OKEON Churamori Project Symposium 2017

On Saturday, July 29th, many collaborators of the OKEON Churamori Project along with the general public gathered at OIST to attend the OKEON Churamori Project Symposium 2017. This event was the project’s first symposium and it was a great success, with over 170 attendees, interesting and informative talks, a panel discussion, and a post-symposium gathering that included hands-on exhibitions and a poster session where participants were able to exchange ideas.

HoloLens comes to the Economo Unit

How would you like to be in the same room as an ant the size of a horse? In reality that’s a ridiculous idea, but in augmented reality anything is possible. This week, OIST’s Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit tested a new augmented reality device: the Microsoft HoloLens. Pavel Puchenkov of OIST’s Scientific Computing & Data Analysis Section designed a demonstration using a 3D-scanned model of the newly discovered ant species, Pheidole drogon. With the HoloLens, researchers were able to explore this species’ exceptionally spiny shape.

The view from the HoloLens. Paco Hita Garcia and Sam Ross can’t
actually see the ant, but it all looks very dramatic

While the applications available for the HoloLens are currently limited, the opportunities quickly become apparent. The ability to display holographic renderings of specimens in 3D has the potential to turn any room into a stunning museum exhibit. It’s clear that this technology has the potential to create or enrich experiences that we can use to communicate life’s diversity and evolutionary history.

Ph.D. Student Yuka Suzuki interacting with objects in augmented reality.

Post written by Nicholas Friedman

OIST Science Challenge 2017: Measuring Biodiversity

OIST Science Challenge 2017 was put together by the Graduate School over five days (3/6-3/10) to allow Japanese undergraduate students to explore their careers as scientists and researchers. The students were involved in hands-on activities set up by different labs in order to learn about the research conducted at OIST as well as learn experimental and research methods.

Arilab hosted a an activity based around measuring biodiversity. Our “measuring biodiversity” activity is the most popular one this year, with 12 students signing up. The goal of the activity is for students to apply concepts of biodiversity to a tangible challenge: designing a one-hour project to quantify the diversity of insects in a petri dish. After this activity, students should critique their success and use this experience to design future project ideas. The material used in this activity is provided by the OKEON Churamori Project.

The Wonder of Ants and the OKEON Churamori Project – Open Campus 2016


On Sunday, November 27th, guests from all parts of Okinawa gathered at OIST to attend the Open Campus Science Festival. This event was OIST’s biggest Open Campus to date, with over 5200 attendees, 250 volunteers, 20 food vendors and 35 booths featuring hands-on science activities.



The arilab booth attracted many visitors. Per usual, the Wonder of Ants is an essential part of the exhibition: there were ant specimens displayed, microscopes set up that allowed visitors to look at macroscopic ants, 3D-printed ants, 3D ants and ant structure that can be visualized by wearing 3D glasses, and an educational video about ants.


On top of that, the OKEON project had its own area, with various posters set up about the project, a SLAM trap and a camera trap set up as demonstrations, a video created by Nick that documents various sounds recorded from acoustic traps at OKEON sites, and finally the famous Okinawan ant specialist Takamine san was also present to educate people about ants.


Let’s head to OIST Science Festa 2016 – Open Campus! OISTサイエンスフェスタ2016 −オープンキャンパス− へ向けて、只今準備中。















The Economo unit is once again setting up a booth at the OIST Science Festa 2016 as part of the Open Campus event. “The Wonder of Ants”, a section of the booth that has always been popular, is also being exhibited but with more content than before. Moreover, this year the OKEON Churamori project will also set up its own section, with various collaborators gathering at the event, including teachers and students from Hentona and Yomitan high schools; Takamine san, the famous ant scholar who studied Okinawa ants for over 40 years; finally, Tone san, the curator of the Okinawa city museum and a speaker at the joint talk event that was recently held at the same museum.

At the Science Cafe, Yoshimura san and Tone san will be collaborating once again. Let’s talk about what we can do individually to preserve the environment of Okinawa.

After the Science Cafe, the teachers and students from Hentona high school will present their research results on ants collected from their school, which is surrounded by the nature of Yanbaru.

Time : 2016 November 27 (Sunday)
10:00~16:00 (Entry is until 5:30)
Location: OIST campus

The Wonder of Ants & The OKEON Churamori Project
Did you know that there are over 12000 described species of ants? Though ants are ubiquitous, they are infact very interesting creatures and fascinate not only the general public but also researchers. Similar to humans, they create their own society with each individual playing a role to accomplish tasks. Let’s experience together the profound world of ants.
We will display the efforts and the results of our environmental monitoring network, the OKEON Churamori Project.

10:45-12:15 Lab 3
OKEON Churamori Project〜Let’s work together for the future of Okinawa〜
Speaker: Masashi Yoshimura (OIST Biodiversity / Biocomplexity Unit)
Speaker: Tone Koichi (Okinawa municipal museum)

12:15-12:30 Lab 3
The ants of Hentona High School


エコノモユニットでは、今年もOISTサイエンスフェスタ2016−オープンキャンパス− に、ブースを出すことになりました。いつもの人気コーナー「アリの不思議」もパワーアップの予定。さらに、今年は「OKEON美ら森プロジェクト」のコーナーを拡大します。プロジェクトが始動してからの成果を紹介します。




OKEON美ら森プロジェクトが目標としている、沖縄社会との協働ネットワークの構築。OISTサイエンスフェスタ2016 −オープンキャンパス− に集ってくださる皆さんは、地域社会とプロジェクトとの良い関係を象徴する大きな成果です。


日時: 2016年11月27日(日)
10:00~16:00 (入場は15:30まで)
会場: OISTキャンパス


10:45-12:15 Lab 3
スピーカー:吉村 正志 (OIST生物多様性・複雑性研究ユニット・スタッフサイエンティスト)
スピーカー:刀禰 浩一 (沖縄市立郷土博物館 学芸員)

12:15-12:30 Lab 3