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Speaker Bios

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On this page: Dr. Michio Aoyama | Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson | Mr. Geoff Brumfiel | Dr. Ken Buesseler | Mr. Martin Fackler | Dr. Nicholas Fisher | Prof. Scott Fowler | Mr. Koji Hasebe | Dr. Jota Kanda | Dr. Fumiko Kasuga | Dr. Toshio Katsukawa | Dr. Shunsuke Managi | Dr. Yukio Masumoto | Prof. Hiroyuki Matsuda | Dr. Takami Morita | Prof. Hiroyuki Nakahara | Prof. Teruyuki Nakajima | Dr. Kentaro Nishimoto | Prof. Takashi Onishi | Dr. Masakatsu Ota | Prof. Deborah H. Oughton | Dr. Dale L. Preston | Dr. Kazuo Sakai | Dr. James Seward | Prof. Hideaki Shiroyama | Mr. Yuji Terashima | Dr. Mitsuo Uematsu | Dr. Mitsuyoshi Urashima

Dr. Michio Aoyama
Dr. Michio Aoyama is a Senior Scientist at the Geochemical Research Department of the Meteorological Research Institute, Japan, since 1995. He works on reference materials of nutrients in seawater, RMNS, and changes in nutrients and biogeochemical parameters in the ocean. He organized four international inter-laboratory comparison studies of RMNS since 2003 onward and also held several workshops related with chemical reference materials in ocean science. Dr. Aoyama also works on the distribution and inventory of 137Cs from global fallout, re-evaluated total amount of the global fallout and confirmed that a new estimate of ~790 PBq 137Cs fallout for the Northern Hemisphere, which is 1.4 times higher than UNSCEAR's global estimate of 545 PBq. He has conducted more than 10 cruises to study 134Cs and 137Cs released from Fukushima Dai-ichi accident in the North Pacific Ocean since April 2011, and developed a marine radioactivity database, HAM, for artificial radioactivity in the world ocean. The HAM database now includes radionuclides data from Fukushima accident.

Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson graduated with a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program in 1999. She currently serves as Director of the Marine Science Program and is a Professor in the Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on using radionuclides to understand the mechanisms that influence the formation and sinking of particles in coastal ocean environments, and the role that particles play in nutrient biogeochemistry and harmful algal bloom toxin transport.

Geoff Brumfiel

Mr. Geoff Brumfiel
Since 2002, Geoff has written for Nature on everything from nuclear weapons to science and faith. He wrote extensively about the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Plant, focusing mainly on scientific and technical issues. Geoff holds a dual degree in physics and English from Grinnell College in Iowa, and a master's in science writing from John's Hopkins University.

Ken Buesseler

Dr. Ken Buesseler
Dr. Ken Buesseler is a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who specializes in the study of natural and manmade radionuclides in the ocean. His work includes studies of fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Dr. Buesseler has served as Chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI, as Executive Scientist of the US Joint Global Ocean Fluxes Planning and Data Management Office and two years as an Associate Program Director at the US National Science Foundation, Division of Ocean Sciences, Chemical Oceanography Program.  In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and in 2011 he was noted as the top cited ocean scientist by the Times Higher Education for the decade 2000-2010.

Martin Fackler

Mr. Martin Fackler
Martin Fackler is the Tokyo bureau chief for the New York Times, covering Japan and the Korean peninsula. A native of Iowa who grew up in Georgia, he was first captivated by Asia more than 20 years ago when he spent his sophomore year in college studying Mandarin and classical Chinese at Taiwan's Tunghai University. A chance to study Japanese at Keio University in Tokyo led him to Japan, where he later did graduate work in economics at the University of Tokyo. He has Masters degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana and in East Asian history from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to the New York Times, he has also worked in Tokyo for the Wall Street Journal, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Associated Press and Bloomberg News. He has also worked for the AP in New York, Beijing and Shanghai. He joined the New York Times in 2005, working first as Tokyo business correspondent before assuming his current position in 2009. In 2012, Martin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for his and his colleagues' investigative stories on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that the prize committee said offered a "powerful exploration of serious mistakes concealed by authorities in Japan." He is the author (in Japanese) of “Hontou no koto wo tsutaenai nihon no shimbun,” a critical look at Japanese media coverage of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster.

Dr. Nicholas Fisher

Dr. Nicholas Fisher
Dr. Nicholas Fisher is Distinguished Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University and is also the Director of Stony Brook's Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research. Fisher is a marine biogeochemist whose research focuses on the interactions of metals and metalloids with marine organisms. This work is aimed at evaluating the bioavailability and fate of metals in marine organisms, including important, long-lived radionuclides associated with nuclear wastes. His research examines various processes regulating the uptake and trophic transfer of these contaminants in marine food webs. Prior to joining Stony Brook in 1988, he worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; the Ministry for Conservation in Melbourne, Australia; the IAEA Laboratory of Marine Radioactivity in Monaco; and the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

Scott Fowler

Prof. Scott Fowler
Scott Fowler is a biological oceanographer, marine environmental consultant and Adjunct Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of Stony Brook University who specializes in the fields of marine pollution, marine radioecology and marine biogeochemistry. For over three decades he directed research and training activities in these fields as Head of the Radioecology Laboratory in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Marine Environment Laboratory in Monaco. His research work has primarily focused on the processes involved in the bioaccumulation, transfer, and fate of radionuclides; trace elements' and organic contaminants in marine organisms. More recently, he has participated in several multi-national field projects aimed at understanding the role of particle flux within the ‘biological pump’ that control the transport of organic carbon from surface waters to the deep sea. Before joining IAEA’s Monaco Laboratory, Fowler worked at Oregon State University’s College of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; Battelle Northwest Laboratories in Richland, Washington; and, as a recipient of a Fulbright Lectureship, taught marine ecology at the Monterrey Institute of Technology’s School of Marine Sciences in Guaymas, Mexico.

Mr. Koji Hasebe

Koji Hasebe is a staff writer at the Yomiuri Shimbun daily newspaper where he worked in the science department until 2009 covering Japanese fisheries resources management and fisheries policy. He has also written about environmental conservation, medical science, and numerous other subjects. He currently covers city news in Kanagawa prefecture and is well acquainted with the thinking of ordinary people influenced by the accidents at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants.

Dr. Jota Kanda

Dr. Jota Kanda
Dr. Jota Kanda graduated with a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences (Plant Science) from the School of Science at the University of Tokyo, and completed his graduate study with a Ph.D. in 1987 at the former Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo.  He is a Professor, and currently serves as the Vice Dean, at the Graduate/Undergraduate Faculty of Marine Sciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.  His researches are extended to various processes of material cycling in oceanic systems and include experimental studies on transfer of 15N tracer among marine biota. After the incident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, he jointly organized and led several research expeditions in coastal waters off Fukushima.

Fumiko Kasuga

Dr. Fumiko Kasuga
Dr. Fumiko Kasuga is Vice-President for international activities of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ). With a Ph.D. in agricultural science from The University of Tokyo (1988), she started her career as a researcher focused on food safety at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and is currently the director at National Institute of Health Sciences. With her background, Dr. Kasuga has dedicated herself to global issues of concern to SCJ, including work with the International Union of Microbiological Society (IUMS), Science Council of Asia (SCA), and G8 Academies’ Meetings. Her activities cover not only scientific research, but also international cooperation through organizations such as FAO, WHO, and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), through which she has been contributing to the practical application of science for to societal problems, regulatory issues, and science and technology policy.

Dr. Toshio Katsukawa

Dr. Toshio Katsukawa

Dr. Toshio Katsukawa is an associate professor at Mie University in Japan, where he studies fisheries management theory and practice. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo for studies of adaptive management theory, which decreases risk of overfishing caused by uncertainty in stock assessment. His current research focus is reform of Japanese fisheries based on sustainable resource use. After the earthquake, he has been helping fishermen who were affected by the tsunami.  At the same time, he collected information about radioactive contamination of seafood and informed the public about risk mainly by via blog and Twitter. 

Dr. Shunsuke Managi

Dr. Shunsuke Managi
Dr. Shunsuke Managi is Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Economics at the Tohoku University, Japan. He is also an editor of Environmental Economic and Policy Studies and on the editorial boards of six journals, including Resource and Energy Economics, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and is the author of Technology, Natural Resources and Economic Growth: Improving the Environment for a Greener Future, published by Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. Professor Managi's research has focused on diverse areas of environmental and resource economics and policy, including examinations of effective fishery management, policy instrument choice; diffusion of energy and environmental technologies; and depletion of natural resources.

Dr. Yukio Masumoto

Dr. Yukio Masumoto

Dr. Yukio Masumoto is a principal scientist at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) in Yokohama, Japan. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from the University of Tokyo on climate variations and large-scale air-sea interactions in the western tropical Pacific Ocean. After working at the University of Tokyo for 18 years, he moved to JAMSTEC in 2010. His current research focuses on prediction and predictability of climate variation modes in the tropics and on basin-scale and regional ocean circulation simulations.

Prof. Hiroyuki Matsuda

Prof. Hiroyuki Matsuda

Prof. Hiroyuki Matsuda, works at Yokohama National University, where his research encompasses studies of adaptive management and co-management of marine protected areas, risk analysis, and game theory. He is the author of two Japanese textbooks on ecology, one of which focuses on the science and ecosystem management of fisheries. His theoretical work on fisheries management has resulted in new ideas, including the “cyclic advantage model,” of sardine-anchovy-chub mackerel, in which Matsuda proposed a hypothesis for small pelagic fish stock fluctuations, and "target switching," a novel, multi-species management strategy.

Takami Morita

Dr. Takami Morita
Dr. Morita is a Principal Research Coordinator in the Japanese Fisheries Agency, where he is responsible for investigation of radioactive contamination of seafood after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident. From 1994 to 2010, he researched radioactive contamination of marine organisms at the radioecology section in the National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Fisheries Research Agency. He received a Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Tokyo.

Prof. Hiroyuki Nakahara

Prof. Hiroyuki Nakahara

Prof. Hiroyuki Nakahara, of Yokohama National University, graduated from Sophia University, Japan, in 1972, majoring on International Relations and received an M.M.A. (Master of Marine Affairs) degree from the Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies, University of Southern California in 1983. He has been working at the Research Institute for Ocean Economics (RIOE) in Japan for more than forty years, and is currently the Institute's Managing Director. In addition, he teaches Ocean Policy at the Center for Ocean Studies and Integrated Education at Yokohama National University and is a part-time lecturer at Tokai University and the University of Tokyo.

Prof. Teruyuki Nakajima

Prof. Teruyuki Nakajima

Prof. Teruyuki Nakajima graduated in 1977 from the Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of Science at Tohoku University. He currently serves as Director of the Center for Earth System Dynamics at the University of Tokyo's Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute. He is a member of Science Council of Japan and a member of the World Climate Research Programme's Joint Science Committee. His research focuses are the climate impact of aerosols and clouds, and the environmental impact of human activity, climate models, satellite remote sensing, and ground-based observation.

Kentaro Nishimoto

Dr. Kentaro Nishimoto
Dr. Kentaro Nishimoto is Associate Professor of International Law at Graduate School of Law, Tohoku University. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo and is a member of the University of Tokyo Ocean Alliance, a trans-disciplinary network of ocean research and education at the University of Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. in Law from the Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo in 2011. His main field of study is International Law, with a focus on the Law of the Sea.

Takashi Onishi

Prof. Takashi Onishi
Professor Takashi Onishi has been President of Science Council of Japan (SCJ) since October 2011. Since event in March of that year, he has applied his expertise in city and regional planning and social systems engineering and systems safety to helping aid in the reconstruction of areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. In December, 2011, he was appointed by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as chair of the Frontier Subcommittee of the Council on National Strategy and Policy, which was established to set out a vision that brings about a breakthrough in current situations in Japan, including recovery and reconstruction after the earthquake and nuclear power station accident, and the revitalization of the Japanese economy.

Masakatsu Ota

Dr. Masakatsu Ota
Masakatsu Ota is a Senior and Editorial Writer at Kyodo News, a position he has held since April 2009. He reports on a variety of nuclear issues, non-proliferation and the U.S.-Japan security relationship. Mr. Ota is the author of four books in Japanese, Menseki no Keifu: 731 Butai to Hizo no File (Genealogy of Immunity Given to the Japanese BW unit during the Second World War), Meiyaku no Yami: Kaku no Kasa to Nichibei Domei (The Dark Side of the Covenant: the Nuclear Umbrella and the U.S.-Japan Alliance), and Atomic Ghosts. He recently published Nichibei Kaku Mitsuyaku no Zenbo (The Whole Picture of the U.S.-Japan Secret Nuclear Deal). Mr. Ota was awarded the Vaughn-Uyeda Prize in April 2007 for his investigations into the history of the U.S.-Japan security relationship, the history of the Second World War and his series of scoops on U.S. nuclear policy. He was also awarded the Peace Cooperative Journalist Fund Prize in December 2009 for his investigative reports into the secret U.S.-Japan nuclear deal during the Cold War. Ota received a B.A. in political science from Waseda University. He was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship in 1999 and conducted research at the University of Maryland from 1999 to 2000. He received a Ph.D. from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo in 2010 for his research on U.S.-Japan nuclear policy.

Deborah Oughton

Prof. Deborah H. Oughton
Deborah H. Oughton is professor in Environmental Chemistry, head of the Research school in Ecotoxicology, and ethics co-ordinator at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Radiochemistry from the University of Manchester (U.K.) in 1989. Since 1992, and in parallel with her scientific work, she has been engaged in research into ethics funded by the Norwegian Research Council’s Ethics Programme. She is adjunct Professor at the University of Oslo, where she teaches philosophy of science and research ethics to PhD students in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. She has been an honorary research fellow at the Institute of Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy (IEPP), University of Lancaster. She is deputy chair of the National Ethics Committee for Science and Technology (NENT) and a member of the Ethics Advisory Board for Patents and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences Climate Panel. Her scientific research has focused on radioecology and environmental pollution, including projects on nuclear risks, acid rain, and nano-particles. Specific areas of interest include chemical speciation and its influence on the transfer, bioavailability and metabolism of pollutants. In ethics and philosophy of science, her main research interests are on risk, scientific uncertainty and the application of ethics in practical decision-making. Her specialist area is in environmental risk assessment and management. Research includes both theoretical work (an evaluation of ethical issues in relating to the acceptability of risks) and practical application (stakeholder involvement and ethical evaluation of decision-making processes).

Dr. Dale L. Preston
Dr. Preston is the principal developer of the Epicure risk regression software distributed by his company Hirosoft International, which is widely used on studies of the effects of radiation and other environmental exposures. From 1981 through 2004 he worked at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima, with a two-year sabbatical (1987-89) in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch of the National cancer Institute. He is currently an independent consultant involved in a number of studies on radiation effects including studies of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, populations exposed to radiation as a result of the operations of the Russian reactor and plutonium production complex (Mayak), and studies of a large cohort of X-ray technologists in the US. Dr. Preston served as a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences BEIR V committee and to the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). He is also a fellow of the American Statistical Association and has served as an associate editor of the journal Radiation Research. His research interests include analysis of dose-response shape, effect modification, temporal patterns of radiation-associated cancer and non-cancer mortality and incidence; methodological research on the risk estimation from cohort survival and case-control data using generalized risk models; and the design and development of statistical software.

Kazuo Sakai

Dr. Kazuo Sakai
Dr. Sakai obtained a Ph.D. in biophysics and biochemistry from the University of Tokyo. He worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Radiation Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo (1982-1989), and then as a Lecturer in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo (1989-1999). The main subject of his research was radiation-induced DNA damage and its repair, and the mechanism of radiation-induced cell death. He moved to the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry in 1999 to research biological effects of low dose radiation. He joined NIRS in 2006 and has been Director of the Research Center for Radiation Protection. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Japan Radiation Research Society, a member of the Executive Committee of the Japan Health Physics Society, a member of Committee 5 of ICRP, and a bureau member of Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health of OECD/NEA.

Dr. James Seward

Dr. James Seward
Dr. James Seward is Medical Director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and holds academic appointments as Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Clinical Professor of Public Health at the University of California Berkeley (UCB). He also teaches occupational medicine and preventive medicine at the UCB School of Public Health, serves as Chair of the UCSF Occupational Medicine Residency Advisory Committee, is Co-Director of the UCSF-UCB Joint Residency Program in Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and is a member of the UCSF Global Health Sciences Faculty. He received his medical training at UCSF and also completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Seward is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine (Occupational Medicine), completed a Masters in Medical Management at Tulane University, and holds a Masters in Public Policy from UCB. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar and is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the American College of Physician Executives. Dr. Seward is currently a member of the Board of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He is past President of the Western Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association and has served as the Occupational Medicine Regent for the American College of Preventive Medicine and is also past president of the California Academy of Preventive Medicine.

Prof. Hideaki Shiroyama

Prof. Hideaki Shiroyama

Prof. Hideaki Shiroyama is a director of the Policy Alternatives Research Institute, and a professor of public administration at the Graduate School of Public Policy and the Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo. He studies international administration; science, technology, and public policy; and the public policy process. He has been a member of various government advisory councils on higher education, nuclear safety, food safety, fire protection, scenarios for climate mitigations, and industrial policies.

Yuji Terashima

Mr. Yuji Terashima
Mr. Terashima graduated with a degree in Russian literature from Waseda University in 1970. During his career in news, he has served as a reporter, editor, and news director for Nippon Television Network (NTV) and as bureau chief in Moscow and London. Since 2006, he has been the executive director in charge of news at Fukushima Central Television.

Dr. Mitsuo Uematsu

Dr. Mitsuo Uematsu

Dr. Mitsuo Uematsu received his Ph.D. in Geochemistry from Hokkaido University in 1980. He is currently a Professor and the Director of the Center for International Collaboration at the University of Tokyo's Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute. His major research interests include the long-range transport of natural and anthropogenic substances over the ocean and the properties of marine aerosols, including their impact on the marine environment and their feedbacks on atmosphere. He currently serves as a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP SC).

Mitsuyoshi Urashima

Dr. Mitsuyoshi Urashima
Dr. Urashima's traces his motivation to become a pediatrician to a documentary he watched in primary school about the explosion of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the subsequent rise in leukemia among the children who survived. After graduating from the Jikei University School of Medicine in 1986 and training as a pediatric oncologist in Tokyo, he studied at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston). He realized, however, that neither molecular biology nor conventional pediatric methods could save large numbers of people, so he turned his attention to epidemiology, studying at the Harvard School of Public Health (MPH in 2000). He currently administers an outpatient clinic at the Jikei University hospital, where he spends the majority of his time on research. He has also written more than 120 original articles and recently launched an initiative aimed at educating the next generation to help save peoples' lives.

Last updated: December 5, 2012

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