Shiro KOHSHIMA (Director,Professor)

Doctor of Science, Kyoto University

I studied "snow insects" which are active on the winter snow in Japan and became to believe that some insects live in the glaciers. So, I visited Himalaya in 1982 and discovered cold-tolerant insects and copepods living in the snow and ice of the glaciers. After that findings, we have studied glacier ecosystem of various part of the world to clarify its characteristics and effects on the global environmental change. We also study ecology and behavior of various organisms in various types of ecosystem ranging from glaciers to tropical rain forests and ocean, such as dolphins, orangutans, rhinoceroses, wolves, parakeets, human, plants and microorganisms. In these studies, we are aiming to conduct unique studies by the "Watch with your own eyes and think with your own brain" spirit.

Positions held

  • 1955: Born at Nagoya Japan.
  • 1974-1985: Spent a long student life in Kyoto university (Department of zoology, Faculty of Science) because I enjoyed mountaineering too much.
  • 1985-1988: Research fellow of JSPS.
  • 1988-1990: Free-lance scientist working in Japan Alps and Amazon.
  • 1990-2008: Associate professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology.
  • 2008-: Professor of WRC. Specialty: Ethology, Ecology, Biology of snow and ice environments.

Selected publications

  1. Kohshima, S. (1984): Novel cold-tolerant insect found in a Himalayan glacier. Nature, 310, 225-227.
  2. Hiromi Kobayshi and Shiro Kohshima (1997): Unique Morphology of the Human Eye. Nature Vol. 387, No 6635, pp767-768.
  3. Yoshimura, Y., Kohshima, S.ATakeuchi, N., Y., Seko and Fujita, K. (2000): Himalayan ice core dating with snow algae. Journal of Glaciology, Vol.46, No.153, 335-340
  4. Kobayashi, H. and Kohshima, S. (2001): Unique morphology of the human eye and its adaptive meaning: comparative studies on external morphology of the primate eye. Journal of Human Evolution 40, 419-435.
  5. Takeuchi, N., Kohshima, S., and Seko, K. (2001): Structure, formation and darkening process of albedo-reducing material (cryoconite) on a Himalayan glacier: a granular algal mat growing on the glacier. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Vol. 33, No.2, 115-122.
  6. Matsubayasi, H., Bosi, E. & Kohshima, S. (2002): Activity and habitat use of lesser mouse deer (Tragulus javanicus). Journal of Mammalogy, Vol.84, No.1, pp.234-242.
  7. Kuze, N., T.I.Malim, and Kohshima, S. (2005): Developmental change of the face-morphology in Borneo Orangutan, American Journal of Primatology, 65, 353-376.
  8. Sekiguchi, Y., Arai, K., Kohshima, S. (2006): Sleep in continuously active dolphins. Nature, Vol. 441, E9-10.
  9. Sakai, M., Hishii, T., Takeda, S. and Kohshima, S. (2006): Laterality of flipper rubbing behaviour in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus): Caused by asymmetry of eye use? Behavioural Brain Research ,170, 204-210.
  10. Kohshima, S., Takeuchi, N., Uetake, J. ,Shiraiwa, T., Uemura, R., Yoshida, N., Matoba, S. and Godoi, M.A. (2007): Estimation of net accumulation rate at a Patagonian glacier by ice core analyses using snow algae. Global and Planetary Change. 59, 236-244.
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