What's this? Click the image.
Research

 Discovery and evolution of unicellular eukaryotes, protists
   
    Protists are a diverse group of eukaryotes and are very important components in terms of not only the early evolution of animals and land plants but also the diversity and origin of eukaryotes as a whole. However, the diversity of microeukaryotes is greatly underestimated. So, discovery and characterization of new and poorly described protists contribute greatly to our overall understanding of biodiversity. 


    
My research has focused mainly on the biodiversity and evolution of protists living in aquatic and symbiotic environments. I have paid particular attention to the discovery of novel marine protists, characterization of the ultrastructure and phylogenetic relationships and investigation of symbiotic relationships. Much of my research uses a typical series of approaches to obtain my results: (1) the collection of samples from nature, (2) establishment of mono-eukaryotic cultures by handmade micro-pipettes, (3) documentation and description via light microscopy and electron microscopy, (4) DNA and RNA extraction and molecular characterization of the protists and (5) NGS data analyses with bioinformatic technique. 


Establishing protist cultures is a starting point of my research. I spent a lot of times in the field and participated in many research cruises. I have characterized the ultrastructure (e.g. flagellar apparatus, feeding apparatus, cortical cytoskeleton, and surface morphology) and phylogenetic positions of several new lineages (species) of microeukaryotes using light, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy, as well as molecular phylogenetic tools.