The Ecological Society of Japan

Summary of Award Presentation

Lecture 1


Dr. Toshifumi Minamoto (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University)
"Looking into the Water with Environmental DNA"

What kind of organisms live in the water and how many of them are there? To find out properly, it takes a lot of time and effort, using nets, traps and sometimes diving. We have developed a technique called 'environmental DNA analysis', which allows us to study the organisms that live in the environment, such as in water, by examining their DNA outside their bodies. Using this technique, it is possible to find out from a small amount of water sample where rare or alien species live in a particular river, or what type of fish live in a particular lake. In this talk I will explain how this technology has been developed, where it has reached so far and what further developments are expected in the future.


Lecture 2


Dr. Takehito Yoshida (Associate Professor, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature & Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
"Past and Future of Human-Nature Relations: Learning from Biodiversity and Local Culture"

Our daily lives, society and economy are supported by many things that ecosystems and biodiversity provide, and a sustainable human society would not be possible without sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity. Ecology, which has revealed the ways of life of a wide variety of living things and the cycles in and transitions of ecosystems, has also sounded the alarm about the rapid deterioration of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. The pursuit of a society in which people and nature coexist in harmony has been addressed in the past, but society as a whole has yet to reach this goal. However, if we look at the local community, we can see that there is still a local culture that points to a future where people and nature can live in harmony. In order to realize a sustainable society in harmony with nature, it is important to promote the regeneration and conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity by inheriting and nurturing such local cultures. In this lecture, I would like to share with you what I have learned about biodiversity and local culture through my research and practice.