The Centre for Japanese Studies hosted Professor Tomohiro Akiyama from the University of Tokyo, Japan in March this year.
Prof Akiyama holds a PhD from Nagoya University in Japan and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the graduate programme in Sustainability Science at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Frontier Sciences. His main research interest is in environmental issues surrounding water in arid regions. Since 2001, he has collaborated with the researchers of the Research Institute of Humanity and Nature (RIHN), and participated in research projects on ‘Historical evolution of adaptability in an oasis region to water resource changes’ and ‘Historical interactions between multi-cultural societies and the natural environment in a semi-arid region in central Eurasia’.
Prof Akiyama has published several articles on the environmental issues affecting water in north-western China, the Ili River basin of Kazakhstan and the Mongolian Steppe. He regularly presents his research results at international conferences, including those held by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences and the International Sustainable Development Research Society. His academic background is in hydrology, but he has been actively working with researchers from other disciplines to build trans-disciplinary, integrated frameworks for tackling global environmental problems. One such project involves the application of an integrated approach to sustainability studies and education practice in higher education.
Professor Akiyama wishes to establish research partnerships with academics from the University of Pretoria in fields such as hydrology and sustainability studies. The Centre for Japanese Studies hopes to welcome Professor Akiyama as a research fellow later this year.