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.

Tanimae, Shinichiro

MS student

Different environmental factors, such as water temperature and waves, are expressed in different species composition of seaweed communities in the subtidal zone. My research will examine ideas for optimizing seaweed bed restoration from a community ecology perspective by identifying suitable sites for seaweed to flourish and identifying seaweed species compositions that are likely to coexist.

Kabeyama, Makoto

MS student

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

Matsumuro, Shigetaka

MS student

I am studying the blue carbon fixed by eelgrass beds in Omura Bay. If we can determine the area of eelgrass beds and the amount of carbon per unit area in the sea area under study, we can calculate the carbon storage in the eelgrass beds in the target area.

Tateishi, Hiroto

MS student

I am conducting research to evaluate environmental factors affecting seaweed communities in Arikawa Bay. In this bay, there is a difference in the species composition of seaweeds within a distance of 2000 to 3000 m. I believe that this difference, in a relatively small spatial scale, is mainly due to environmental factors.

Fukase, Toma

Undergraduate student

I am evaluating the amount of carbon stored in the bottom sediment of an eelgrass bed in Arikawa Bay. To what extent do eelgrass beds on Nakadori Island function as blue carbon?

Suda, Ryusei

Undergraduate student

One cause of isoyake (i.e., the loss of seaweed forests) in Nagasaki Prefecture is the excessive increase and accompanying over-grazing by Siganus fuscens and Kyphosus sp. Thus, it is important to control the population of these fish. In Arikawa Bay, I am developing a technique to identify fish predators using camera traps.

Yamaha, Kaho

Undergraduate student

I are investigating the optimum amount of carbon dioxide to be supplied to Ulva prolifera (suji-aonori) grown in land-based aquaculture. It is known that carbon dioxide supplied during culture increases the amount of growth. My objective is to determine the optimal amount of carbon dioxide for growth and to expand the from the culture scale to land-based aquaculture scale. It is hoped to develop a method of utilizing carbon dioxide emitted from industrial activities.

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.