Department of Human Ecology
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:
- Health impact of exposure to heavy metals, air pollution, unhealthy urban structures, and ecosystem degradation;
- The roles of gut microbiota in nutritional adaptation and the evolution of human populations;
- Mitigation of the health impacts of aging and depopulation at community/national scales;
- Biological and behavioral explanations of low fertility and fecundity during the post-demographic transition period;
- Behavioral and nutritional adaptation of human populations in Asia and Oceania; and
- Medical anthropology.
For Prospective Students
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.
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.
Staff & Students
Kyi Mar Wai
Click HERE for our publication list.
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