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[Press Release] Dissolved iron distribution in the western and central subarctic Pacific

Phytoplankton growth is broadly limited by iron (Fe) availability in the subarctic Pacific. To investigate which Fe sources control the amplitude of seasonal variation in biogeochemical parameters in the subarctic Pacific, Assoc. Prof. Jun Nishioka (Division of Earth System Science) and Assoc. Prof. Hajime Obata (the University of Tokyo) examined the spatial variation in the west-to-east distribution of dissolved Fe (DFe) across the western and central subarctic Pacific. Results indicated that the western Fe-rich intermediate water is well explained by external sedimentary Fe sources and water transport systems from a subpolar marginal sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the continental margin. This research outcome is published in Limnology and Oceanography, a journal of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

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Research Press Release (PDF)

[Press Release] Breakup of land-fast sea ice in East Antarctica and its teleconnection to tropical Pacific sea-surface temperatures

Assoc. Prof. Shigeru Aoki (Division of Earth System Science) investigated breakups of land-fast sea ice in Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica using satellite imaging data. He found its teleconnection to tropical Pacific sea-surface temperatures. This study offers hope for future predictions of ice behavior to merit the logistics to Antarctic research stations.

This research outcome is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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Research Press Release (PDF)

[Press Release] Sustainable Tourism by an academic-industrial alliance with Hoshino Resorts

Research on a long-term academic-industrial alliance between Hoshino Resorts and our graduate school was published in Journal of Sustainable Tourism, one of the famous academic journals on tourism. This journal focuses sustainable tourism, which respects environmental resources and cultural heritage in each region while bringing social and economic benefits.

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Research Press Release (PDF)

[Press Release] Evaluating the aesthetic value of landscapes in Hokkaido using geotagged photos shared on SNS

A research team of Nobuhiko Yoshimura, a doctoral student (Division of Environmental Science Development), and Prof. Tsutomu Hiura (Division of Biosphere Science) developed a new method to evaluate the aesthetic value of landscapes in Hokkaido using geotagged photos shared on SNS (Flickr) in order to reveal demand and supply of cultural ecosystem services. This method enables to evaluate the value of landscapes in detail and over a wide area, and is also applicable in many other locations. Therefore, it will be helpful to determine which locations should be targeted for environmental conservation or used for tourism. This research outcome is published in Ecosystem Services.

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Research Press Release (English)

[Press Release] Why did you want to climb trees? Adaptive significance of arboreality for a tree-climbing land snail

A research team that includes Prof. Tsutomu Hiura (Division of Biosphere Science) revealed that the reason why Sapporo-maimai, an arboreal snail, live in trees where it seems to be a unique habitat. The research outcome shows that the snail, after hibernation on the forest floor during winter, move into the treetops and then come back down to the ground in fall. It also shows lower predation pressure in the trees than on the forest floor and the snail’s different feeding habits in trees from forest-floor dwelling snails.
Airy environment like in trees is generally believed as an unsuitable habitat for snails. However, this research lead to a clear finding that Sapporo-maimai has developed to adapt to living in trees where there are fewer predators and plenty of foods.
This research is receiving high evaluations in terms of proving the snail’s adaptation to living in trees under natural environment focusing on arboreal snails that represent slowest animals in the world. It is a thought-provoking result about the significance of conservation of virgin forests where they can survive.

This research outcome is published in Animal Behaviour.

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Research Press Release (English)

[Press Release] The function of appendage patterning genes in mandible development of the sexually dimorphic stag beetle

An international research group that consists of Assoc. Prof. Toru Miura, his lab’s former and present graduate students, and researchers of Nagoya Univ., Washington State Univ., and the Univ. of Montana-Missoula analyzed developmental functions of limb-patterning genes in the sexually dimorphic stag beetle. They found that the dachshund expression is required for enlargement of male stag beetle mandibles. The corresponding author, Assist. Prof. Hiroki Gotoh of Nagoya Univ. is a researcher who completed his Ph. D. work in our graduate school. He is also a winner of the Matsuno Environmental Science Prize of this academic year.

This research outcome is published in Developmental Biology, an international academic journal on developmental biology.

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Research Press Release (PDF)

[Press Release] Climatic instability over the past 720,000 years revealed by Antarctic ice cores and climate modeling

An international research group that consists of 64 researchers of 31 organizations revealed state dependence of climatic instability over the past 720,000 years from Antarctic ice cores and climate modeling. Assoc. Prof. Masakazu Yoshimori (Faculty of Env. Earth Sci.), Prof. Ralf Greve, and Assist. Prof. Yoshinori Iizuka (Institute of Low Temp. Sci.) of our graduate school have taken part in the research team. This research outcome is published in Science Advances, an AAAS’ open access online journal.

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[Press Release] Promiscuous lamprey found to conduct "sham matings"

Chitose Yamazaki, a Ph.D. student of the Division of Biosphere Science, and Assoc. Prof. Itsuro Koizumi revealed that the nonparasitic lamprey Lethenteron kessleri female mates repeatedly without releasing eggs, in a behavior termed “sham mating,” suggesting the possibility that females choose their mates while engaged in promiscuous mating habits. This research outcome is published in Journal of Ethology, an academic journal of Japan Ethological Society.

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Research Press Release (PDF)

Hokkaido University President's Awards for the academic year 2016


These following 4 faculty members of Graduate School of Environmental Science were recognized for Hokkaido University President's Awards for Research Excellence and for Teaching Excellence for the academic year 2016.

President Award for Research Excellence

Associate Professor Toru MIURA, Course in Ecological Genetics, Division of Biosphere Science (Faculty of Environmental Earth Science)
Associate Professor Jun NISHIOKA, Course in Geochemistry, Division of Earth System Science (Institute of Low Temperature Science)

President Award for Education Excellence

Professor Koji SUZUKI, Course in Geochemistry, Division of Earth System Science (Faculty of Environmental Earth Science)
Associate Professor Masahiko FUJII, Course in Human and Ecological Systems, Division of Environmental Science Development (Faculty of Environmental Earth Science)

Graduate School of Environmental Sceince, Hokkaido University