This Center aims to carry out research on aspects of biodiversity, coral reef ecology, the functional physiology of animals in coral reefs, applied plant science, Mangrove Science, and forest resource science. The Center consists of the Nishihara Station, Sesoko Station, and Iriomote Station and the Center of Molecular Biosciences. The Center has 24 faculty members, two foreign visiting research fellows and five domestic visiting research fellows. Visiting scientists and students are also welcome.
The faculty members of the center have conducted researches on structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and rules underlying them; reproductive cycles, sexual compositions, and factors and mechanisms governing these properties in corals and fish; current status and formation process of biodiversity, and effective methods to detect, utilize and reproduce bioresources under the subtropical insular environment. Also, the Center began new projects to explore effective methods for recovery of coral reefs and mangroves that were damaged from local human activities, as well as from global climatic changes. In 2009, this Center has been combined with Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB), and the research area has been extended to include functional genomics, molecular biotechnology, bioremediation, immunobiology and molecular microbiology with increase in the number of staff members.
Members of the Nishihara Station are conducting researches on histories and mechanisms of diversification of the lower vertebrates in East-Southeast Asia and on functional morphology of subtropical plants. The Nishihara Station provides equipments for preparation and observation of specimens, rearing experiments, and genetic analysis, facilitating biodiversity research and education with domestic and foreign researchers.
The Sesoko Station is facing to a coral reef, and is equipped with seawater culturing tanks and other instruments fore marine science. Many collaborative studies on ecology, physiology and genes of coral reef organisms are conducted, In addition,scientific meetings are often held with domestic and foreign researchers at the Station.Training courses for graduate and undergraduate students from all over Japan are also held at the station.
The Iriomote Station, located on Iriomote Island, is surrounded by a broad-leaf evergreen forest and mangrove forest. This Station includes three research sections: Biodiversity Forest Resource Science and Section of Mangrove Science. This station has been playing a central role as a research base or station for the study of mangrove ecosystems. The facilities of this Station, including the dormitory, are available to foreign and domestic researchers and students. The Iriomote Station conducts intensive courses for undergraduate and graduate students. The Station is also involved in various training courses organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Association for International Cooperation of Agriculture and Forestry, etc.
Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB)
The Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB) is dedicated to higher education and the promotion of the research fields of biosciences at cellular and molecular levels. All instruments and facilities are, in principle, available for use by students and faculty members from every school and department on campus and also outside research community. To achieve educational and research excellence, our faculty members and students have been enthusiastically collaborating.