Life continuously affects the chemical and physical compositions of the biosphere, while changes in the Earth's components (atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere) impact directly on life. These changes have occurred across an extensive range of spatial and temporal scales since life emerged on the Earth of the Archaean Era. We study how these components interact in the modern world, and what systems have evolved through geological time. The knowledge accumulated in our research programs will help to understand global profiles of biodiversity, physiological versatility of life forms, biogeochemical inter-linkages within the biosphere, and the sustainable usage of natural resources.
Earth and Life History Research Program
We investigate the Earth environment in the present and past with special reference to the interactions among life, environment, and Earth's internal activities. We try to understand the roles of oceanic biological processes in the Earth environment through geological time scales as well as in today’s ocean. This information also provides a scientific basis for assessing environmental change in the future.
Marine Biodiversity Research Program
We carry out research on functional diversity of ecosystems, the evolutionary history of marine organisms, and the mechanisms by which biodiversity evolves and is maintained, in order to determine what factors control distribution and biomass of organisms in marine systems, including trenches, seamounts, enclosed or semi-enclosed bays, pelagic surface waters and meso- and bathypelagic midwater depths.
Extremobiosphere Research Program
Extremobiosphere Research Program pursues the comprehensive understanding of dynamic 'Earth-Life' interactive systems in the sunlight-independent, deep Ocean and Earth interior. The key concept is the solid-fluid-life interaction associated with the migration and circulation of 'dark energy sources, materials, functional and genetic elements of living forms'. The architectures and functional mechanisms of the dark ecosystems and the biotechnological potentials will be explored by interdisciplinary collaboration of different fields of sciences.