Shoji Kawamura / Professor / Division of Biological Sciences
Department of Integrated Biosciences / Laboratory of Evolutionary Anthropology / Sensory genetics, ecology and evolution

Career Summary
1986: Graduated, Faculty of Science, The University of Tokyo
1991: Doctor of Science from The University of Tokyo
1991-92: Post Doctoral Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
1992-96: Post Doctoral Research Associate, Syracuse University
1996-99: Assistant Professor, The University of Tokyo
1999-2010: Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo
2010-Present: Professor, The University of Tokyo
Educational Activities
Graduate School: Adaptive Evolutionary Genetics
Research Activities
1. The evolutionary origin and driving force of variation in human color vision.
2. New World monkeys as models for understanding the evolutionary significance of primate trichromatic color vision.
3. Fish as a model to study the evolutionary flexibility of color vision.
4. Coevolution of chemical sense and vision in primates.
(Please refer to our laboratory homepage for more details.)
(*Corresponding author)
<Representative original articles>
(1) *Li, Y. N., Tsujimura, T., Kawamura, S. and Dowling, J. E. (2012). Bipolar cell–photoreceptor connectivity in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) retina. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 520: 3786–3802.
(2) Hiwatashi, T., Mikami, A., Katsumura, T., Suryobroto, B., Perwitasari-Farajallah, D., Malaivijitnond, S., Siriaroonrat, B., Oota, H., Goto, S. and *Kawamura, S. (2011). Gene conversion and purifying selection shape nucleotide variation in gibbon L/M opsin genes. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11: 312.
(3) Tsujimura, T., Hosoya, T. and *Kawamura, S. (2010). A single enhancer regulating the differential expression of duplicated red-sensitive opsin genes in zebrafish. PLoS Genetics, 6: e1001245.
(4) Hiwatashi, T., Okabe, Y., Tsutsui, T., Hiramatsu, C., Melin, A. D., Oota, H., Schaffner, C. M., Aureli, F., Fedigan, L. M., Innan, H. and *Kawamura, S. (2010). An explicit signature of balancing selection for color-vision variation in New World monkeys. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 27: 453-464.
(5) *Melin, A. D., Fedigan, L. M., Hiramatsu, C., Hiwatashi, T., Parr, N. and *Kawamura, S. (2009). Fig foraging by dichromatic and trichromatic white-faced capuchin monkeys in a tropical dry forest. International Journal of Primatology, 30: 753-775.
(6) Hiramatsu, C., Melin, A. D., Aureli, F., Schaffner, C. M., Vorobyev, M. and *Kawamura, S. (2009). Interplay of olfaction and vision in fruit foraging of spider monkeys. Animal Behaviour, 77: 1421-1426.
(7) Takechi, M., Seno, S. and *Kawamura, S. (2008). Identification of cis-acting elements repressing blue opsin expression in zebrafish UV cones and pineal cells. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283: 31625-31632.
(8) Hiramatsu, C., Melin, A. D., Aureli, F., Schaffner, C. M., Vorobyev, M., Matsumoto, Y. and *Kawamura, S. (2008). Importance of achromatic contrast in short-range fruit foraging of primates. PLoS ONE, 3:e3356.
(9) Tsujimura, T., Chinen, A. and *Kawamura, S. (2007). Identification of a locus control region for quadruplicated green-sensitive opsin genes in zebrafish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 104:12813-12818.
(10) *Melin, A. D., Fedigan, L. M., Hiramatsu, C., Sendall, C. and *Kawamura, S. (2007). Effects of colour vision phenotype on insect capture by a free-ranging population of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Animal Behaviour, 73: 205-214.
(11) Matsumoto, Y., Fukamachi, S., Mitani, H. and *Kawamura, S. (2006). Functional characterization of visual opsin repertoire in Medaka (Oryzias latipes). Gene, 371: 268-278.
(12) Hiramatsu, C., Tsutsui, T., Matsumoto, Y., Aureli, F., Fedigan, L. M. and *Kawamura, S. (2005). Color vision polymorphism in wild capuchins (Cebus capucinus) and spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in Costa Rica. American Journal of Primatology, 67: 447-461.
(13) *Saito, A., *Mikami, A., *Kawamura, S., Ueno, Y., Hiramatsu, C., Widayati, K. A., Suryobroto, B., Teramoto, M., Mori, Y., Nagano, K., Fujita K., Kuroshima, H. and Hasegawa, T. (2005). Advantage of dichromats over trichromats in discrimination of color-camouflaged stimuli in non-human primates. American Journal of Primatology, 67: 425-436.
(14) Chinen, A., Matsumoto, Y. and *Kawamura, S (2005). Reconstitution of ancestral green visual pigments of zebrafish and molecular mechanism of their spectral differentiation. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 22:1001-1010.
(15) Takechi, M. and *Kawamura, S. (2005). Temporal and spatial changes in the expression pattern of multiple red and green subtype opsin genes during zebrafish development. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 208:1337-1345.
(16) Chinen, A., Matsumoto, Y. and *Kawamura, S. (2005). Spectral differentiation of blue opsins between phylogenetically close but ecologically distant goldfish and zebrafish. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280:9460-9466.
(17) Hiramatsu, C., Radlwimmer, F. B., Yokoyama, S. and *Kawamura S. (2004). Mutagenesis and reconstitution of middle-to-long-wave-sensitive visual pigments of New World monkeys for testing the tuning effect of residues at sites 229 and 233. Vision Research, 44:2225-2231.
(18) *Kawamura, S. and Kubotera, N. (2004). Ancestral loss of short wave-sensitive cone visual pigment in lorisiform prosimians, contrasting with its strict conservation in other prosimians. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 58:314-321.
(19) Chinen, A., Hamaoka, T., Yamada, Y. and *Kawamura, S. (2003). Gene duplication and spectral diversification of cone visual pigments of zebrafish. Genetics, 163:663-675.
<Reviews and book chapters>
(20) *Kawamura, S., Hiramatsu, C., Melin, A. D., Schaffner, C. M, Aureli, F. and Fedigan, L. M. (2012). Polymorphic color vision in primates: evolutionary considerations. In: Post-Genome Biology of Primates (Hirai, H., Imai, H. and Go, Y. eds.), pp. 93-120, Springer, Tokyo.
(21) *Kawamura, S. (2011). Evolutionary diversification of visual opsin genes in fish and primates. In: From Genes to Animal Behavior: Social Structures, Personalities, Communication by Color (Inoue-Murayama, M., Kawamura, S. and Weiss, A. eds.), pp. 329-349, Springer, Tokyo.

Other Activities
<Membership in research societies>
The Anthropological Society of Nippon, Primate Society of Japan, The Genetics Society of Japan, Society of Evolutionary Studies, Japan, The Zoological Society of Japan, The Japanese Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, The Molecular Biology Society of Japan, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the International Primatological Society.
Future Plan
In recent years, genetic variation of human populations has been revealed at the genomic scale. There is also a growing recognition that environmental/ecological integrity and conservation of the complex web of life on Earth are crucial for sustaining human welfare. In light of these developments, it is necessary to understand humans as members of the global ecosystem by combining genetic and ecological knowledge within an evolutionary framework. By using (primarily) non-model organisms to explore genetic variation and its ecological correlates in wild populations, it is now possible to reevaluate the evolutionary significance of human genetic variation. The number of species whose genome has been sequenced is rapidly increasing, and this rich data set enables the assessment of functional differences between genetic variants. The evolutionary diversity of sensory systems—the visual system in particular—is an excellent model case for addressing these questions because recent technical developments have enabled functional evaluation of the relevant genes. Bearing these issues in mind, we pursue research projects on sensory genetics, ecology, and evolution using an interdisciplinary approach that spans molecular biology (population DNA sequencing, gene expression analysis, in vitro functional assays), biochemistry, population/evolutionary genetics, and behavioral ecology.
Messages to Students
Lab work with micropipettes, field work with binoculars, computer work with statistics. All are great tools to assist us with our scientific goal of answering evolutionary questions. We take any tool and enjoy the “magical mystery tour” to the unforeseen goal!