Department of Human Ecology

Research | For Prospective Students | Staff & Students | Publications | Access | Japanese website


Research

The field of human ecology encompasses a wide range of perspectives in an effort to understand human health in relation to adaptation to physical and social environments. To this end, we use methodologies developed in human biology, nutritional sciences, anthropology, demography, environmental health, and urban ecology.

The major topics of our studies include:

  1. Health impact of exposure to heavy metals, air pollution, unhealthy urban structures, and ecosystem degradation;
  2. The roles of gut microbiota in nutritional adaptation and the evolution of human populations;
  3. Mitigation of the health impacts of aging and depopulation at community/national scales;
  4. Biological and behavioral explanations of low fertility and fecundity during the post-demographic transition period;
  5. Behavioral and nutritional adaptation of human populations in Asia and Oceania; and
  6. Medical anthropology.

 

For Prospective Students

Admissions

The Department of Human Ecology (DHE) offers Master’s and PhD programs for students who have an interest in the ecology of health and survival of human populations. Graduates of our course proceed to academic positions at universities and research institutes all over the world. For details about the entrance examination, see the website of School of International Health (SIH).

Studying at DHE

Master’s students are required to take courses in human ecology and relevant subjects to learn basic methodologies and gain knowledge of global health issues. The students are also required to conduct research and write a Master’s thesis under the supervision of faculty members. All members of the department meet at least twice a week: at “Lunch Meetings”, where each member reports what s/he learned over the last 7 days and what s/he plans to do for the next 7 days; and at “Journal Club”, where one member of the department discusses novel findings reported in recently published scientific papers. In addition to regular supervision by the faculty, students report their research progress to the entire department every 2 months and receive feedback.

Students who graduate from the Master’s program will gain an understanding of theories and methodologies pertaining to human ecology, and will be able to plan and conduct individual studies, perform basic statistical analysis, and write scientific papers. Students who complete PhD programs are expected to lead research teams in the search for novel findings.

We typically hold a welcoming party under the cherry blossoms in April. The alumni meeting in June/July is a good opportunity to meet individuals who graduated from DHE and are working as researchers in various universities/institutions. A year-end party is also held, with invitations extended to former professors of the department. We commemorate students who complete the Master’s and PhD programs in a farewell party in March. Furthermore, the SIH organizes a summer seminar, where there are opportunities to communicate with students and faculty from other departments in SIH.

Language

All lectures are given in English. Although it is not necessary to learn Japanese to complete a graduate education program at SIH, we recommend that students learn Japanese to make their stay in Tokyo more enjoyable.

Recent Doctoral Theses

  • FY2017

Kyi Mar WAI
Impact of prenatal heavy metals exposure on birth outcomes and newborns leucocytes telomere length in Myanmar

  • FY2016

Aki YAZAWA
Psychological impact of rural-to-urban migration on those left behind in rural Fujian, China

  • FY2015

Satoko KOSAKA
The double burden of malnutrition within household: An investigation of diet and physical activity in West Java, Indonesia

  • FY2014

Yosuke INOUE
The association between economic development, lifestyle differentiation and C-reactive protein concentrations within rural communities in Hainan Island, China

Saira TASMIN
Effects of short-term exposure to ambient particulate matter and temperature on lung function of school children in Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • FY2012

Nayar SULTANA
Influence of gender and genetic polymorphisms on inorganic arsenic metabolism and oxidative stress among arsenic-exposed Bangladeshi Population

Recent Master’s Theses

  • FY2017

Shun IWAKAMI
Dietary determinants of nutritional status of Karen children in a mountainous area in Tak province, Thailand: Investigation using direct food weighing, food frequency questionnaire, and anthropometry

MST Roksana KHAN
The association between short-term exposure to fine particulate matter and daily emergency room visits at a cardiovascular hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • FY2016

Soyoko SAKATA
Preterm birth rates in Japan and their associated factors: Analysis of national vital statistics and Internet-based survey data

  • FY2015

Marinjho Emely Hilla JONDUO
Lifestyle, nutritional status and microbiota: An association study in Papua New Guinea Highlands

Yuma MATSUNO
The choice and perception of drinking water among slum area residents in Bandung city, Indonesia

  • FY2014

Yuri HAMAMATSU
The association between the neighborhood food environment and dietary intake among elderly people in a metropolitan suburb: a case study in Kisarazu, Japan

Jennifer Tokiko FILLMAN
Effects of arsenic and cadmium exposure on salivary telomere length and cognitive function in adolescents in Terai, Nepal

Shao-Ming CHEN
Risk factors of severe hand, foot, mouth disease in Hainan Island, China

  • FY2013

Ayesha KABIR
The association between temperature and hospital visits for asthma in a subtropical city, Dhaka

Mumtaz BEGUM
Intestinal permeability and growth faltering of 6-24-month-old children in Chitral district, Pakistan

  • FY2012

Satoko KOSAKA
Physical activity and neighborhood environment in heavy snowfall areas: The roles of “gangi-dori”

Chiyuki HIRATA
Study on food intake and physical activity pattern of Sundanese villagers in West Java, Indonesia

Aki YAZAWA
Impacts of lifestyle changes on “stress” in minority populations in Hainan Island, China

Ping Han SER
Effects of arsenic exposure during pregnancy on maternal and infant immunoglobulin G levels in Bangladesh

 

Staff & Students

Professor

Masahiro Umezaki

Assistant Professors

Shoko Konishi
Satoko Kosaka

Project Researchers

Fumihiro Yagyu
Kyi Mar Wai
Yuki Mizuno

Administrative Staff

Masayo Owada

Master’s students

Ayaka Shibazaki
Maricor Carmela Amoguis Ieiri
Richard III Flores Carino
Daiki Ina
Mihoko Kibe

 

Publications

Click HERE for our publication list.

 

Access

Medical Building No. 3 Annex, University of Tokyo,
7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 JAPAN

office [at] humeco.m.u-tokyo.ac.jp