Assistant Professor Haruko Kurihara from the Faculty of Science
Selected as One of Eleven Nice-Step Researchers

 On Thursday, December 10, 2015, Assistant Professor Haruko Kurihara of the Faculty of Science, Chemistry, Biology and Marine Sciences, was recognized for her remarkable contribution to science and technology as one of eleven recipients of the 2015 Nice-Step Researcher Award.

 The National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) is a national research institution that is engaged in the Japanese government’s science and technology policy-planning process. Excellent researchers who instill in people dreams in the field of science and technology and who also contribute to Japanese science and technological innovation are awarded this honor by NISTEP. In the past, Mr. Hiroshi Amano and Mr. Shinya Yamanaka, who are Nobel Prize winners, and Mr. Junichiro Kawaguchi, a representative of the team for the unmanned exploration vessel “Hayabusa,” which undertook rock collection from the asteroid “Itokawa,” were also awarded this prize.

 Assistant Professor Kurihara was the first in the world to show that marine acidification because of the mass consumption of the fossil fuels directly influenced the life cycle of marine animals. She also showed the possibility that this acidification greatly changed the mutual relationships between creatures as well as affecting individual creatures and that it also has a big influence on coral reef ecosystems. She also proposed the possibility that this ecosystem change can become an indicator of marine change. It is expected that these results will contribute to the elucidation of the detailed mechanisms of climate change.

 Assistant Professor Kurihara mentioned upon receiving the award, “It is really a surprise and an extreme honor to receive such an honorable prize. I would like to attend to my research with diligence in order to be able to continue to contribute to further understanding and development of marine environmental science.” In January 2016, she will also receive an award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.



○ Dr.Haruko Kurihara

 Assistant professor in the Faculty of Science, Chemistry, Biology and Marine Sciences, Biology Program, the University of the Ryukyus


 By observing oceanic life, she hopes to grasp the marine warming and acidification that is developing on a global-scale.

  • The best oral publication award International Conference of Echinoderm (2004)
  • The best oral publication award International Conference of Echinoderm (2004)
  • Marine environment science award (2013) The Oceanographic Society of Japan