About the lab

Lab activity

At the Laboratory of Aquatic Plant Ecology, we are interested in studying the ecology of seaweed and seagrass ecosystems. Every month, our team goes out into the field to collect samples and data using data loggers.

Seaweed & seagrass ecosystems

Japan is overcome with an abundance of herbivores, which has damaged coastal ecosystems to the point where almost no seaweeds or seagrasses remain. We are focused on understanding the process of isoyake ecosystem recovery.

Blue carbon

Blue carbon is a relatively new term that generally describes the carbon that is captured by marine ecosystems. We are attempting to understand how this concept applies to a fisheries persepective and how to estimate the ability of coastal ecosystems to sequester carbon.

Seaweed aquaculture

The future of seaweed aquaculture in Japan is unclear. We do not know how current practices of seaweed aquaculture will continue while climate changes progresses. We are interested in developing new crops and technologies to create a resilient seaweed aquaculture industry in Japan.

Lab members

Gregory N. Nishihara


Kagoshima University (2004 PhD), University of Hawaii at Manoa (1996 BSc)。 2018 Marine Pew Fellow, See researchmap for more https://researchmap.jp/nagaremo

Belleza, Dominic

PhD student

When sea urchins percieve a predation cue, they can move quite fast. If we can somehow alter the behavior of sea urchins, it might be possible to reduce their seaweed grazing rates. I hope to unravel this phenomenon and hopefully protect seaweed ecosystems.

Urae, Takeshi

MS Student

My work deals with the population structure of fish inhabiting seaweed ecosystems. I am especially interested in how the presence and absence of seaweeds affects the population structure of coastal ecosystems, which gives me the chance to make monthly dives to collect my data.

Tanimae, Shinichiro

MS student

My research focuses on determining how the hydrodynamic environment affects subtidal seaweed communities. Regardless of similar depth, if the hydrodynamic environment is not the same, the seaweed composition and thallus size appears to be different.

Kabeyama, Makoto

Undergraduate student

I am studying the composition and distribution of marine litter in seagrass meadows. I am also collecting marine litter every month.

Matsumuro, Shigetaka

Undergraduate student

I am studing the effects of depth, water temperature, and light on the distribution of seagrasses in Katagami Bay, which is a small bay within Omura Bay of Nagasaki Prefecture.

Tateishi, Hiroto

Undergraduate student

I expect that Salicornia europaea (sea asparagus) can be used to process waste water of landbased aquaculture farms. Therefore, I am presently studying the germination requirements of halophyte S. europaea.

Lab graduates

Inoue, Yukio

2020 (PhD), 2017 (MS)

Hinode, Kenjiro

2021 (PhD)

Kamisaki, Hoshimi

2020 (MS), 2018 (BS)

Belleza, Dominic

2020 (MS)

Urae, Takeshi

2020 (BS)

Hidaka, Mikiya

2020 (BS)

Osaki, Kouichi

2019 (MS)

Matsuda, Yuhei

2021 (MS), 2019 (BS)

Hatata, Nao

2019 (BS)

Kawate, Azusa

2021 (MS), 2019 (BS)

Matsuo, Akane

2018 (MS)

Saitsu, Mako

2017 (MS), 2015 (BS)

Kojima, Kouhei

2016 (BS)

Koga, Arisa

2015 (BS)

Li, Xuena

2015 (Shanghai Ocean University Exchange Student)

Kimura, Ryutaro

2014 (MS), 2012 (BS)

Okamura, Kotoe

2014 (BS)

Yamada, Chizuru

2012 (BS)

Contact me for more information.