News Release

OIST research paper on sea anemones receives 2023 Zoological Science Award

Research that can help better understand the relationship between sea anemone hosts and clownfish has been highly acclaimed

Grant and Award Announcement

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

Rio Kashimoto, a PhD student at OIST, is the lead author of a study on giant sea anemones.

image: Rio Kashimoto, a PhD student at OIST, is the lead author of a study on giant sea anemones. view more 

Credit: OIST

Researchers from OIST’s Marine Ecology and Evolutionary Developmental Biology Unit, led by Professor Vincent Laudet, and the Marine Genomics Unit, led by Professor Noriyuki Satoh, coauthored the paper "Transcriptomes of giant sea anemones from Okinawa as a tool for understanding their phylogeny and symbiotic relationships with anemonefish", which has been awarded the 2023 Zoological Science Award. 

Zoological Science is an academic journal published by the Zoological Society of Japan, and the Zoological Science Award is presented for particularly outstanding research among articles published in the journal. At the Zoological Society of Japan Board of Directors meeting held on Saturday, June 17, OIST's paper was one of six papers selected for the award. 

The research paper, which explores the diversity of giant sea anemones associated with anemonefish and studies how different species are related to each other based on global RNA analysis of the seven species living in Okinawa, was highly praised as opening the way to better understanding the symbiotic mechanisms between sea anemones and anemonefish. 

In accepting the award, Professor Laudet said “I feel privileged to have been able to start such an exciting project with the Nori Satoh unit, especially since I specialize in fish and not sea anemones. I’m thrilled about the new research opportunities that have opened up as a result of this work and honored to see our paper highlighted in this way.” 

Rio Kashimoto, first author of the paper, expressed her excitement on hearing the news. “I would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of my amazing collaborators. This award lays the foundation for future groundbreaking research on a global scale, and I can’t wait to continue exploring this fascinating field.” 

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