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Vice Director

Masanori Nonaka

Masanori Nonaka, Ph.D.

(Vice Director / Senior Research Scientist)

Area of expertise Biology and Taxonomy of Octocorals
Research content Systematic studies of Japanese Precious Corals. Reproductive biology of Precious Corals in Ryukyu archipelago.


  • 1989 - Science of Oceanography in University of the Ryukyus
  • 1989 - Okinawa Expo Aquarium
  • 2002 - Ocean Exposition Commemorative Park Management Foundation (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium)
  • 2012 - Ph.D. at University of the Ryukyus
  • 2017 - Current post at the Okinawa Churashima Research Center

Research papers, publications

  • Nonaka, M., Yamamoto, H.H., Kamiki, T., Baird A.H. (2003) Reseeding the reefs of Okinawa with the larvae of captive-bred corals. Coral Reefs. 22: 34.
  • Nonaka, M., Muzik, K., Uchida, S. (2006) Culture, study and display of precious corals. Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium. Japanese Coral Reef Society, Japan. 1821–1831.
  • Baird, A.H., Gilmour, J.P., Kamiki, T.M., Nonaka, M., Pratchett, M.S., Yamamoto, H.H., Yamasaki, H. (2006) Temperature tolerance of symbiotic and non-symbiotic coral larvae. Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium. Japanese Coral Reef Society, Japan. 38–42.
  • Kimura, T., Hasegawa, H., Igarashi, T., Inaba, M., Iwao, K., Iwase, F., Kajiwara, K., Matsumoto, T., Nakai, T., Nojima, S., Nomura, K., Nonaka, M., Oki, K., Sakai, K., Shimoike, K., Sugihara, K., Ueno, M., Ueno, S., Yamano, H., Yokochi, H., Yoshida, M. (2006) Status of coral reefs in Japan. Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium. Japanese Coral Reef Society, Japan. 1068–1076.
  • Yamamoto, H.H., Nonaka, M., Kamei, Y., Uchida, S. (2006) Education and conservation of coral reefs at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium. Japanese Coral Reef Society, Japan. 1713–1716.
  • Reimer, J.D., Nonaka, M., Sinniger, F., Iwase, F. (2008) Morphological and molecular characterization of a new genus and new species of parazoanthid (Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Zoantharia) associated with Japanese red coral (Paracorallium japonicum) in southern Japan. Coral Reefs. 27: 935–949.
  • Baird, A.H., Bhagooli, R., Nonaka, M., Yakovleva, I., Yamamoto, H.H., Hidaka, M., Yamasaki, H. (2008) Environmental controls on the establishment and development of algal symbiosis in corals. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008 Session number 5. 108–112.
  • Hirose, M., Yamamoto, H.H., Nonaka, M. (2008) Metamorphosis and acquisition of symbiotic algae in planula larvae and primary polyps of Acropora spp. Coral Reefs. 27: 247–254.
  • Nonaka, M., Muzik, K. (2009) Recent harvest records of commercially valuable precious corals in the Ryukyu Archipelago. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 397: 269–278.
  • Reimer, J.D., Sinniger, F., Nonaka, M., Uchida, S. (2009) Non-invasive internal morphological examination of epizoic zoanthids utilizing CT scanners. Coral Reefs. 28: 621.
  • Yakovleva, I.M., Baird, A.H., Yamamoto, H.H., Bhagooli, R., Nonaka, M., Hidaka, M. (2009) Algal symbionts increase oxidative damage and death in coral larvae at high temperatures. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 378: 105–112.
  • Nonaka, M., Muzik, K. (2010) Jewels of the deep sea: precious corals. In: Uchida, S. (Ed.), Into the unknown, researching mysterious deep-sea animals. Proceedings of an International Symposium, 23–24 Feb 2007. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa. 84–127.
  • Nonaka, M. (2012) Studies for conservation on Japanese precious corals. Doctoral Thesis of Science. Marine and Environmental Science Graduate School of Engineering and Science, University of the Ryukyus. 326 pp.
  • Nonaka, M., Muzik, K., Iwasaki, N. (2012) Descriptions of two new species and designation of three neotypes of Japanese Coralliidae collected by Kishinouye, introducing a statistical approach. Zootaxa. 3428: 1-67.
  • Nonaka, M., Nakamura, M., Tsukahara, M., Reimer J.D. (2012) Histological examination of precious corals from the Ryukyu Archipelago. Journal of Marine Biology. Vol. 2012, Article ID 519091, 14 pp.
  • Nonaka, M., Muzik, K. (2012) Remarkable early studies of Japanese precious corals. Proceedings of an International Precious Coral Forum 2012 in Kochi, 9 Mar. 2012. 46-69.
  • Nonaka, M., Muzik, K. (2012) Systematic studies of the Indo-Pacific Corallidae. Proceedings of an International Precious Coral Forum 2012 in Kochi, 9 Mar. 2012. 70-84.
  • Aguilar-Hurtado, C., Nonaka, M., Reimer, J.D. (2012) The Melithaeidae (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) of the Ryukyu Archipelago: molecular and morphological examinations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 64 (1): 56-65.
  • Isomura, N., Baba, Y., Nagata, S., Nonaka, M., Yamamoto, H.H. (2013) The relationship between genetic similarity and reproductive success in the branching coral Acropora intermedia. Marine Biology Research. 9: 181-188. DOI:10.1080/17451000.2012.707321.
  • Rahman, M.A., Karl K., Nonaka, M., Fujimura, H., Shinjo, R., Oomori, T., Wörheide G. (2014) Characterization of the proteinaceous skeletal organic matrix from the precious coral Corallium konojoi. Proteomics 2014, 00: 1–7. DOI: 10.1002/pm ic.201300519.
  • Nonaka, M., Nakamura, M., Muzik, K. (2015) Sexual reproduction of precious corals from Japanese waters. Pacific Science 69 (1): 15-46.
  • Nonaka, M., Hiroko Takaoka, Muzik, K. (2015) The taxonomic problem of the Hawaiian pink coral, Corallium secundum. 2014 International Symposium on Pacific Precious Corals Final Report. 247-256.
  • Nonaka, M., Muzik, K. (2016) The first records of two species of precious coral (Octocorallia: Coralliidae) from the Ryukyu Archipelago. Fauna Ryukyuana 29: 15–36.
  • Reimer, J.D., Higashiji, T., Nonaka, M. (2016) First record of the genus Sphenopus (Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Zoantharia) from Japan. Fauna Ryukyuana 29: 37–40.

Affiliated academic society

  • The Zoological Society of Japan
  • The Japanese Society of Systematic Zoology
  • The Japanese Coral Reef Society
  • The Biological Society of Okinawa
  • The Japanese Society for Coral Taxonomy
  • The Nippon Cnidarian (Ctenophore) Biologists