Joshua Heitzman, a graduate student in the Agostini laboratory, was awarded the Best Student Presentation Award at the 2023 (26th) Annual Meeting of The Japanese Coral Reef Society. His presentation was entitled 'Coral skeleton dissolution is accelerated by turf algal settlement under ocean acidification'.
An announcer from NHK Shizuoka wrote an article about the disappearance of sea urchins and their food source, seaweed, from the seas of Izu. The article discusses the drastic reduction in the number of a Sea Urchin (Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus), which are used as research materials, over the past few years. It also covers the disappearance of large seaweeds like Kajime and Arame, which serve as their food, as one of the causes. Associate Professor Shunsuke Yaguchi and Assistant Professor Shigeki Wada have been interviewed on this matter.
Prof. Kazuo Inaba, SMRC was awarded the Zoological Society of Japan Award 2023. The award ceremony and the award winners' lectures were held in the annual conference of the Zoological Society of Japan at Yamagata University.
Makiko Hayashi, a graduate student in the Nakano laboratory, was awarded the Best Student Presentation Award at the 2023 Annual Meeting of The Malacological Society of Japan. Her presentation was entitled 'Growth and staging in juveniles of the nudibranch Hypselodoris festiva'.
Sylvain Agostini, an assistant professor at the University of Tsukuba, has published multiple papers on the achievements of the Tara Pacific project. The project, initiated by the Tara Ocean Foundation and international partners, explores the biodiversity of coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. Over 100 scientists from 8 countries and 23 research institutes participated in a 2.5-year exploration on the scientific vessel "Tara" (2016-2018), collecting samples from 30+ islands. Published papers in Springer Nature focus on coral microbiomes, viruses, and adaptive mechanisms using high-speed sequencing technology. Scientific Data papers by Fabien Lombard et al. and Caroline Belser et al. describe the project's sampling methods and data framework. These papers offer new insights into Pacific coral reef health and biodiversity.
In collaboration with the research group in Shizuoka Prefectural Research Institute of Fishery and Ocean, Izu Branch, Prof. Kazuo Inaba, SMRC developed an extender solution for short-term sperm storage in alfonsino Beryx splendens. These results were published online in NIPPON SUISAN GAKKAISHI (an official journal of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science) on May 3rd, 2023.
An international research group led by Professor James Davis Reimer of the University of the Ryukyus, in collaboration with Assistant Professors Sylvain Agostini, Ben Harvey and Shigeki Wada, alongside other members of the ICONA network, have synthesised information on the high abundance of zooxanthellate zoantharians (Palythoa and Zoanthus) at multiple natural analogues across the Pacific. These results were published online in Coral Reefs on April 19th, 2023.
Assistant Professor Ben Harvey, in collaboration with an international working group, has highlighted the importance of crustose coralline algae in coral reef carbonate production, alongside recommendations for their inclusion in carbonate budgets under the ongoing climate crisis. These results were published online in Communications Earth &Environment on April 6th, 2023.