Study at TCU


Name NAKAJIMA Yasuhisa
Official Title Associate Professor
Affiliation Biodiversity
Profile After graduating from the Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, the University of Tokyo, I entered the Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo, where I majored in paleontology for my M.S. and anatomy for my Ph. D. program. I also worked at the University Museum, the University of Tokyo, where I experienced exhibits, specimen preparation, and educational outreach. After Ph.D I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bonn, Germany, studying marine reptiles and other fossil vertebrates. After returning to Japan, I worked at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, where I worked on fecal fossils and other fossils before assuming his current position as a paleontologist. I have excavated in fossil localities around the world, mainly in Japan, and have discovered Japan's oldest tetrapod fossils, reptile fossils, and coprolites (fecal fossils).
Research Field(Keyword & Summary)
  1. (1) marine vertebrate paleontology

    My field of study is paleontology, with a particular focus on the evolution of vertebrates. My main research area is the Mesozoic and Paleozoic fossil localities in Japan and other parts of Asia. I am interested in how marine vertebrates evolved throughout the Phanerozoic to form modern ecosystems, and how the predator-prey relationship has changed.

  2. (2) osteology, odontology and histology

    Another research focus of mine is to clarify how vertebrate hard tissues, i.e., bones and teeth, which are available as fossils, evolved. I am also interested in how they have affected animal lifestyles. I conduct traditional histological analysis and virtual histology powered by micro-focus CT scan.

Representative Papers
  1. (1)Nakajima, Y., Shigeta, Y., Houssaye, A., Zakharov, Y. D., Popov, A. M., Sander, P. M., 2022. Early Triassic ichthyopterygian fossils from the Russian Far East. Scientific Reports 12, 5546
  2. (2) Nakajima, Y., Miyake, Y., Tanaka, T. and Kohno, N. 2021. Bone remains from Permian limestone in Mino Belt of Nyūkawa Town, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Fossil, 109: 1-2. (in Japanese)
  3. (3) Nakajima, Y., Danilov, I. G., Hirayama, R., Sonoda, T. and Scheyer, T. M., 2017. Morphological and histological evidence for the oldest known softshell turtles from Japan. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 37: 1278606
  4. (4) Wintrich, T., Hayashi, S., Houssaye, A., Nakajima, Y., Sander, P. M., 2017. A Triassic plesiosaurian skeleton and bone histology inform on evolution of a unique body plan. Science Advances 3(12), e1701144
  5. (5) Nakajima, Y., Hirayama, R. and Endo, H. 2014. Turtle humeral microanatomy and its relationship to lifestyle. Biological Journal of Linnean Society, 113, p. 719–734.
  6. (6) Nakajima, Y., Houssaye, A. and Endo, H. 2014. Osteohistology of the ichthyopterygian reptile Utatsusaurus hataii: Implications for early ichthyosaur biology. Acta Paleontologica Polonica 59, p. 343–352.
  7. (7) Nakajima, Y. and Izumi, K., 2014. Coprolites from the upper Osawa Formation (upper Spathian), northeastern Japan: Evidence for predation in a marine ecosystem 5 Myr after the end-Permian mass extinction. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 414, p. 225–232.
  8. (8) Nakajima, Y. and Endo, H., 2013. Comparative humeral microanatomy of terrestrial, semiaquatic, and aquatic carnivorans using micro-focus CT scan. Mammal Study 38, p. 1–8.
  9. (9) Hayashi, S., Houssaye, A., Nakajima, Y., Chiba, K., Ando, T., et al., 2013, Bone inner structure suggests increasing aquatic adaptations in Desmostylia (Mammalia, Afrotheria). PLoS ONE vol. 8: e59146. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059146
  10. (10) Nakajima, Y. and Schoch, R. R., 2011. The first temnospondyl amphibian from Japan. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31, p. 1154–1157.
Award Excellent Poster Award (Paleontological Society of Japan, 2008, 2013, 2019); Excellent Poster Award (Geological Society of Japan, 2015)
Mammal Study Award (Mammalogical Society of Japan, 2013)
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research Support: Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Research Grants/Projects including subsidies, donations, grants, etc. Academic Researches Grant, Tokyu Foundation (2020-2021)
Recruitment of research assistant(s) Yes (2 people)
Affiliated academic society (Membership type) Paleontological Society of Japan, Geological Society of Japan, Mammalogical Society of Japan, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Education Field (Undergraduate level) Paleontology, Geology, Vertebrate Anatomy, Evolution
Education Field (Graduate level) Vertebrate Paleontology