeshita
    Toru Takeshita

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Structural geology, Tectonics

    My major interest is in large-scale, large-strain deformation of the lithosphere in both the brittle and ductile manners; this deformation leads, for example, to the opening of back-arc basins or the exhumation of metamorphic rocks. I am also interested in mechanisms of brittle and ductile deformation in rocks themselves. I investigate these topics using a multidisciplinary approach, including fieldwork, microstructural analyses, and physical modeling.

  • Makoto Kawamura
    Makoto Kawamura

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Tectonostratigraphy

    I study geology by combining plate tectonics with classical fields such as stratigraphy, sedimentary petrography, and sedimentology. I call this approach “tectonogeology”. My research focuses on Cretaceous forearc sequences (Yezo Group) on Hokkaido and the Paleozoic accretionary belts of northeastern Japan. Through this research, I seek to generate hypotheses and generalizations on tectonic movements, especially in forearc regions (“forearc tectonics”).

  • Jun Kameda
    Jun Kameda

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Structural geology, Clay mineralogy

    My research focuses on tectonic processes at subduction zones. I am especially interested in diagenesis and rock deformation, and their role on seismogenesis. I study these topics based on fieldwork and analyses of core samples collected by deep sea drilling.

  • Marie Python
    Marie Python

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Igneous petrology, Geology

    My research includes several themes: formation of the oceanic lithosphere and the crustal evolution of ophiolite and ocean ridges; the relationship between the petrology and geochemistry of mantle peridotites; the nature of gabbroic and pyroxenitic mantle dykes and the gabbric crust; lithostratigraphy of the lower ocean crust; petrogenesis of oceanic gabbros and peridotites; and high-temperature interactions of oceanic gabbros and peridotites with hydrothermal fluids. I work mainly on the Oman ophiolite and present-day oceans (recent participation in IODP expeditions 335 and 345).

Seismology and Volcanology

When, where, and why do earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place, and how large will they be? While earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are often a threat to public safety, they can also provide important clues to understanding Earth dynamics and evolution. Earthquakes and volcanoes are surface manifestations of the internal activity of the Earth, and thus understanding their mechanisms and processes is a fundamental issue in the geosciences. We investigate the physical background of seismic and volcanic activity based on a multi-disciplinary approach, including seismology, geodesy, geothermics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, and geology, in collaboration with domestic and international universities and research institutes. Hokkaido provides good opportunities for students to apply the wide range of knowledge they have learned to real earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes.
Seismological Observation
Keywords: Seismology, Tsunamis, Earthquake prediction, Observational seismology and volcanology, Crustal deformation, Earthquake source physics
  • Hiroaki Takahashi
    Hiroaki Takahashi

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Seismology, Geodesy

    I study active crustal deformation processes arising from tectonic, earthquake, and volcanic activities. I have investigated plate kinematics, upper mantle behavior, and volcano dynamics in the northwestern Pacific using geodetic and seismological observational data. I am starting to explore ways of applying scientific knowledge to mitigate human disasters.

  • Kei Katsumata
    Kei Katsumata

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Seismology

    I am interested in seismicity, crustal structure, focal mechanisms, and earthquake prediction. I have recently been investigating precursory seismic quiescence and seismic activation by using the ZMAP method and the ETAS model. I also deploy a portable recording system I developed to observe the first motion of P-waves and accurately determine focal mechanisms.

  • Mako Ohzono
    Mako Ohzono

    Lecturer

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Geodesy, Seismology

    My research interests are crustal movement related to earthquakes and volcanic activity. I often use GNSS and other geodetic data to detect surface displacement. I estimate interseismic plate and/or block motion, surface displacement induced by faulting and magma action, and rheological structure after large earthquakes.

Ocean Bottom Seismology and Tsunami
Keywords: Ocean bottom seismology, Elastic wave propagation theory, Paleo-seismology, Tsunami science, Disaster mitigation
  • Yuichiro Tanioka
    Yuichiro Tanioka

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Seismology, Tsunami

    My research interests are the source processes of large earthquakes. I use seismic waveforms, tsunami waveforms, and geodetics to study the source processes of recent large earthquakes. I also conduct numerical simulations of tsunamis to model natural tsunami waveforms.

  • Yoshio Murai
    Yoshio Murai

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Ocean Bottom Seismology

    Most destructive earthquakes around Japan have occurred beneath the sea floor. We conduct structural exploration and make seismic observations using ocean-bottom seismographs in offshore areas to clarify the relationship between subsurface structure and earthquake occurrence.

  • Yuichi Nishimura
    Yuichi Nishimura

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Ocean bottom Seismology, Tsunami

    My research interest is paleo-tsunamis. I use geological evidence such as tsunami deposits and tephra to identify paleo-tsunamis, with the goal of understanding the mechanisms by which large earthquakes generate tsunamis.

Volcano Physics
Keywords: Physical volcanology, Volcanic eruption prediction, Geodesy, Geomagnetism and geoelectricity, Seismology, Remote sensing, Geothermics
  • Makoto Murakami
    Makoto Murakami

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Volcanophysics, Geodesy

    I study the mechanisms of volcanic phenomena using geophysical tools. I am particularly interested in using data acquired by space satellites to measure deformation of the surface of the earth due to the movement of magma beneath volcanoes, in order to predict eruptions before they start.

  • Hiromitsu Oshima
    Hiromitsu Oshima

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Volcanophysics

    My major interests are the physical processes that occur prior to and during the eruption of volcanoes. I use a variety of data, including geodetic, geochemical, and thermal, to study volcanoes.

  • Hiroshi Aoyama
    Hiroshi Aoyama

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Vocanophysics, Seismology

    Volcanic eruption is a quite dynamic process. My major interests involve the physical processes that occur prior to and during eruptions. I mainly use seismological techiniques in my research. Our research group operates several tens of remote monitoring stations around active volcanoes in Hokkaido.

Subsurface Structure
Keywords: Subsurface structure, Seismogenic zone, Volcanoes, Electromagnetic field change, Airborne geophysical exploration
  • Takeshi Hashimoto
    Takeshi Hashimoto

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Volcanophysics, Geomagnetism

    My research background is in geophysics. I am especially interested in volcanophysics and geomagnetism. My recent studies have focused on applying magnetic and electric methods to active volcanoes, using field observations and modeling thermal processes and subsurface structure.

Biodiversity

There exists today an amazing diversity of organisms, all of which are the consequence of evolution. In addition, during the evolutionary history of the earth, many more species have gone extinct than those surviving today. In the Division of Biodiversity, we investigate patterns of diversity and the processes generating these patterns. Through molecular, morphological, and ecological analyses, we study diversity at various levels of the biological hierarchy, including geographic patterns of genetic variation, patterns of phylogenetic relationships relevant to macroevolution and the classification of life, and the process of speciation by which new biological species arise.
Animal Systematics
Keywords: Bryozoa, Nemertea, Insect, Invertebrates, Evolution, Taxonomy, Biodiversity, Population, Phylogeography, Ocean acidification, Molecular phylogeny, DNA
  • Helena Fortunato
    Helena Fortunato

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Evolution and ecology of marine invertebrates; Mollusk systematics and biogeography

    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.

  • Hiroshi Kajihara
    Hiroshi Kajihara

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Marine invertebrate morphology, taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography

    My main interest is the systematics of the phylum Nemertea (ribbon worms), which comprises about 1200 species distributed worldwide. Ongoing projects in my laboratory include descriptive taxonomy and phylogeny of representatives of Gastrotricha, Polychaeta, Mollusca, Platyhelminthes, and gammarid amphipods.

  • Toru Katoh
    Toru Katoh

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty: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
    Keiichi Kakui

    Lecturer

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty: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
    Chizuko Nishida

    Assistant

    B.A.

    Fields of Specialty:Cytogenetics

    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.

Algal and Protist Systematics
Keywords: Biodiversity, Chemotaxonomy, Endosymbiosis, Environmental DNA, Macroalgae, Microalgae, Molecular phylogeny, Protists, Seaweeds, Taxonomy, Ultrastructure
  • Takeo Horiguchi
    Takeo Horiguchi

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Systematics of algae and protozoa

    Our lab is interested in the taxonomy and phylogeny of microalgae and protozoans, including dinoflagellates. We study the biodiversity and evolution of these micro-organisms from various habitats. Although these are unicellular organisms, their cellular organization is extremely complex, and they are thus suitable for studying cellular evolution. In this regard, we investigate the endosymbiotic origins of chloroplasts and eyespots in dinoflagellates.

  • Kazuhiro Kogame
    Kazuhiro Kogame

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Taxonomy, phylogeny, and evolution of seaweeds

    Seaweeds, the common term applied to multicellular marine benthic algae, include green, brown and red forms. Seaweeds comprise about 8000 species and play an important role as primary producers in rocky coastal ecosystems. Research interests in my laboratory include seaweed diversity, phylogeny, evolution, and speciation. We use morphological and molecular data, and experimental crosses, to revise seaweed classification and describe new species. Our laboratory is well equipped for microscopic observations, algal culture, DNA sequencing, and other techniques. The Hokkaido University library is a rich repository of resources on algal taxonomy, and our herbarium contains more than 100,000 seaweed specimens. The Division of Biodiversity is one of the best places in Japan to study seaweed diversity.

  • Tsuyoshi Abe
    Tsuyoshi Abe

    Lecturer

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Taxonomy, phylogeny, and evolution of seaweeds

    My research interests are seaweed diversity in Japanese waters. The adjoining waters, Southeastern Asia and Russian Far East, are also my fields. Chemotaxonomical studies on the red algal genus Laurencia are mainly carried out. Most species in this genus produces specific brominated chemical compounds which have antibacterial activities.

  • Kevin Wakeman
    Kevin Wakeman

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Biodiversity, Evolution, Protists, Apicomplexa, Dinoflagellates

    I study biodiversity and evolution of marine micro-eukaryotes. I am most interested in marine apicomplexans — parasites of invertebrates, as well as dinoflagellates and their related toxic compounds. I conduct field work including deep sea dredging, and SCUBA diving around Japan (Hokkaido, Okinawa, and Kobe), and in Canada.

Ornithology and Island Biology
Keywords: ornithology, life history, breeding biology, inbreeding avoidance, acoustic communication, oceanic island, continental island
  • Masaoki Takagi
    Masaoki Takagi

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Ornithology, Life history, Breeding biology, Inbreeding avoidance, Acoustic communication, Oceanic island, Continental island

    The number of bird species varies more than ten thousand in the world. The Japanese Archipelago, which composed by a lot of small island has more evolutionally significant units than the other regions. From the ecological view point, local adaptation, interspecific interaction, inbreeding, and mate choice, I try to understand avian speciation on a small island in the Japanese Archipelago.

Genetic Diversity
Keywords: Molecular phylogenetics, Population genetics, Biogeography, Mammals, Birds, Archaeological remains, Osteology, Bone collagen, DNA
  • Ryuichi Masuda
    Ryuichi Masuda

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Molecular phylogeny and population genetics of mammals and birds.

    The themes of our laboratory are the molecular phylogenetics and population genetics of mammals and birds. The study of geographic variation and species endemism in the Japanese archipelago provides a good means of understanding the process of differentiation among animal populations, and ultimately of understanding speciation. Our group analyzes variation in neutral and functional genes to study phylogeographic patterns at scales ranging from local (species and populations in Japan) to continental and global. Additionally, we analyze ancient DNA to clarify the geographical histories of populations and the dynamics of these populations through time.

  • Masaki Eda
    Masaki Eda

    Lecturer

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Zooarchaeology, Archeozoology, Phylogeography

    I am interested in the archaeology of animals, especially birds. Faunal remains in archaeological sites, especially bones, are useful for deducing past human activities (zooarchaeological view). At the same time, these remains come from animals in the past and are useful for reconstructing ancient animal ecology (archaeozoological view). Combining osteological analysis with analyses of stable isotopes, ancient DNA, and proteomes, I study microevolution and temporal distributional changes in animals, and the history of relationships between humans and animals.

  • Yoshinori Nishita
    Yoshinori Nishita

    Assistant Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Molecular biology and molecular phylogeny

    Japan is very long country from north to south, and covers a wide range of climatic zones. This results in a high diversity of wildlife, and approximately 40 species of endemic land mammal inhabit in Japan. According to the biogeographic uniqueness of Japanese islands, it is important to investigate genetic characteristics of species endemic to Japan, compared with the closely related species on the continent. Investigation for genetic characteristics of functional genes as well as neutral genes can provide useful information in studying phylogeographic patterns. As an example of functional genes, we focus on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, which exhibit numerous alleles with extensive sequence variations. Based on the nucleotide diversity of functional genes including MHC, we study on evolutionary relevant and adaptive processes within and between Japan endemic populations.

Science Communication

Science communication has received much more attention in recent years than previously. This is due to increased awareness that science communication plays important roles in helping the public understand the aims and significance of scientific research, and in fostering greater interest in science among young students. It also behooves scientific researchers to be involved in science communication, because this helps scientists understand what the public expects of them, and in the process helps them gain the public's confidence. The Division of Science Communication was founded in response to the above needs. Its fields of study include social studies of science, philosophy of science, museum studies, and science education.
Communication of Science and Technology
Keywords: Sociology of science, Science and technology studies Public participation, Governance and policy, Technology assessment
  • Naoyuki Mikami
    Naoyuki Mikami

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Sociology, science and technology, public participation, governance and policy,
    technology assessment

    I am interested in the archaeology of animals, especially birds. Faunal remains in archaeological sites, especially bones, are useful for deducing past human activities (zooarchaeological view). At the same time, these remains come from animals in the past and are useful for reconstructing ancient animal ecology (archaeozoological view). Combining osteological analysis with analyses of stable isotopes, ancient DNA, and proteomes, I study microevolution and temporal distributional changes in animals, and the history of relationships between humans and animals.

  • Shishin Kawamoto
    Shishin Kawamoto

    Associate Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Sociology, science and technology, public participation, governance and policy,
    technology assessment

    Japan is very long country from north to south, and covers a wide range of climatic zones. This results in a high diversity of wildlife, and approximately 40 species of endemic land mammal inhabit in Japan. According to the biogeographic uniqueness of Japanese islands, it is important to investigate genetic characteristics of species endemic to Japan, compared with the closely related species on the continent. Investigation for genetic characteristics of functional genes as well as neutral genes can provide useful information in studying phylogeographic patterns. As an example of functional genes, we focus on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, which exhibit numerous alleles with extensive sequence variations. Based on the nucleotide diversity of functional genes including MHC, we study on evolutionary relevant and adaptive processes within and between Japan endemic populations.

Philosophy of Science and Technology
Keywords: Philosophy of science, Ethics of science and technology, Philosophy of risk, Statistical inference of cause
  • Masahiro Matsuou
    Masahiro Matsuou

    Professor

    PhD

    Fields of Specialty:Philosophy of science, ethics of science and technology, philosophy of risk, statistical inference of cause

Museum Education and Media Studies
Keywords: Museum communication, Museum education, Museum evaluation, Media studies, Museum video productions
Science Education
Keywords: Self-efficacy, Cognitive bias, Creativity, Human-computer interactions, Higher education, Educational technology, Open education, Faculty development, research