Ryota was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1981. He graduated from Soka University (Tokyo) in 2004 with a B.S. in Bioengineering. In 2009 he received his Ph.D. (Biological Oceanography), also from Soka University. Ryota worked for Soka University as teaching staff from 2009-2012. By becoming interested in the deep-sea, he moved to JAMSTEC, the deep-sea research institution in Japan, as a postdoc researcher. Ryota started his work on coral reef ecology in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2016, supported by the Japanese government. He moved back to JAMSTEC in 2018 and started his work on ocean plastics. His wife and he have 3 wonderful daughters.

Professional Experience

  • April 2021 – Present
    Group Leader/Senior Scientist, Marine Plastic Research Group
    Japan Agency for Marine Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    Research topic: Ocean Plastics
  • April 2018 – Present
    Japan Agency for Marine Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    Research topic: Ocean Plastics
  • March 2016 – February 2018
    JSPS Postdoctoral fellow
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
    Research topic: The role of soft coral mucus
    The Smith Lab
  • April 2012 – February 2016
    Postdoctoral fellow
    Japan Agency for Marine Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    Research topic: Quantitative evaluation and future prospectives of biodiversity loss in the deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems around Japan.
  • April 2009 – March 2012
    Assistant Professor (3 years limited contract)
    Soka University
    Undergraduate courses taught: Basic Ecology, Biology Experiment, etc


  • Ph.D. (April 2006 – March 2009)
    Department of Bioengineering, Soka University
    Thesis title: Abundance, biomass and estimated production rates of net-zooplankton community in the coral reef waters of Malaysia
    Supervisors: T. Toda, S. Taguchi, and B.H.R. Othman
  • M. Sc. (April 2004 – March 2006)
    Department of Bioengineering, Soka University
  • B.Sc. (April 2000 – March 2004)
    Department of Bioengineering, Soka University


  • The Environmental Science Prize
    -The Oceanographic Society of Japan (September 16, 2021)
  • The Kawaguchi Prize
    -Japanese Coral Reef Society (November 29, 2015)
  • Soka University Alumni Prize
    -Soka University (September 20, 2015)
  • Best Young Scientist Oral Presentation Award
    -IOC/WESTPAC 9th International Science Symposium-
    (April 24, 2014)

Other scientific activities

 Cruise experiences

  • KAIMEI (KM22-15, December 2022-January 2023)
  • YOKOSUKA (YK22-10C, May 2022)
  • KAIMEI (KM22-02, February 2022)
  • MIRAI (MR21-06, December 2021-January 2022)
  • MIRAI (MR21-01, March 2021)
  • KAIMEI (KM20-08/09, October 2020)
  • HAKUHO-MARU (KH19-06, November 2019)
  • YOKOSUKA (YK19-11, September 2019)
  • CHIKYU (CK14-04, July 2014)
  • KAIYO (KY14-01, January 2014)
  • NATSUSHIMA (NT13-22, November 2013)
  • NATSUSHIMA (NT12-27, October 2012)
  • YOKOSUKA (YK12-12, July 2012)
  • TANSEI-MARU (KT07-5, May 2007)
  • TACHIBANA, Yokohama National University (2003-2009)