The coral reef physiology group is studying corals and coral reef associated organisms using morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular-biological techniques.

The following research topics we are focusing on.

  1. Coral diseases: Detailing the morphological and physiological characteristics of diseases and coral-killing sponges currently impacting corals and researching their cures. (Yamashiro)
  2. Coral bleaching: Investigating the mechanisms governing the corals response to increases in seawater temperature, including variations in bleaching sensitivity and potential means for adaptation. (Takahashi)
  3. Gamete recognition in marine invertebrates: How do gametes of the coral and sea cucumber interact with each other and fertilize in a species-specific manner? (Morita)
  4. Evolution of reproductive behavior and sperm in cichlids in Lake Tanganyika: Cichlids in Lake Tanganyika are endemic and show variety-rich reproductive behavior. We study evolutionary correlation of behavior and sperm motility and fertilization-related proteins.  (Morita)

Coral-killing sponge Terpios hoshinota overgrowing tabular Acropora (Okinawa Is).

Coral bleaching caused by heat stress.

Acropora spp. that spawns around full moon on June.

Cichlid in lake Tanganyika: mating systems, reproductive tactics are diverse among the cichlids.


Position Name
Professor Hideyuki Yamashiro
Professor Shunichi Takahashi
Associate Prof. Masaya Morita
Adjunct Prof.) Akihiro Takemura