PURPOSES OF THE FOUNDATION
The Tropical Biosphere Research Center (TBRC) is a research institute of University of the Ryukyus located in subtropical climate zone. Faculty members of TBRC are conducting biological researches on the tropical and subtropical environment. The researches are mainly focused on the mechanism of establishment and maintenance of biological diversity, the survival strategies of living organisms, and the dynamic interactions of symbiotic or infectious microbes with hosts. Applied researches on food and health in subtropical area is also carried out in TBRC. These research activities covers all four Key Words of the University of the Ryukyus: Islands, Marine, Subtropical Climate, and Health and Longevity.
TBRC has been approved to be a Joint Usage/Research Center (JURC) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. As the only JURC in the subtropical climate zone, TBRC provides opportunities to study subtropical organisms and ecosystems for both domestic and international researchers. TBRC has great access to resources of the insular environments of the Ryukyu Archipelago with high endemism that have been developed in humid subtropical climate under complex geographical history, which includes coral reefs and mangrove forests with high biodiversity. Iriomote and Sesoko Stations of TBRC are located right next to coral reefs and mangrove forests, respectively, and are equipped with dormitories and laboratories available for the field researchers.
Establishment of interdisciplinary research area of field research and molecular biology is another important goal of TBRC. Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB) and Nishihara Station of TBRC in Senbaru Campus are important role in the issue. At present, genome sequencing of tropical field-derived samples becomes standard analyses in recent years. To further improve co-operation between the Stations, teleconference system is active used to exchange of information.
2021 is an important year cerebrating 50-year Anniversary of TBRC. In 1971, Sesoko station was established as Marine Science Laboratory of Faculty of Science and Enginering, and Iriomote Stations was established as Research institute of Tropical Agriculture of Faculty of Agricultre.
It is a good timing to review our previous research activity and establish the basis of research activity for coming 50 years. TBRC continues to be a biological research center of University of the Ryukyus, and will reinforce the function as JURC.
Tropical Biosphere Research Center
The Tropical Biosphere Research Center of the University of the Ryukyus was established by unifying a cooperative institute Sesoko Marine Science Center in Sesoko Island (current Sesoko Station, established in 1971), Research Institute of Tropical Agriculture of Faculty of Agriculture in Iriomote Island (current Iriomote Station, established in 1971) and newly established Nishihara Laboratory in Senbaru Campus (current Nishihara Station), and assigned as a Joint-use Research Institute in 1994.
Center of Molecular Biosciences
The Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB) was established in 2001 by reorganization of the Gene Research Center. COMB had been situated in the main campus of the University of the Ryukyus and had been a central research institute of molecular biosciences in the university.
The former Tropical Biosphere Research Center and the Center of Molecular Biosciences are unified in 2009 to launch the new Tropical Biosphere Research Center, and it was certified as a Joint Usage/Research Center by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan in 2010.
ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
- Vice Director
- Advisory Committee
- Department of Coral Reef Biological Science
- Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
- Department of Infectious Diseases
- Department of Applied Biological Information
- Department of Cooperative Biosphere Research
- Department of Technical Assistance
- General Strategic
Planning Division Research Promotion
ORGANIZATION OF FACITITIES
The Tropical Biosphere Research Center of University of the Ryukyus, consisted of four institutes:
Sesoko Station located in Sesoko Island, an islet off the northern part of the Main Island of Okinawa, Center of Molecular Biosciences and Nishihara Station in the main campus of the university which is located in the southern part of the Main Island of Okinawa, and Iriomote Station located in Iriomote Island, approximately 430 km southwest of the Main Island of Okinawa.
RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
The salient feature of the Tropical Biosphere Research Center (TBRC) lies in its geographic location, which permits long-term in-situ studies on a tropical biota. TBRC is, therefore, expected to play a central role in biological research of tropical and subtropical subjects in Japan. Many foreign and domestic researchers visit TBRC, and create fascinating opportunities to enjoy stimulating and constructive discussion. The geographic advantage is also beneficial to students in both education and research by providing an “in-situ lecturing” with actual organisms in their natural habitats.
TBRC was designated from 1996-2000 as a Center of Collaboration by the corresponding ministry and received additional funding for several research-supporting programs. In 2008, TBRC was combined with Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB), and the research area has been extended to include genomics, biotechnology, bioremediation, and molecular microbiology with increase in the number of staff members. At the same time, TBRC was approved to be a Joint Usage/Research Center (JURC) by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. Furthermore, the Foreign Scholar Invitation Program provides a good opportunity to promote international co-operative research, and the Domestic Scholar Invitation Program is helpful in expanding research activities.
Cooperate Study Program financially supports researchers who collaborate with TBRC faculty members, or those who use the field of TBRC with support of TBRC faculty members.
Cooperative Workshop Program financially supports symposiums and meetings on tropical and subtropical biospheres to promote future cooperative researches.
TBRC faculty members are actively engaged in lectures and mentorship of master’s or Ph.D. students for graduate schools (Engineering and Science, Agriculture and Medicine). We also offer lectures, practical courses (e.g. Marine Biology Course) and other activities for undergraduate education.
TBRC publishes Annual Reports, and information on the research activity including the Annual Reports is uploaded to the website of TBRC.
Dormitories are available at Sesoko Station and Iriomote Station. The facilities are available for visitors who participate in researches meetings and practical courses.