Miura Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture and Marine Science, Kochi University

Research Interests

Our general interests are in the areas of marine ecology, evolutionary biology, and parasitology. We are particularly interested in ecology and evolution of hosts and parasites. Since hosts serve both as habitat and resource for parasites, ecology of parasites inevitably associate with ecology of hosts. Further, such strong ecological links also affect the evolutionary pattern of hosts and parasites. We hope to understand this interesting interaction more in-depth and extract simple general rules from their complicated life.

Research Approaches

Field Work

Our researches always start with field works to test simple hypotheses. We often stay in tide flats, mangrove forests, and rocky intertidal shores for hours to look for focused species (most likely snails) and to record their ecological information (food, habitat, life history, etc.). Various, often complicated but interesting, hypotheses can be produced through the field observation, and we test these hypotheses with the aid of laboratory experiments shown below.

Molecular Genetics

Ecological traits of species often reflect their evolutionary history. However, it is often difficult to understand their history through ecological observations. Molecular genetics provide valuable information to infer their history. We determine DNA sequences and construct a phylogenetic tree to understand their evolutionary history which provide a clue to understand the origin and cause of their ecological traits.

Chemical Analyses

Some species, particularly species without well-developed visual organs, use chemicals as a primary tool for communication. By chemical analyses, we determine the chemicals being released from organisms and utilized for intraspecific and interspecific communications.