About our laboratory

The world ocean is dominated by various drifting organisms referred to as plankton. While each plankton species is unique in its morphology, ecology, and evolutionary history, each also has various relationships with co-occurring species and its environment, and plays major roles in biological production and biogeochemical cycles in the ocean. In recent years, it has become apparent that global-scale environmental changes and disruptions to marine ecosystems by human activities are closely linked to changes in plankton communities. Our laboratory focuses on investigating marine plankton and micronekton to understand their biology, ecology, and roles in biogeochemical cycles in the ocean.


●Environmental adaptation of coastal marine zooplankton (Nishibe)
We investigate the life history strategy of coastal marine zooplankton to understand their adaptation to highly variable environments. In particular, we focus on interpopulation variation in phenological and physiological traits of zooplankton dormancy.

●Dynamics of microplastic in the ocean (Nishibe)
Microplastic pollution is an important issue for marine environment. We monitor the abundance and distribution of microplastics in various regions of the world’s oceans. In addition, we investigate the sedimentation of microplastics through biological processes to understand its fate in the ocean.

●Photosymbiosis of marine plankton (Takagi)
Some groups of unicellular marine zooplankton symbiotically associate with phytoplankton and utilize the products of photosynthesis. This type of ecology (photosymbiosis) functions as a trophic strategy in the oligotrophic open ocean, but recently other functions are also becoming clear. By understanding the photophysiological characteristics and using molecular biological techniques, we aim to understand the role of photosymbiosis, with a particular focus on planktonic foraminifera.

●Diversity and biogeography of zooplankton (Hirai)
Marinezooplankton comprise an abundant and diverse group including >7,000 described species. We investigate diversity andbiogeography of marine zooplankton in the global oceans usingmetabarcoding approach. In addition, we aim to deposit geneticdata of important zooplankton species on public database for reference sequence libraries.

●Diversity and ecological role of viruses infecting marinezooplankton (Hirai)
Zooplankton and viruses play a key role in marineecosystems; however, their interactions have not been examined.We investigate impact of viral infections on population dynamicsand physiological changes of marine zooplankton usingmolecular-based methods.



■Yuichiro Nishibe (Associate Professor) ynishibe@
■Haruka Takagi (Associate Professor) htakagi@ 
■Junya Hirai (Junior Associate Professor)  hirai@ 
■Kanako Amei (Graduate student)  
■Misato Nakae (Graduate student)  
■Nakako Tamamushi (Graduate student)
■Qian Zhang (Graduate student)
■Yusei Miyamoto (Graduate student)  
■Hiroko Tagima (Graduate student)  
■Sijia Hao (Graduate student)
■Tomoki Maruta (Graduate student)
■Tomomi Suzuki (Administrative staff)
■Mieko Noda (Technical staff) 

Add "aori.u-tokyo.ac.jp" after @


Seeresearmap/google scholar of each faculty member

■Yuichiro Nishibe researchmap
■Haruka Takagi researchmap     Google Scholar
■Junya Hirai    researchmap     Google Scholar

Potential graduate students

Please contact Professor Nishibe,Takagi, or Hirai if he/she is considering applications. See Researchmap or Google Scholar to know their expertises.

Yuichiro Nishibe ynishibe@aori.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Haruka Takagi htakagi@aori.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Junya Hirai hirai@aori.u-tokyo.ac.jp

You need to enroll in "Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences" to join our laboratory.
Here is link to specific pages which are of interst to you.

Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo
page for prospective students