Labs and Faculty
Intra-University Cooperative Laboratories
Laboratory of Advanced Marine Bioscience

SAITO Hiroaki Prof. Ph.D.

Other Affiliations: Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute Department of Aquatic Bioscience, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Planktology, Biological oceanography, Marine biogeochemistry


Plankton, Food-web dynamics, Biogeochemistry, Ecosystem services


Plankton play key roles in marine food-web dynamics and biogeochemical cycles. They support fishery production by synthesizing organic matter and being eaten by large organisms. Also, regulating marine biogeochemical cycles by changing the chemical properties of biogenic elements such as carbon and nitrogen. In my laboratory, we are investigating the ecological and biogeochemical functions of plankton and trying to clarify how marine ecosystems influence human life.


Plankton are small organisms floating in water, but its production and metabolism contribute greatly on marine food-web dynamics and biogeochemical cycles such as the production of salmon and tuna, global dynamics of carbon dioxide. They are a diverse set of organisms and form a complex predator-prey network (food web). Small environmental changes can induce large impacts in fish production or biogenic elemental cycles through changes in plankton composition and production. I have been studied the functions of plankton and interactions between marine environment and plankton using various methods such as field observations, incubation experiments, chemical analysis, and numerical models. Our lab members join research cruises in the oceans around the world. Reading papers, computer data analysis and model simulation are important tools for solving our scientific questions, but new hypothesis and discovery are often led by experiencing the beautiful and harsh environment in the oceans and observing plankton that live gracefully and powerfully in the highly viscous fluid of seawater.

  • Observation scenery on Research Vessel Hakuho Maru

  • Recent research stations in the world oceans


2016- Professor, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (AORI), the University of Tokyo
2014-2016 Associate Professor, AORI, the University of Tokyo
2011- Head, Ecosystem Dynamics Group, Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency
2001-2011 Chief of Biological Oceanography Section, Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency
1997 - 2001 Senior Scientist of Biological Oceanography Section, Hokkaido National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Agency
1998 - 1999 Guest Scientist, Danish Institute for Fisheries Research
1996 PhD (Agriculture), Tohoku University
1987 - 1997 Researcher, Hokkaido National Fisheries -Research Institute, Fisheries Agency
1986 B.Agr., Tohoku University