The Ushimado Marine Institute (UMI), Okayama University
The Institute is directed by Professor Tatsuya Sakamoto and offers courses in marine zoology, animal physiology, and behavioral neuro-endocrinology for students of Okayama University as well other universities in Japan. Furthermore the Institute is open throughout the year to qualified scientists to conduct their research.
The Ushimado Marine Institute was founded in 1954 in Tamano City, Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku Island, which is located in the Inland Sea of Japan (Setonaikai). In 1979 the Institute was moved to the town of Ushimado, located about 30 km from Okayama University on the northern side of the eastern region of Setonaikai.
In addition to offering student courses, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has designated the Institute as a joint use national center for 'Experimental Biology with Organisms in Areas around Inland Seas' for researchers throughout Japan.
The Institute is currently conducting research on regulatory biology of animals at the molecular, cellular, organismal and ecological levels; environmental adaptation of homeostatic mechanisms; and neuronal and humoral control of sexual behaviors.
The 1,380 m2 floor space of the Institute includes a small library, a classroom, dining room, and accommodation facilities for 30 visiting scientists and about 50 students. Research and teaching facilities include aquarium; laboratories for recombinant DNA and model animals (rat, mouse, medaka, zebrafish etc.); a multi photon laser scanning microscope for morphology analysis; HPLC and PCR systems, electrophoretic apparatus for biochemistry; and scuba diving equipment for shallow and intermediate depths.
The Institute also maintains one research vessel "Marinus" and two fiber glass boats "HayateⅢ" and "Kaiba"powered by the engines.