Researcher Information



Earth environmental changes in coral reefs

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Earth and Planetary System Science


We are mainly targeting follow topics, 1) High-resolution climate/environmental reconstruction of palaeoenvironments using carbonates, 2) Bio mineralizarion and preservation of biogenic carbonates, and 3) Biogeochemical cycles and biological response on climate changes throughout the earth history

FieldCoral reef environmental earth sciences
KeywordCoral reef, Earth environment, Carbonate, Geochemistry, Paleoenvironment

Introduction of Research

Coral reefs have existed for at least 500 million years, but in modern times anthropogenic impacts such as, global warming, ocean acidification, coastal development and marine pollution threaten the world’s coral reefs. To predict the future of coral reefs we are required to look back into the past to see how coral reefs have evolved to cope with changing climatic and oceanic conditions and how those changes have led to what we know about coral reef ecosystems today. Modern and fossil coral records provide information of climate, ocean chemical and physical changes and their responses towards environmental changes with monthly time resolution.
Under water drilling of Porites coral colony
Coral reef terrace on Kikai Island, Japan.
Field work for fossil coral sampling in Oman

Representative Achievements

Yamazaki, A., Watanabe, T., Tsunogai, U., Iwase, F., Yamano, H. (2016) A 150-year variation of the Kuroshio transport inferred from coral nitrogen isotope signature, Paleooceanography,31.
Watanabe, T., *T. Kawamura, *A. Yamazaki, M. Murayama, and H. Yamano (2014), A 106 year monthly coral record reveals that the East Asian summer monsoon modulates winter PDO variability, Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 3609–3614.
Watanabe, T., Suzuki, A., Minobe, S., *Kawashima, T., Kameo, K., Minoshima, K., Aguilar, Y. M., Wani, R., Kawahata, H., *Sowa, K., Nagai, T., Kase, T. (2011) Permanent El Niño during the Pliocene warm period not supported by coral evidence,Nature, 471, 209-211.
Watanabe, T., Winter, A., Oba, T. (2001) Seasonal changes in sea surface temperature and salinity during the Little Ice Age in the Caribbean Sea, Marine Geology, 173, 1-4, 21-36 (The most downloaded paper in 2001)
Watanabe, T., Oba, T. (1999) Daily reconstruction of water temperature from oxygen isotopic ratios of a modern Tridacnashell with freezing microtome sampling technique, Journal of Geophysical research, 104, C9, 20667-20674

Related industries

Geology, Environmentl Science, Science Education, Museum
Academic degreePh.D.
Self Introduction

I have been working on coral reefs and climate/environmental changes with main field works in tropical ocean and mountain. However, I am pretty enjoying this quite different environments and life here in Sapporo with a lot of snow in winter.

Academic background• B.S. in Geology, Hokkaido University, JAPAN, 1994
• M.S. in Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, JAPAN, 1996
• Ph.D. in Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, JAPAN, 1999
• Research associate, Department of Geology, National Science Museum, JAPAN, 1999
• Research Fellow, Geological Survey of Japan, 1999-2000
• Research Fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Department of Geology, National Science Museum, JAPAN, 2000-2003
• Visiting Fellow, Research School of Earth Science, The Australian National University, 2000-2002
• Doctoral Researcher, Ocean research Institute, University of Tokyo, 2003
• Research Fellow for research abroad, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2003-2004
• Doctoral Researcher, Laboratoire de Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Laboratoire Mixte CNRS-CEA, FRANCE 2003-2004
• Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, 2004-
• Visiting Researcher, Ocean research Institute, University of Tokyo, 2005-2015
• Visiting Researcher, Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, RWTH Aachen University, GERMANY, 2012-2013
• President, KIKAI institute for coral reefs science, 2014-present
• Visiting Researcher, University of Hawaii, USA, 2016-present

• Visiting lecturer, 2012; Tohoku University, 2013; Osaka City University, 2015; Hiroshima University
Affiliated academic societyThe Japanese Coral Reef Sciety, The Geochemical Society of Japan, The Geological Society of Japan, Palaeontological Society of Japan, Paleosciences Society, Japan Geoscience Union, International Coral Reef Society, European Geosciences Union, American Geophysical Union
Room addressFaculty of Science Building 6 09-02