National Institute of Polar Research

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Research Groups

Bioscience Group

Study of the present and past to identify future changes in polar ecosystems

Leader  Sakae Kudo

To progress polar bioscience from three research fields

The fundamental task of our group is to establish how organisms have adapted and survived in the estremely harsh environments of the polar regions. It also studies the sensitive response mechanisms of marine and terrestrial communities to global environmental changes. Its studies extend to the production process in polar oceans, behavior of marine predators, and polar terrestrial biology and limnology.

Biological oceanography

Research focuses on the mechanisms of marine ecosystem variability in association with environmental changes in the seasonal ice zone of the Antarctic Ocean. In the particular focus on plankton variability of the Indian Sector, we have been conducting corroborative research on analysis of long-term monitoring data with Australian scientists.

Plankton sampling in the pack ice

Marine predator ecology

Research focus on the behaviour and ecology of polar marine predators,including seabirds, marine mammals, and fishes. Small data loggers and video cameras that can be attached to animals have been developed, an approach called biologging. Using these state-of-the-art instruments, we obtain detailed information about at-sea behaviour and ecology that is critical to assessing the effects of environmental changes on the animals.

An Adélie penguin with biologging device attached

Terrestrial and freshwater biology

Antarctic and Arctic terrestrial and lacustrine environments are severe for organisms due to cold temperature, aridity, and strong UV, etc. Research focuses on the origins and the diversity of the biota, the mechanisms of establishment by eco-physiologically adapting, paleo-environmental reconstruction, and response mechanisms in the polar terrestrial ecosystem including lakes to global environmental change.

Ecological survey by scuba diving in an Antarctic lake

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