Previous Members


  Name Role

Dan Warren, Ph.D.

Former: Section Leader

Dan: Originally from Oklahoma, Dan got his bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Population Biology from the University of California, Davis.  He has since worked as a researcher in Texas, Australia, Germany, and now is the head of the Environmental Science and Informatics section at OIST.  Dan specializes in developing big data approaches to answer basic questions in evolution and ecology, and is the lead author on several popular R packages (ENMTools, RWTY).  His fieldwork is mostly on marine fishes, but he has published scientific papers on organisms including insects, deep sea invertebrates, mammals, lizards, birds, and even Pokémon.


Masashi Yoshimura “Yoshi”, Ph.D.

Former: Okinawa Field Research Team Leader

Yoshi: Upon graduating university, he became a middle school teacher in Rishiri Island, Hokkaido, where he taught environmental education. While out in the field, he discovered the world of ant research and decided to pursue a doctoral degree to become a male ant expert. After obtaining his Ph.D. degree, he carried out his post-doctoral research in Kyushu University and California Academy of Sciences, then came to OIST in 2014 as a Staff Scientist. Since 2015, he has been coordinating the OKEON Churamori Project, an Okinawa-wide network of universities, museums, schools and citizen scientists to monitor the environment of Okinawa. In 2019, a part of this project became independent as the Environmental Science Section (ESS), which is now part of the Environmental Science and Informatics Section (ESI). His expertise is in ant taxonomy, systematics and morphological evolution, as well as conservation biology.

Suga Sota

Former: Research Assistant

Sota: He energetically enjoys and performs field work in Okinawa. He also does insect sorting in the lab. His hobbies are fishing and BMX.