Awards & Prizes

DATE2022.04.08 #Awards & Prizes

Dr. Masanori Okanishi (currently Assistant Professor at Hiroshima Shudo University) received the 2022 Young Scientist Award from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Disclaimer: machine translated by DeepL which may contain errors.


Mr. Masanori Okanishi

Dr. Masanori Okanishi, currently Assistant Professor at Hiroshima Shudo University, who has been working at Misaki Marine Biological Station until March 2022, has received the Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology this year for his "Morphological and Molecular Studies on the Systematics of Spider Starfish. Until now, organisms that are easy to monitor, such as corals, have been used as indicators to monitor the marine environment, which makes up a large part of the global environment. The class Spider Starfish, which belongs to the family of echinoderms (starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers), has potential as a new environmental indicator organism because many species of both living and fossil species are known, their ecology is diverse, and DNA analysis from museum specimens is easy. However, the drawback is that basic research such as taxonomy has not progressed very far. Focusing on the fact that the research environment for spider starfish in Japan is among the best in the world in terms of the state of fossil preservation, the history and quality of previous research, and the number of specimens, Dr. Okanishi has established advanced systematics in spider starfish by conducting an exhaustive domestic specimen collection and describing morphological observations, including electron microscopy, as well as DNA sequence information. This has led to the establishment of advanced phylogenetic and taxonomic research on spider starfish. In addition, the first fossil bone fragments were discovered in Japan, laying the foundation for the realistic realization of the conversion of spider starfish to environmental indicator organisms. The results of this research are expected to provide essential knowledge for new marine environmental conservation using spider starfish, which led to this award. We offer our heartfelt congratulations.

2022 Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

(Responsibility: Professor Toru Miura, Department of Biological Sciences)