Welcome to our laboratory

The number of exotic species introduced in novel habitats has recently increased with increasing trade and tourism. It becomes a serious problem when they displace indigenous species, cause damage to agriculture, or disrupt native ecosystems. Exotic species that cause negative impacts on human beings, animals, crops, or environments after introduction into the novel habitats-in other words, when exotic species become pests in the new habitats-are referred to as invasive pests. In our laboratory, we conduct research on the mechanisms underlying how exotic species become invasive pests-through the steps of introduction, establishment, spread, and outbreak, and the effects of invasive species on agro- and natural-ecosystems. Our study also aims at improvement of plant quarantine system to prevent introduction of exotic species and development of biological control programs for invasive pests. Basic studies of behavior and ecology in parasitic wasps have been conducted to develop effectiv biological control strategy.

Insect ecology, insect behavioral ecology, insect physiology, and insect pest management are our research approaches. We conducted field surveys, not only in Japan, but also in Southeast Asia, Africa, and USA, as well as laboratory experiments to elucidate ecology and physiology of target insects. In addition, our mission is to develop international network and administrative system for plant protection in Asia and other global regions.

We welcome prospective students (graduate students) who are interested in working on basic research such as insect behavior, ecology and physiology, and its applications to pest management.

Current Research Theme

  1. Ecology and control of invasive pests
    1. Comparison of invasive potential between two cryptic species of the coconut beetle Brontispa longissima
    2. Evaluation of parasitic wasps for control of B. longissima as biological control agents
    3. Invasive biology and biological control of the kudzu bug Megacopta cribraria

  2. Behavior and ecology of parasitic wasps
    1. Foraging behavior in egg parasitoids of phytophagous bugs including Ooencyrtus nezarae and Paratelenomus saccharalis
    2. Reproductive behavior in ecto-larval parasitoids Bracon hebetor and Goniozus indicus
    3. Host and food searching, and mating behavior in the endo-larval parasitoids Microplitis croceipes and Asecodes hispinarum
    4. Foraging behavior in the pupal parasitoid Tetrastichus brontispae

  3. Use of learning ability of parasitic wasps to biological control and chemical sensors
    1. Learning of odors by the larval parasitoid Micriplitis croceipes

    invasive species, cryptic species, plant protection, parasitoid, learning, odor, foraging, host searching, food searching