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Kobe Award 【English】

What is Kobe Award?   Selection Committee Winners  Suma Aqualife Park(Japanese)

                 

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◆What is Kobe Award?◆

Kobe Award is established by Suma Aqualife Park, Kobe, Japan, in 2011 to praise a scientist who make worldwide considerable achievements in aqua biology (especially marine biology). It does not matter age, gender, nationality, region, race, creed. The winner is shortlisted in the selection committee which is held in advance. Selection committee has been organized in researchers to lead the fields of aquatic biology. Looks forward to the development of further research in the future, and then presented a one million yen from Suma Aqualife Park as award winner. In addition, the winner will be invited in Kobe for award ceremony and following memorial lecture.

 

◆Why Suma Aqualife Park Owns Kobe Award?◆

Suma Aqualife Park is one of the representing social education facility in Kobe, and practice step-by-step educational program from primary education to higher education. In addition, Suma Aqualife Park conducted their own researches and studies and is expanding the function as research institutions by networking with domestic and international institutes. In this way, Kobe Award could not only honor the researchers, but also improvement of environmental awareness of citizens and contributing to environmental administration, moreover it is intended to contribute to appeal of Kobe city to people in domestic and international.

 

◆Selection Committee◆

Akira ASAKURA: Professor of Kyoto University / Director of Seto Marine Biological Laboratoy, Kyoto University
Shiro KOSHIMA: Professor of Kyoto University / Director of Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University
Masanori KOUDA: Professor of Osaka City University
Katsufumi SATO: Professor of University of Tokyo
Naoki KAMEZAKI: Professor of Okayama University of Science / General academic research manager of Suma Aqualife Park
 

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◆Kobe Award Winners◆

2011   Dr. J. Emmett Duffy  “Discovery of eusocial shrimp cohabit with sponges and the studies of their evolutionary lineage”
2012   Dr. Hans Fricke “Elucidation of behavioral ecology and life history of coelacanth”
2013   Dr. J. O. Miller  “Elucidation of behavioral ecology of large cetaceans (whales)”
2014    Dr. Vera M. F. da Silva “Elucidation of ecology and conservation on amazon river dolphin and amazon manatee”
2015   Dr. Brian W. Bowen “Population genetics and phylogeography of sea turtles”
2016   Dr. Rudolf Diesel “Social breeding system of bromeliad crab”
2017   Dr. Henri Weimerskirch “The great voyage of sea birds and its mechanism”

       
  
 

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Dr. J. Emmett Duffy   Dr. Hans Fricke Dr. J. O. Miller Dr. Vera M. F. da Silva
       

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Dr. Brian W. Bowen  Dr.Rudolf Diesel  Dr.Henri Weimerskirch  

 

2011 Winner   Dr. J. Emmett Duffy

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Dr. J. Emmett Duffy

College of William & Mary University, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, USA

 

◆SELECTED THEME◆

Discovery of eusocial shrimp cohabit with sponges and the studies of their evolutionary lineage.

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◆SELECTED REASON◆

Selection committee focused on whether listed study overturn the conventional concept of marine biology and makes citizens aware of the fun of marine biology. J. Emmett Duffy who won the first Kobe Award was discovered a shrimp with high degree of sociality (eusociality) such as the presence of queen, worker, and soldier shrimps like the bees and ants. It is the first discovery of the marine animals, is a staggering research, and has very high academic value. In addition, it is considered as the suitable contents even on convey the charm of marine biology to the public widely through the memorial lecture and the exhibition at Suma Aqualife Park.

 


◆Ceremony and Memorial Lecture◆

 

Held on 10 July 2011 at Hotel Okura Kobe
Lecture Title 
“Have you seen the queen shrimp?

– The staggering discovery to override the common sense of the evolution –“

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2012 Winner   Dr. Hans Fricke

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Dr. Hans Fricke

Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology / Leibniz Institute of Marine Science, Germany

 

◆SELECTED THEME◆

Elucidation of behavioral ecology and life history of coelacanth Fricke-kenkyu-HP.jpg

 

◆SELECTED REASON◆

After the finding of the coelacanth, only anatomical studies using dead specimen had been conducted, however, ecology of the coelacanth had almost unclear. On this matter, Dr. Hans Fricke succeeded for the first time to be observed directly coelacanth remain alive using the submarine which was developed himself and has continued the studies for 21 years thereafter. In the studies, he has been revealed one after another that coelacanth move each fins independently, behavior such as handstand at the seabed, diurnal activity, and other variety of ecological activities, he found only about 300-400 coelacanths living in the Grand Comoros and longevity of more than 100 years old based on the identification of 145 coelacanth from the features of mottle and their rediscovery.
Elucidation of ecology of “living fossil” coelacanth which strongly left in the morphology of a fossil species is an important clue in helping to explore the process of vertebrate evolution, and its superior academic achievement even affects paleontology, taxonomy and evolutionary biology. It is a phenomenal successful investigation for 21 years with overcoming small coelacanth population size, deep water habitat and other difficulties. Interesting ecology of coelacanth to be revealed one after another and those videos and pictures, people all over the world have been spurred interest and concern in aquatic organisms. It is considered that his outcomes and research process with full of romance and dynamic are suitable to enlighten the charm of the research of the aquatic organisms to the public widely.

 


◆Ceremony and Memorial Lecture◆

Held on 27 May 2012 at Hotel Okura Kobe
Lecture Title 
“The discovery of the living coelacanth “
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2013 Winner   Dr. J. O. Miller

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Dr. J. O. Miller

University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK

 

◆SELECTED THEME◆

Elucidation of behavioral ecology of large cetaceans (whales) Miller.kenkyu-HP.jpg

 

◆SELECTED REASON◆

The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), the world’s largest animal with teeth, a big male reach 18m long and weighs 50t. Sperm whale has known to prey squids at the deep sea of more than 1,000m depth based on the research such as the stomach contents. However, it is impossible to observe diving behavior, especially predatory behavior, directory and remains a mystery. Dr. Miller has challenged the elucidation of the way of foraging dive by the introduction of bio-logging technique, such as attaching small data logger on the whale, for applying the existing acoustic measurement. Then, Dr. Miller found that the sperm whale produce long series of regular clicks at 0.5-2 seconds intervals to search prey items during diving, interspersed rapid-click buzzes called ‘creaks’ during the bottom phase, and actively altered their body orientation to catch preys. Conventionally, it has been estimated creaks is being used during the capture of bait, however, it did not able to verify. Dr. Miller elucidate the way of hunting of sperm whale and open the door to the unknown underwater world. And besides, Dr. Miller revealed that the sperm whales rest with floating vertically near the sea surface and other interesting ecology one and another. The findings using new method which combined acoustic measurement with bio-logging overturned the existing hypothesis, respond directly to the questions and concerns of people with an interest in whales, and thus excellent value to academic is granted.

 


◆Ceremony and Memorial Lecture◆

Held on 21 April 2013 at Hotel Okura Kobe
Lecture Title 
“The hunter of deep sea, unknown behavior of the sperm whale“
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2014 Winner   Dr. Vera Maria Ferreria da Silva

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Dr. Vera Maria Ferreria da Silva

National Institute for Amazon Research, Brazil

 

◆SELECTED THEME◆

Elucidation of ecology and conservation on the amazon river dolphin and the amazon manatee
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◆SELECTED REASON◆

Amazon manatee is an only sirenian species inhabiting in freshwater. While the amazon manatee is endangered by overhunting, their ecology was a mystery. Dr. da Silva has investigated age at maturity, pregnancy period, lactational period, etc. from rescued manatees and has revealed geographical distribution, phylogenetic relationship of local population, and recent recovery trend. Recently, Dr. da Silva is dealing with wild release of rescued manatees.
  According to the amazon river dolphin which called living fossil by their features of primitive whale, Dr. da Silva revealed movement patterns corresponding to the dynamic water level fluctuations of Amazon and interesting social behavior one after another. For instance, adult males perform a display using objects they found floating or the bottom of the river as lump of clay and rocks. Socio-sexual display using tools had been found only in some primates and this behavior of the dolphin has been paying attention from a number of related fields.
  Protecting large animals like the manatee and the dolphin also lead to conserve the involving organisms and its habitats. In that sense, Dr. da Silva did not only elucidate the ecology of two species simply but also contribute significantly to the biodiversity of Amazon and the environment conservation on a global scale.

 


◆Ceremony and Memorial Lecture◆

Held on 1 June 2014 at Hotel Okura Kobe
Lecture Title 
“The mighty Amazon river and the aquatic mammals “
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2015 Winner   Dr. Brian W. Bowen
 
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Dr. Brian W. Bowen

Research professor at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology

◆SELECTED THEME◆
Population genetics and phylogeography of sea turtles.

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◆SELECTED REASON◆

Dr. Bowen is a pioneer of the discipline of phylogeography. He has conducted studies on many kinds of marine life including sea turtles, cetaceans, sharks, and coral reef fish, using their DNA to investigate the lineage relationships, life histories, and ecologies within their evolution.
How has the evolution of living things progressed and, as a result, what kinds of ecologies have they acquired? These questions are of interest to many people, in addition to being important lines of inquiry in the understanding of the origins of living things. On land, such differences in terrain and habitat as mountains, forests, seas, and rivers amount to barriers to living things' movement and lives, resulting in divergences in species. The oceans, on the other hand, do not have such clearly defined physical obstacles. There are many living things that migrate through the oceans on a grand scale, including sea turtles, baleen whales, and tuna. There is something decidedly great in Dr. Bowen's achievement in making a form of scholarship that can be elucidated logically from the matter of how living things have evolved in an environment so hugely different from land.


◆Ceremony and Memorial Lecture◆

Held on 24 May 2015 at Hotel Okura Kobe
Lecture Title 
“Voyages of the ancient mariners: Tracking marine turtles with genetic markers “

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2016 Winner   Dr. Rudolf Diesel
 


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Dr. Rudolf Diesel

High-Speed Camera Productions, ScienceMedia Film Productions

◆SELECTED THEME◆
Social breeding system of bromeliad crab.

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◆SELECTED REASON◆

Dr. Diesel found amazing ecology of bromeliad crab with their social breeding system. A mother crab taking care her children on a bromelia with her elder daughters. Jamaican bromeliad crab is terrestrial crab and distribute in the forest of Jamaica. It is surprising that mother take care her larvae and juveniles by to feed millipede etc., protect from enemies, clean up and adjust pH of nursery leaf axil. Even more surprisingly, the elder daughters support and help mother to take care younger sisters and brothers. Such eusocial behavior of crab had not been known elsewhere, and their ecology gave us great hints as to how to acquire sociality from the evolutionary perspectives.


◆Ceremony and Memorial Lecture◆

Held on 22 May 2016 at Hotel Okura Kobe
Lecture Title 
“Surprising ecology of bromeliad crab that raises children with her elder daughters “ 

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2017 Winner   Dr. Henri Weimerskirch

 
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Dr. Henri Weimerskirch

Director of Research at CNRS in Chizé, France

◆SELECTED THEME◆
The great voyage of sea birds and its mechanism.

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◆SELECTED REASON◆

Dr. Weimerskirch has been studying ecology and migration of many seabirds such as albatrosses represented by wandering albatross. The results have been published more than 350 publications, in many high impact journals, including 10 in Nature and Science. In 2016 he also reported in Science that giant frigate bird migrate the Indian Ocean without landing for moths and how do they so. He is a pioneer in studies of seabirds ecology and is still leading in the front low. His theme, great voyage of wandering albatross and giant frigate bird, match the theme of Kobe Award and port of Kobe 150th anniversary year.


◆Ceremony and Memorial Lecture◆

Held on 21 May 2017 at Hotel Okura Kobe
Lecture Title 
“The great voyage of sea birds “

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