Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences :
Biodiversity Dynamics


Marine Biodiversity

Marine Biodiversity

Marine environments are populated by various animals, which represent almost all phyla and range from the simplest to the most complex body plan. Our laboratory is located in the Mutsu bay area in the north of Japan, which is known to have one of the richest varieties of marine life in the Tohoku area. Benefitting from such a location, we study a variety of local marine animals. We are interested in a broad range of topics in marine biodiversity, including molecular and cellular mechanisms and evolutionary aspects of early embryonic development, as well as ecological distribution in relation to environmental factors and interactions such as symbiosis and predator-prey interactions.

Research Overview

Specific areas of our research are: 1) the molecular and cellular mechanisms of morphogenesis of tail shaping in the ascidian embryo, and of tentacle branching in the jellyfish; 2) an evolutionary developmental analysis of germline segregation mechanisms in tunicate embryos; 3) developmental and evolutionary analysis of embryogenesis based on a comparison between direct and indirect development in sea urchins; 4) an ecological and behavioral study of symbiotic relationships, such as between the flatworm Stylochoplana pusilla and its host, the snail Monodonta labio; 5) an analysis of individual and social behavior in marine animals that have adapted theri sensory organs to life in the sea and partly on land, such as the fiddler crab (genus Uca).

URLs http://www.biology.tohoku.ac.jp/lab-www/asamushi/pg755.html http://www.biology.tohoku.ac.jp/lab-www/asamushi/kumano_lab/Top_English.html https://sites.google.com/site/minokawalab/

Faculty Members

Professor KUMANO Gaku
  • Molecular and Cellular mechanisms of tail shaping during ascidian embryogenesis
  • Molecular mechanisms of germline segregation in primitive chordate embryos
  • Branching morphogenesis of medusa tentacles in a jellyfish
Professor KONDO Michio (C)
Associate Professor MINOKAWA Takuya
  • Sea urchin developmental mechanism
  • Marine invertebrate evolutionary developmental biology
Assistant Professor IWASAKI Aiko
Assistant Professor FUJIMOTO Shinta
  • Systematics of marine meiofauna