Senior Research Fellow
Ocean Policy Research Institute of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Atsushi Watanabe studied geography and earth and planetary science at the University of Tokyo. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the graduate school of environmental studies at Nagoya University from 2004 to 2007 and at the Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center (HyARC) at Nagoya University from 2007 to 2008, and as an assistant professor at the graduate school of information science and engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology from 2008-2018. He studied material (especially carbon) cycles in coral reefs, coastal seas, and coastal blue carbon ecosystems and the impact of climate change or local stressors on these ecosystems. Since 2018, he has been working as a senior research fellow of the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, leading the blue economy and blue carbon policy researches. His current research interest is the policies to strengthen resilience of coastal communities through sustainable use of coastal ecosystems and resources and the creation of economically viable livelihoods. He acts as a councilor of the International Coral Reef Society and a representative of the Japanese Coral Reef Society. He holds a doctor degree in Science (2004, Univ. Tokyo).
He spent one year in Maryland, USA, when he was 12-13 years old, where he had his first direct contact with foreign people and culture. Throughout his academic career, he undertook intensive and extensive fieldwork in Okinawa, Palau, the Philippines, Indonesia, and elsewhere. He also has experienced over 20 research cruises in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines for conducting oceanographic observation in the Japan Sea, East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea. During his early career, he was shocked by the worldwide coral bleaching event that occurred in 1998-1999, mainly caused by anomalously high sea surface temperatures which deteriorated coral reefs globally. Experiencing this event moved him into scientific research on coastal ecosystems’ response to human impacts. He was also fascinated by the long-term monitoring of CO2 by Dr. Charles Keeling, which clearly showed not only long-term increases in CO2 due to human activities but also the “breathing” of the Earth in which the forest draws down CO2 during summer and releases it during winter.


Blue Economy; Coral Reefs; Coastal Blue Carbon; Integrated Coastal Management (ICM); Coastal Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR)


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Haruko Kurihara; Atsushi Watanabe, Asami Tsugi, et al. (2021) Potential local adaptation of corals at acidified and warmed Nikko Bay, Palau. Sci Rep 11, 11192.

Takanori Fujii,  Yasuaki Tanaka, Koh Maki, Nobue Saotome, Naoko Morimoto, Atsushi Watanabe, Toshihiro Miyajima, (2020) "Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Isoscapes of Reef Corals and Algal Symbionts: Relative Influences of Environmental Gradients and Heterotrophy" Microorganisms 8, no. 8: 1221.

Haruko Kurihara, Atsushi Watanabe (2019) Coral Reef Conservation at Republic of Palau under Climate Change. Journal of the Japanese Coral Reef Society (in Japanese with English abstract)
Atsushi Watanabe, Takashi Nakamura (2019) Carbon Dynamics in Coral Reefs: Carbon Dynamics, Policy, and Implementation (Book Chapter)
Ratino Sith, Atsushi Watanabe, Takashi Nakamura, [...], Kazuo Nadaoka (2019) Assessment of water quality and evaluation of best management practices in a small agricultural watershed adjacent to Coral Reef area in Japan. Agricultural Water Management
T. Yamamoto, M.A.C.L. Malingin, Ma. Marivic Capitle Pepino, [...], Kazuo Nadaoka (2018) Assessment of coastal turbidity improvement potential by terrigenous sediment load reduction and its implications on seagrass inhabitable area in Banate Bay, central Philippines. Science of The Total Environment
Tyler Cyronak, Andreas J Andersson, Chris Langdon, [...], Puerto Rico (2018) Taking the metabolic pulse of the world's coral reefs. PLoS ONE
Kohki Sowa, Chuki Hongo, Atsushi Watanabe, [...], Haruko Kurihara (2018) Massive Porites coral cores reveal two major skeletal growth cessation and subsequent recovery at Airai Bay, Palau in the last 30 years. Technical Report of Palau International Coral Reef Center
Takashi Nakamura, Kazuo Nadaoka, Atsushi Watanabe, [...], Ariel Blanco (2017) Reef-scale modeling of coral calcification responses to ocean acidification and sea-level rise. Coral Reefs
Lawrence Patrick Cases Bernardo, Kazuo Nadaoka, Takashi Nakamura, Atsushi Watanabe (2017) Island-enhanced cooling mechanism in typhoon events revealed by field observations and numerical simulations for a coral reef area, Sekisei Lagoon, Japan. Ocean Dynamics
Naoko Morimoto, Yu Umezawa, Maria Lourdes San Diego-McGlone, [...], Toshihiro Miyajima (2017) Spatial dietary shift in bivalves from embayment with river discharge and mariculture activities to outer seagrass beds in northwestern Philippines. Marine Biology
Ankita Dadhich, Kazuo Nadaoka, Y Motomura, Atsushi Watanabe (2017) Potential impacts of land use change dynamics and submarine groundwater discharge on fringing reefs of Kuroshima Island, Japan. Journal of Coastal Conservation
Toshihiro Miyajima, Naoko Morimoto, Takashi Nakamura, [...], Kazuo Nadaoka (2016) Atmospheric Deposition of Reactive Nitrogen as a Regional-Scale Eutrophication Stress on the Coral Reef Ecosystem
Book Chapter
Go Suzuki, Nina Yasuda, Kohta Ikehara, [...], Kazuo Nadaoka (2016) Detection of a High-Density Brachiolaria-Stage Larval Population of Crown-of-Thorns Sea Star (Acanthaster planci) in Sekisei Lagoon (Okinawa, Japan). Diversity
Charissa Ferrera, Atsushi Watanabe, Toshihiro Miyajima, [...], Kazuo Nadaoka (2016) Phosphorus as a driver of nitrogen limitation and sustained eutrophic conditions in Bolinao and Anda, Philippines, a mariculture-impacted tropical coastal area. Marine Pollution Bulletin
Charissa Ferrera, Toshihiro Miyajima, Atsushi Watanabe, [...], Kazuo Nadaoka (2015) Variation in oxygen isotope ratio of dissolved orthophosphate induced by uptake process in natural coral holobionts. Coral Reefs
AdityaR. Kartadikaria, Atsushi Watanabe, Kazuo Nadaoka, [...], E. N. Khasanah (2015) CO2 Sink/Source Characteristics in the Tropical Indonesian Seas. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Shoji Yamamoto, Hajime Kayanne, Tatsuki Tokoro, [...], Atsushi Watanabe (2015) Total alkalinity flux in coral reefs estimated from eddy covariance and sediment pore-water profiles: Total alkalinity flux in coral reefs. Limnology and Oceanography
Yoshiyuki Tanaka, Gay Amabelle, Go, Atsushi Watanabe, [...], Miguel Fortes (2014) 17-year change in species composition of mixed seagrass beds around Santiago Island, Bolinao, the northwestern Philippines. Marine Pollution Bulletin
Sahadev Sharma, Jun Yasuoka, Takashi Nakamura, [...], Kazuo Nadaoka (2014) The Role of Hydroperiod, Soil Moisture and Distance from the River Mouth on Soil Organic Matter in Fukido Mangrove Forest. Conference Paper. August 2014 International Conference on Advances in Applied Science and Environmental Engineering
Takashi Nakamura, Kazuo Nadaoka, Atsushi Watanabe (2013) A coral polyp model of photosynthesis, respiration and calcification incorporating a transcellular ion transport mechanism. Coral Reefs
Benoît Thibodeau, Toshihiro Miyajima, Ichiro Tayasu, [...], Toshi Nagata (2013) Heterogeneous dissolved organic nitrogen supply over a coral reef: First evidence from nitrogen stable isotope ratios. Coral Reefs
Hitoshi Saito, Takashi Ishimaru, Kazuo Nadaoka, Atsushi Watanabe (2013) Evaluation of seasonal variation of coral health using underwater short-distance remote-sensing method. Journal of the Japanese Coral Reef Society
Akihiko Morimoto, Atsushi Watanabe, Goh Onitsuka, [...], Tetsuo Yanagi (2012) Interannual variations in material transport through the eastern channel of the Tsushima/Korea Straits. Progress in Oceanography
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AdityaR. KartadikariaYasumasa MiyazawaKazuo NadaokaAtsushi Watanabe (2012) Existence of eddies at crossroad of the Indonesian seas. Ocean Dynamics
Atsushi WatanabeT. YamamotoKazuo Nadaoka[...]Ariel Blanco (2012) Spatiotemporal variations in CO2 flux in a fringing reef simulated using a novel carbonate system dynamics model. Coral Reefs
Yamamoto, Shoji; Kayanne, Hajime; Terai, Makoto; Watanabe, Atsushi; Kato, Ken; Negishi, Akira; Nozaki, Ken (2012) Seawater carbonate chemistry and net dissolution rate for experiment of Shiraho reef, supplement to: Threshold of carbonate saturation state determined by CO2 control experiment. Biogeosciences, 9(4), 1441-1450
Shoji Yamamoto, Hajime Kayanne, M. Terai[...], K. Nozaki (2011) Threshold of carbonate saturation state determined by CO2 control experiment. Biogeosciences Discussions
Takikawa Tetsutaro, Goh Onitsuka, Ken-ichi Fukudome[...], Atsushi Watanabe (2007) Spatial and Temporal Variation of a Cyclonic Eddy Detected Downstream of the Tsushima Islands in November 2007. Estuaries and Coasts
Yasuaki Tanaka, Toshihiro Miyajima, Atsushi Watanabe[...], H. Ogawa (2011) Distribution of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in a coral reef. Coral Reefs
Ariel Blanco, Atsushi Watanabe, Kazuo Nadaoka[...], Takahiro Yamamoto (2011) Estimation of nearshore groundwater discharge and its potential effects on a fringing coral reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin
Osamu Abe, Atsushi Watanabe, Sarma VVSS[...], Toshiro Saino (2010) Air-Sea Gas Transfer in a Shallow, Flowing and Coastal Environment Estimated by Dissolved Inorganic Carbon and Dissolved Oxygen Analyses. Journal of Oceanography
Tsutomu Takino, Atsushi Watanabe, Shunsuke Motooka[...], Masayoshi Taira (2010) Discovery of a large population of Heliopora coerulea at Akaishi Reef, Ishigaki Island, southwest Japan. Galaxea Journal of Coral Reef Studies
Akihiko Morimoto, Takikawa Tetsutaro, Goh Onitsuka[...]Tetsuo Yanagi (2009) Seasonal variation of horizontal material transport through the eastern channel of the Tsushima Straits. Journal of Oceanography
Goh Onitsuka, Akihiko Morimoto, Takikawa Tetsutaro, [...]Tetsuo Yanagi (2009) Enhanced chlorophyll associated with island-induced cyclonic eddies in the eastern channel of the Tsushima Straits. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science
Tatsuki Tokoro, Hajime Kayanne, Atsushi Watanabe, [...], Akira Negishi (2008) High gas-transfer velocity in coastal regions with high energy-dissipation rates. Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Takikawa Tetsutaro, Akihiko Morimoto, Goh Onitsuka, [...], Masatoshi Moku (2008) Characteristics of water mass under the surface mixed layer in Tsushima Straits and the southwestern Japan Sea in autumn. Journal of Oceanography
Tatsuki Tokoro, Atsushi Watanabe, Hajime Kayanne, [...], A. Negishi (2007) Measurement of air–water CO2 transfer at four coastal sites using a chamber method. Journal of Marine Systems
Atsushi Watanabe, Hajime Kayanne, Hiroshi Hata, [...], Hiroya Yamano (2006) Analysis of the seawater CO2 system in the barrier reef-lagoon system of Palau using total alkalinity-dissolved inorganic carbon diagrams. Limnology and Oceanography
Hajime Kayanne, Hiroshi Hata, Setsuko Kudo, [...], Hiroshi Saito (2005) Seasonal and bleaching-induced changes in coral reef metabolism and CO2 flux. Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Atsushi Watanabe, Hajime Kayanne, Ken Nozaki, [...], Andrew Dickson (2004) A rapid, precise potentiometric determination of total alkalinity in seawater by a newly developed flow-through analyzer designed for coastal regions. Marine Chemistry
Hiroshi Hata, Setsuko Kudo, Akiko Muramoto, [...], Hajime Kayanne(2004) The application of pH and pCO2 monitoring to estimating the rates of coral reef community metabolism. Journal of the Japanese Coral Reef Society





Councilor of the International Coral Reef Society (2019-now) 
a representative of the Japanese Coral Reef Society (2019-now)


Assistant Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology (2008-2018)
Post-doctoral fellow at Nagoya University (2004-2008)


Doctor of Science (2004 University of Tokyo)
Master of Science (2001 University of Tokyo)
Bachelor of Science (1999 University of Tokyo)