Current Members

Principle Investigator

Satoshi Mitarai

The primary objective of Professor Mitarai’s research is to understand the role of ocean turbulence in regulating biological processes and its consequences for population structure and dynamics of marine ecosystems, through international collaborations. These studies include investigations of larval dispersal via coastal eddies and the role of dispersal in structuring marine populations, understanding biological responses of corals to turbulent flows and their integrated effects on biogeochemical cycling, and impacts of tropical cyclones on particle aggregation and biological pumps. Using his skills and experience as a fluid dynamicist, Professor Mitarai contributes to a new interdisciplinary field in the marine sciences.

Staff Scientist

Yuichi Nakajima

1.    Population genetic studies of corals and hydrothermal vent invertebrates
2.    Physiological reaction and molecular mechanisms in corals
3.    Elucidation of biodiversity and its seasonal fluctuation

Google Scholar Citations / Research Gate / Researchmap

Postdoctoral Scholars 

Angela Ares

My research interests are focused on how microorganisms respond to heavy metal stress as well as other biotic and abiotic stress in marine ecosystems.  I am currently working on two exciting projects: i) Genetic response of deep-sea hydrothermal vent Epsilon-proteobacteria to heavy metals. ii) Evaluation of plankton community dynamics and physico-chemical changes due to terrestrial runoff in nearshore subtropical waters. 




Marine Le Gal

Specialized in hydrodynamics numerical modeling, I have a particular interest for coastal regions and their protection. My Phd project was about Tsunami modeling and the impact of time parameters during the generation. I continue nowadays to work on this subject with the study of the tsunami that hit Ishigaki Island in 1771. I also broadened my interest by working on Mangrove propagule dispersion.

Heng Wu

Heng specializes in experimental hydrodynamics with a focus in turbulent boundary layer flows over a rough or porous bed and their impact on sediment transport. She is currently working on flow-body interaction in a flume system under unidirectional or oscillatory flows mainly by using Particle Image Velocimetry. 


Yosuke Yamada

My research focuses on particle dynamics and microbial activities in the ocean and investigates the impacts on marine biogeochemistry and ecology. Current projects focus on the interaction between bacteria and particles.


Research Assistant

Kazumi INOHA

Kazumi Inoha

Working as a research assistant to support procurement and other for the research.



Maki Thomas

My research interests are focused on coastal marine conservation, especially estuary areas. As part of my research interests, my current objective is to better understand how species maintain and expand its habitat. The current project focuses on investigating temporal and spatial dispersal patterns and driving factors of mangrove species, Rhizophora stylosa. While population fragmentation negatively affect mangrove habitat, especially on island system that naturally create discrete coastal lines, the research on island systems are scarce. Using population genetic methods, oceanic numerical modeling as well as in-situ observed drifter methods will provide comprehensive understanding of dispersal patterns. 
Another goal during my PhD program is to do science out-reach projects with local communities through ECO club



Po-Shun Chuang

Scleractinian corals constitute the beautiful coral reef ecosystems in the oceans. For some Pocilloporid corals, an escaping response called polyp bail-out can happen in stress conditions instead of bleaching, resulting in free-living, isolated, zooxanthellate coral polyps. With this response, adult solitary polyps of the same genetic background can be obtained. The objective of my PhD project is to apply this stress response to coral studies, including the emergent property of corals from solitary polyp to a coenosarc-connected colony, and the ecological role of this stress response in the scenario of global climate change.

Otis Brunner

Otis' background in marine spatial ecology brought him to the Marine Biophysics Unit where he is studying the diversity found at hydrothermal vents and how theoretical ecology and oceanographic models of connectivity can be combined to answer key questions in metacommunity dynamics and Biogeography.

Kota Ishikawa

My research interest is originally in animal behavior. In the interdisciplinary environment of our unit, Kota studies how marine animals respond to flow conditions. Current project focuses on investigating effects of flow speed and turbulent fluctuation on planktivorous reef fish including unique garden eels. He is running website that inform interesting fact about garden eels.

Research Unit Administrator

Tomoko Yoshino



Past Members

Margaret Mars Brisbin

Maggi's thesis work focused on the symbiotic relationship between the haptophyte algae, Phaeocystis, and acantharian hosts ("Characterization of Acantharea-Phaeocystis photosymbioses: distribution, abundance, specificity, maintenance and host-control", Ph.D., 2020). She is particularly interested in how interactions between the smallest organisms can affect large scale processes in the ocean. Currently, Maggi is a postdoc scholar at Woods Hole Oceanograhic Institution. 

  • Marine Le Gal, Postdoctoral Scholar (September 2017 - August 2020)
  • Kirk Sato, Postdoctoral Scholar (September 2017 – June 2019)
  • Juan Fernando Carrascal Tristancho, Graduate Student (January 2018 – April 2019)
  • Asa Conover, Research Intern (January 2019 – June 2019)
  • Noam Vogt-Vincent, Research Intern (July 2019 – September 2019)
  • Akinori Murata, Technician (March 2018 – March 2019) 
  • Hiroshi Izumi, Technical Staff (February 2018 – November 2018)
  • Patricia Wepfer, Graduate Student (January 2014 – November 2018)
  • Juan Pablo Martin Diaz, Research Intern (July 2018 – February 2019) 
  • Akiko Guzman, Research Unit Administrator (March 2017 – April 2018)
  • Masako Okabe, Research Unit Administrator (April 2018 – February 2019)
  • Seira Arakaki, Research Unit Administrator (June 2018 – January 2019)
  • Yuta Nunome, Technician (May 2014 – January 2018)
  • Mary Matilda Grossmann, Postdoctoral Scholar (October 2013 – Novemeber 2016)
  • Atsushi Fujimura, Postdoctoral Scholar (July 2015 – September 2016)
  • Yukiko Murabayashi, Technician (July 2011 – April 2017)
  • Shohei Nakada, Technician (August 2011 – November 2016)
  • Nagisa Hirakawa, Research Administrator (September 2016 – March 2017)
  • Yuko Hasegawa, Technician (April 2016 - April 2017)
  • Takashi Ihara, Technician (April 2015 – March 2016)
  • Yuka Osawa, Technician (July 2015 – January 2016)
  • Ayumu Migita, Technician (August 2015 – January 2016)
  • Masako Nakamura, Staff Scientist (March 2010 – March 2015)
  • Daisuke Hasegawa, Postdoctoral Scholar (October 2011 – March 2014)
  • Taichiro Sakagami, Technician (February 2010 – August 2013)
  • Shizuka Kuda, Research Administrator (February 2010 – July 2012)
  • Yuki Kamidaira, Internship Student (August 2013 – September 2013)
  • MiHye Seo, Internship Student (October 2012 – January 2013, July 2013 – August 2013)
  • Fiona Francis, Internship Student (May 2012 – August 2012)
  • Hirohito Yamazaki, Short-term Student (August 2011 – September 2011)
  • Flora Vincent, Short-term Student (July 2011 – December 2011)
  • Emile Trimoreau, Short-term Student (September 2010 – February 2011)