IGS Science Group

IGS Science Group

Integrated Global Studies (IGS) has a number of Professors in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Geology involved in a variety of research projects aimed at creating a sustainable, environmentally friendly world. In IGS, you will be trained to have wide perspective when investigating scientific problems, develop good communication skills, and learn the importance of connecting specialized knowledge from different fields through conducting empirical research in an integrated manner.

Physics Laboratory

Associate Professor Shinpei Tanaka

Research area: Physics of complex systems, Soft matter physics

Introduction: We study complex phenomena in simple, mainly soft, materials. Amazing complexity often arises from the interaction among simple elements. We are interested in the mechanisms with which simple elements create complex and dynamical orders. Moreover, beyond the traditional reductionism, we are also interested in phenomena where a system composed of many elements as a whole determines the behaviors of its elements. This kind of phenomena is observed in many biological systems. We try to construct and study physical systems which can simulate biological behaviors, by doing both experiments and numerical simulations. 

Possible Graduation Thesis Topics

  • Collective dynamics of self-propelled oil droplets
  • Implement of chemical reaction into droplet cell models
  • Life-like droplet deformation
  • Pattern formation in soft matter phase separation

Chemistry Laboratory

Professor Masumi Villeneuve

Research Area: Colloid and Interface Science

Introduction: We study the tension at liquid—air or liquid—liquid interfaces to try to understand life-supporting mechanisms in living cells, and interfacial phenomena for better control of industrial processes, etc. For example, recently, we clarified the mechanism of why rice flour produced with little starch damage can make bulky bread consistent with wheat flour bread. We are now challenging to measure tension of membranes so that in the future, it could possibly lead to new technology that may enable diagnosis of disease by measuring interfacial tension of cell membranes.

Possible Graduation Thesis Topics

  • Development of scientific equipment for measuring bilayer membrane tension
  • Investigation of interfacial properties of starch granules for new food technology

Figure. A homemade interfacial tension meter

Biology Laboratory

Professor Toshihiro Yamada

Research area: Conservation biology

Introduction: In the laboratory, we will solve the problem of the global biodiversity loss. We have to create a world friendly to the other organisms in hurry. But, how do we do it? Biology can be a great tool to do it. In the laboratory, we will do field work from Japanese ecosystems to overseas ecosystems (see the bottom panel) to find the best solution to conserve biodiversity based on the study of Ecology.

Possible Graduation Thesis Topics

  • Conservation of endangered species in a forest ecosystem
  • Dynamics of biodiversity in a forest ecosystem





Associate Professor Hosaka Tetsuro

Research area: Ecology, Human-nature interactions

Introduction: Ecology is one of the fields in biology to reveal the relationships between organisms and biotic/abiotic environments. Particularly focusing on insects, I have been working on insect-plant interaction (seed predation, pollination, seed dispersal, etc) and relationship between insects and human disturbance (dung beetles and deforestation, ants and urbanization, ground beetle and agricultural practice, etc). Also, as Ecology in a broader sense and aiming for coexistence with biodiversity, I am working on the question how human contacts with nature in the modern society (in nature-based recreation/tourism, urban greening, human-wildlife conflict, etc) affect human and biodiversity, respectively.

Possible Graduation Thesis Topics

  • Study on ecology of seed predator insects
  • Impacts of agricultural practices on diversity of pollinator and natural enemy insects
  • Effects of firefly festival to promote people’s attitude toward conservation