Index Staff & Students Prof M. Tokeshi Publications

              Tokeshi's correspondence - an interesting read !

Mutsunori TOKESHI (Professor and Director of the AMBL)


Graduate of Tokyo University, M. Tokeshi spent nearly twenty years studying and working outside Japan (mainly in the UK). Having decided at the age of 22 that Britain is the place where he should learn the trade of being an ecologist, he first obtained a scholarship to study at the Freshwater Biological Association's River Laboratory in Dorset and then took a studenship to conduct his PhD research at the University of East Anglia (UEA is now a top-ranking research university in biological sciences) under the supervision of Prof Colin Townsend. He then moved to South America and worked as guest professor in the Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas at the Universidad Nacional Major de San Marcos, Lima, Peru. After a fruitful year and a half studying (or rather, marvelling at) the coastal ecosystems of central Peru, he moved back to Europe and worked as Senior Research Fellow at University of Ulster's Freshwater Laboratory in Northern Ireland and then as Lecturer at the Department of Zoology, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. He was then appointed as lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, where he taught ecology, statistics, and marine & freshwater biology. With the close of the 20th century fast approaching, he realized that, as a community ecologist, it would be probably more stimulating and self-educational to be in a place where a higher diversity of faunas and floras flourishes. This idea has eventually prompted his move from Europe to a remote corner in southern Japan where Papilio butterflies grace the air and corals and toxic puffers grace the water.

Alongside research ativities, he considers it very important to provide internationally-oriented education in organismal biology and ecology to students from Asia, South America and other less well-developped but environmentally unique and significant areas of the world.

Tokeshi's style of writing can be appreciated in these pages of AMBL H.P. (English version) and also in his book "Species Coexistence" published from Blackwell Science, Oxford. An avid learner of foreign languages, he has at some times in his life attempted to learn 10 or more different languages, but at present only manages English, Japanese (versatile but slower than English), Spanish (not versatile but acceptable), French (poor but [he believes] improving) and Italian (neither versatile nor improving, but OK for non-demanding tasks). However, he has a philosophy of never giving up and recognises learning a language as a life-time enjoyment, because there is no end in it: students at the AMBL can see him carrying textbooks of Russian and Chinese these days.

Research interests:

Community ecology in general; theory of community structure and species coexistence in aquatic and terrestrial systems

  • Community organization in multispecies systems, in particular empirical and theoretical studies of species abundance patterns
  • Biogeography of tropical and temperate assemblages (Amakusa, Yakushima Island, Sulawesi, Thailand)
  • Community structures of coastal marine systems in the tropical and subtropical Pacific (Indonesia, southern Japan, South America; intertidal and subtidal systems; mollusks, crustaceans, echinoderms, fish) (Collaboration with Department of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, Sam Ratulangi University, Indonesia; Fucultad de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru)
  • Analysis of river zoobenthos communities (collaboration with London University)
  • Community ecology of coral and mangrove systems of South East Asia (Indonesia, Thailand) and South America (hermatypic and soft corals, echinoderms, sponges, fish, mangrove plants and associated insects)

Major presentations:

  • Profesor Invitado, Curso de Postgrado en Ecologia, Universidad Nacional Major de San Marcos, April 1987.
  • Invited seminar, Dept of Zoology (Prof R.M. May), Oxford Univ, UK, June 1990.
  • Invited Lecture, British Ecological Society/American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (Cork Univ., Ireland), April 1992.
  • Invited Lectures, International Symposia on Biodiversity, (Tsukuba and Kyoto), Japan, December 1993.
  • Invited Professor, Postgraduate Course in Ecology (Barcelona Univ., Spain), May 1994.
  • Invited Lecture, Scandinavian Entomological Society, (Helsinki, Finland), April 1995.
  • Invited Seminar, Centre for Poplation Biology, UK, November 1996.
  • Invited Lecture, International Ecological Congress, Firenze, Italy, July 1998.
  • Prenary Lecture, 50th Anniversary Meting of the limnological Society, Fukuoka, September 2000.
  • Invited Lecture, Symposium on "Evolution of Biodiversity:theories and facts", Society for Populaion Ecology, Zaou, October 2001.

Journals refereed

  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA
  • Journal of Animal Ecology
  • Journal of Ecology
  • Ecology
  • Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • Freshwater Biology
  • Journal of Theoretical Biology
  • Hydrobiologia
  • Archiv fur Hydrobiologie
  • Oikos
  • Journal of Vegetation Science
  • Theoretical Population Biology
  • American Naturalist
  • Population Ecology
  • Ecological Research
  • Aquatic Biology

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