Division of Biosphere Science

Base for Field Science

Division of Biosphere Science

Biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living organisms. Mission of the “Division of Biosphere” is to introduce the mechanisms how biological diversity is maintained and developed that are responsible for the function of biosphere. The mechanisms include molecular or cellular levels and interactions between different organisms to form each biome. Our research activities take advantage of finding evidence and collecting data from the fields, so called field science. Laboratories are highly equipped with advanced facilities enough to explore unknown mechanisms. The final goal of education is to provide students with the viewpoint of feedback effects of living organisms on forming physicochemical environments and also with the ability to work on important environmental issues. Bioremediation is also within our scope.

Course in Biodiversity Science

This course focuses on the mechanisms of creation, maintenance and decline of biological diversity, paying attention to environment structure, population structure, spatial genetic structure, and biological interaction.

Course in Ecological Genetics

This course focuses on the population dynamics under environmental changes, biological interactions, and developmental and environmental adaptations in mammals, insects and plants, especially paying attention to their genetic systems and genetic diversity.

Course in Molecular Biology

There are numerous species of creature living on the earth. They have been evolved individually in response to dramatic changes of environments for approximately 3.5 billion years. Environmental factors, such as light, temperature, atmospheric gases, and water conditions greatly affect on the activity and characteristics of living organisms. On the other hand, living organisms themselves function as important environmental stabilizers by driving elemental circulation through their various metabolic activities. Our final goal is to ‘Understand the Relationship between Environments and Living Organisms at the Molecular Levels.’ We are also trying to develop basis of effective bioremediation, biomonitoring, and bioproduction technologies.

Course in Plant Ecology

Plant Ecology Course deals with land plants at varying scales, from physiological ecology, reproduction and population processes, multi-species natural communities, and maintenance mechanisms of terrestrial ecosystems. Our target regions are ranging from tropical rain forests to sub-arctic vegetation to understand the adaptation to varying environments, with empirical, modeling and theoretical approaches.

Course in Animal Ecology

This course focuses on the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of animals, paying attention to animal behavior, population dynamics, biological interaction, and community organization. The educational and research activities also cover wild animal conservation and ecosystem management in aquatic and terrestrial environments.

Course in Marine Biogeochemistry and Biology

This course provides teachings on the characteristics for the biological production processes in the various marine environments and of the biological responses and adaptations to the environmental changes. The educational and research activities cover physiological and ecological understandings of the relationship between marine environmental factors and biological production processes through field, and chemical and biological laboratory works.

Course in Aquatic Biology

This course focuses on the mechanisms of response and adaptation of various aquatic organisms (algae, plankton, squid, fish, marine mammal) against their living environments from freshwater (river, lake, bog) to marine (coastal and open sea) ecosystems. Research and education are carried out from the molecular and cell biology to the population and community ecology.

Course in Forest Field Science

To understand biodiversity and functions of forest ecosystems, we conduct a variety of research projects in our vast experimental forests. In the world’s largest university forest, graduate students address their thesis research focusing on particular topic. Our studies cover wide variety of topics such as ecology and evolution of wildlife, ecological interactions, global warming, atmosphere pollution, invasive species, and land use conservation, etc.

Course in Agro-Ecosystem Science

Reliable and efficient agricultural management systems are required to make sure of stable and future sustainable food production.In the Agro-Ecosystem course, staff belonging to the Experiment Farm and Livestock Farm in the Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University offer education and research programs on the characterization of agricultural lands and clarification of relationships between environments and biological production in agricultural lands as well as the development and utilization of available agricultural resources to ensure sustainable agriculture production and renewable energy production.

We do research into the establishment of crop and livestock production systems suitable for cool climatic regions such as Hokkaido.

We also do research into genetic improvement of crops and livestock.

Two lectures are offered. One is an Advanced Course in Environment and Management in Crop Production, in which students will understand characteristics of biological, chemical and physical environments in agricultural land and facilities, and learn how to improve the environments of agricultural land in terms of both productivity and sustainability.

The other is an Advanced Course in Environment and Management in Livestock Production, in which students will understand characteristics of environments in grasslands and barns, and learn about environment creation, supply of feeds and waste treatment systems for livestock production.

Graduate School of Environmental Sceince / Faculty of Env. Earth Science, Hokkaido University