New paper published by Cong on how habitat conversion affects ant biodiversity


A new paper published by Cong Liu et al. in Ecological Monographs reports on how agricultural activity and the associated habitat conversion affects organisms by using ants as a surrogate for all invertebrates.  Specifically, the authors investigated the effects of conversion to rubber plantation on leaf-litter ant taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversities in Xishuangbanna in southeast China.  They found a sharp decline in species richness and low beta diversity after the habitat conversion.

The original article can be found here and the article by the OIST media section on the paper can be found here

OKEON featured on Okinawa Times

The OKEON project continues to progress and gain momentum, with the completion of site setup (72 traps on 24 sites) and being featured by various media outlets. On April 11, the Okinawa Times introduced the OKEON project as an environment monitoring network with an emphasis on insect collecting, and quoted Dr.Masashi Yoshimura, the staff scientist at Arilab and the coordinator of the OKEON project, who said that the project may collect up to six million individual specimens a year. It also promoted the importance of environmental education. The original article can be found here

OKEON project set up all 24 sites!


On March 31, 2016, the OKEON team set up the final site for insect collection in Higashi Village, located on the northeastern part of Okinawa. There are now 24 sites with a total of 72 traps (3 traps per site) across Okinawa.

Dr. Masashi Yoshimura, a staff scientist at our lab and the coordinator of the OKEON project, was interviewed by NHK to document the completion of site setup. 

New publication by the antmaps team!


The design and implementation of was described in a paper (Visualizing and interacting with large-volume biodiversity data using client–server web-mapping applications: The design and implementation of that was published this week in Ecological Informatics. It describes the trend of the increasingly frequent use of web and database technologies within the biological fields, it uses as a case study to propose a web-mapping framework for visualizing large-volume biodiversity data, it describes the key design ideas (cartographic design and user-centered design) behind the application and it details the evaluation of the application to assure the usability of the interface.

Click on this link to read the full paper:



Arilab on TV!


別冊アサ(秘)ジャーナル, Bessatsu Asahi Journal, is a Japanese variety show produced by TBS. As of 2013 they have been focusing on the topic of schools and universities around Japan and the subject of their monthly, 90-minute program in February 2016 is OIST, including Arilab! The episode was broadcasted on February 28, 2016 in the Kanto region of Japan. On top of describing the OIST campus as “007”-like, the TV show introduced various labs and their research, one of which was Arilab. They interviewed Yoshi and Evan and gave a tour on ant specimens, the ecology of ants and 3D ants.

Click here to see the video (Arilab-related content starts around 28:00)