A new species of the genus Munidopsida
Butterflies of the sea
Deeper Than Light
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Dr. Hiroshi Kitazato


Natsushima-cho 2-15
Yokosuka 237-0061

Program Director, Research Program for Paleoenvironment, Institute for Research on Earth Evolution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology,

Research Interests
Biology and ecology of deep-sea meiobenthos, in particular to foraminifera and their relation to geological activities

B.S., 1971, Geology, Tohoku University
M. Sc., 1973, Geology and Paleontology, Tohoku University
D. Sc., March 1976, Geology and Paleontology, Tohoku University

Professional Experience

1976-1978: Postdoctoral Researcher, Geological Institute, University of Tokyo
1978-1980: Part-time Lecturer, School of Liberal Arts, International Christian University
1978-1983: Research Associate, School of Science, Shizuoka University
1983-1987: Lecturer, School of Science, Shizuoka University
1987-1994: Associate Professor, School of Science, Shizuoka University
1994-2002: Professor, School of Science, Shizuoka University
2002-present: Program Director, Institute for Research on Earth Evolution, JAMSTEC
1999-2001: Professor, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo
2004-2007: Member for Science Planning Committee, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
2005-2007: President of the Palaeontological Society of Japan
2006-2010: Councilor for the executive committee of the International Paleontological Association
2006-2008: Visiting Professor, Kochi Integrated Core Research Center, Kochi University

Most Recent Research Projects

Functional morphology of foraminiferal test based on DNA analysis, MONBUSHO (Ministry of Education,
Science, Sports and Culture) fund, project leader, 1994 - 1996, 8,100,000 yen (=$67,500).
Dynamic depositional processes at Sediment-water interface: --Approaches from Geology, Biology and Chemistry,
MONBUSHO fund, project leader, 1994-1996, 27,700,000 yen (=$230,833).
Establishment of environmental assessment research system using protozoan DNA, MONBUSHO fund, project
leader, 1997-1999, 12,900,000 yen (=$107,500).
Long-term observations of depositional organic materials at marginal ocean systems, Research fund from the Japan
National Oil Cooperation, project leader, 1997-2000, 19,200,000 yen (=$160,000).
Observation of selective decomposition and taphonomic process of organic materials by benthic organisms at
sediment-water interface, MONBUSHO fund, project leader, 1999-2001, 15,200,000 yen (=$126,666).
Microtaphonomy of organic materials at sediment-water interface, JSPS fund, project leader, 2002-2004,
1,470,000 yen (=$133,640).
Reconstruction of pH profiles at SWI in use of multiproxies by both trace elements and B-isotopes, JSPS fund,
project leader, 2005-2008, 36,800,000yen (=$344,000).

Selected Relevant Publications (10 out of 170)

  • Kitazato, H., 1988, Locomotion of some Benthic Foraminifera in and on sediments: Jour. Foram. Res., v. 18, no. 4, p. 344-349.
  • Kitazato, H., 1994, Foraminiferal microhabitats in four marine environments around Japan. Marine Micropaeontl. v. 24, no. 1, p. 29-41.
  • Hemleben, Ch. and H. Kitazato, 1995, Deep sea foraminifera under long time observation in the laboratory. Deep-sea Research, v. 42, no. 6, p. 827-832.
  • Ohga, T. and H. Kitazato, 1997, Seasonal changes in bathyal foraminiferal populations in response to the flux of organic matter (Sagami Bay, Japan). Terra Nova, v. 9, no. 1, p. 33-37.
  • Kitazato, H., Y. Shirayama, T. Nakatsuka, S. Fujiwara, M. Shimanaga, Y. Kato, Y. Okada, J. Kanda, A. Yamaoka, T. Masuzawa, and K. Suzuki, 2000., Seasonal phytodetritus deposition and responses of bathyal benthic foraminiferal populations in Sagami Bay, Japan: --Preliminary results from "Project Sagami". Marine Micropaleont., v. 40, p. 135-149.
  • Kitazato, H.,, 2003, "The Project Sagami" - Dynamic sedimentary processes of both organic and inorganic materials at continental margins with active tectonic forcing. Progress in Oceanography, v. 57, no. 1, 1-128.
  • Gooday, A. J., S. Hori, Y. Todo, T. Okamoto, H. Kitazato and A. Sabbatini, 2004, Soft-walled, monothalamous foraminiferans in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans: aspects of biodiversity and biogeography. Deep-sea Res., I, v. 51, no.1, 33-53.
  • Todo, Y., H. Kitazato, J. Hashimoto and A.J. Gooday, 2005, Simple foraminifera flourish at the ocean's deepest point. Science, v. 307, 689.
  • Nomaki, H., P. Heinz, M. Shimanaga, T. Nakatsuka and H. Kitazato, 2005, Species specific uptake of organic carbon by deep-sea benthic foraminifera: in situ tracer experiments. Limnology and Oceanography, v. 50, no 1, 134-140.
  • Nozawa, F., H. Kitazato and A. J. Gooday, 2006, Benthic foraminifera at three abyssal sites in the equatorial Pacific nodule province: abundance, diversity and taxonomic composition. Deep-sea Res., I, v. 56, no. 8, 1406-1422.


Recent Relevant Honors and Activities

1983 Asahi Scholarship for the distinct Science Activities from the Asahi Shinbun
1991 Science Medal from the Palaeontological Society of Japan
2001 Best paper award for FY2000 from the Palaeontological Society of Japan