- © 2017 Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research
Hiroshi Kitazato was awarded the 2016 Joseph A. Cushman Award for Excellence in Foraminiferal Research at the Annual Cushman Reception on 27 September 2016, in Denver, Colorado. The award was conferred to him due to his pioneering and highly original biological and ecological studies of benthic foraminifera, especially his culturing studies and innovative in situ deep-sea experiments. Additionally, the award recognizes his promotion of integrated foraminiferal research to the forefront of Japanese and global ocean sciences by establishing an integrated biogeochemical research center, by mentoring dozens of students, and initiating and sustaining a plethora of international collaborations.
Prof. Kitazato received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in Geology/Paleontology from Tohoku University. His initial fields of study included mapping of volcani-clastics and foraminiferal biostratigraphy. He began studying living foraminifera during his postdoctoral studies at the University of Tokyo. In 1978, he visited Tübingen, Germany, where he met Prof. Karl Grell, who taught him how to maintain and culture foraminifera. On this trip, Hiroshi also met Christoph Hemleben, who became his long-time collaborator.
From 1978–2002, Hiroshi rose through the academic ranks at Shizuoka University. During these years, he performed initial culturing studies on foraminiferal behavior and ecology, always with an aim to improve the applicability of fossil foraminifera to paleoecological research. He became involved in almost every aspect of biological research: he quantified the locomotion of foraminifera, described their reproductive cycle and analyzed the relationship between foraminiferal genetic and morphological diversity. At that time, his laboratory …