Yoshinari TANAKA


Born in Shizuoka, graduated from Nagoya University (School of Agriculture), obtained Doctor of Agriculture from Nagoya University on 1991. Professional research activities started as a postdoctoral fellow at National Institute of Genetics in Mishima, Japan (1991 - 1993) and at McGill University in Montreal (1994 - 1996). Work experiences include Yokohama National University (1996 - 2001), Chuo University (2001 - 2006), and National Institute for Environmental Studies (2006 - 2016), before joining Sophia University.

Introduction to Prof. Tanaka’s Research Activities

My researches include subjects in ecology, evolutionary biology and environmental toxicology. More specifically, I study on the method that evaluates adverse effects of anthropogenic factors such as the pollution of chemicals, the eutrophication, and the climatic change to the ecosystem health and the biodiversity, by means of ecological modeling and statistical analyses of environmental data. In the past two decades I pioneered researches on the application of ecological models for the estimation of extinction risks upon biotic populations induced by pollutant chemicals.

Education and Research Focus at GENV

To make a bridge between regulatory sciences relevant for environmental policies and natural sciences relevant for protection of the biodiversity and the ecosystem characterizes my education and research at GENV. I focus on interdisciplinary activities both as regards to education and research in the broad area including ecology, conservation biology, evolution, ecotoxicology, environmental risk analysis, and other related subjects, because environmental studies are facilitated by integrated approaches between different research areas.

What can students learn from taking Prof. Tanaka’s courses?

My courses are relevant for getting the fundamental knowledge across ecology, conservation biology, and environmental chemistry. In seminars students can learn analytical methods in the environmental risk analysis and the conservation biology. All courses and seminars do not assume any backgrounds or preliminary knowledge of the related subjects. The main purpose of my courses is encouraging any students who are motivated in protection of wild lives and ecosystems to widen and deepen their knowledge and understanding. The seminars are also aimed at supporting potential future activities of students, who will contribute to resolutions of current environmental issues, by brushing up their environmental literacy from the side of natural sciences. For fulfilling this purpose, I give plain and organized explanations on the basic principles and concepts in ecology, conservation biology, evolution and environmental chemistry, which form the fundamental knowledge required for reading and writing environmental documents. In addition, students in seminars are trained as regards also to the ability to conduct statistical and environmental risk analyses of data, which is required for making objective decisions, and the ability to communicate on the derived results and conclusions with other people.

Research Seminar Synopsis

“Interdisciplinary creativity” is our mantra. All activities are encouraged to get new findings or perspectives that are derived from intellectual interactions between different disciplines or areas. Students set their research topics on their own initiative from issues related to ecology, biodiversity, environmental pollution, and other related subjects. The approach of study does not necessarily conform to particular disciplines of natural sciences. For study topics difficult to accomplish within the seminar, we may receive advices and intuitions from specialists out of GENV (e.g. National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba). Integrative approaches including natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities are welcome. Creative and constructive arguments among students and the professor are highly appraised.