Naomi Berman is from Melbourne, Australia, and completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Sydney in 2009. After this time she spent several years as an academic teacher and research fellow at several national universities, as well as a program evaluator evaluating arts health and youth programs. She also spent 12-months evaluating a major project for the BBC in the UK.
Naomi’s research interests include young people and discourses of social entrepreneurship and change-making, principles and practices of teaching and learning in higher education using new technologies, and quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation methodologies in youth, community arts and health and wellbeing. She is an Associate Editor of the UNESCO Observatory Multidisciplinary Research in the Arts e-journal.
Britton Brooks was raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and received his BA in English from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In 2007, he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Cardiff University in Wales, where he received a Master’s in Medieval British Studies. After several years teaching in Hawai‘i, Britton returned to academia for a second Master’s degree, and a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in Medieval British Literature at the University of Oxford in England. Prof. Brooks returned home to Oahu to take up a position in the English Department at UH Mānoa, during which time he helped put together the 18th biennial meeting of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. Prof. Brooks is currently the Founder and Director of Converging Epistemologies, which seeks to bring together scholars from different fields and epistemological perspectives to engage with issues at the forefront of our contemporary dialogue. His research interests centre on medieval literary ecology, and wider questions concerning the relationship between humanity and the non-human world.
Aaron is from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He finished a Bachelor’s degree in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and subsequently worked as a secondary school teacher in Alaska. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, his Master’s degree research explored the aspirations and career choices of high school students who live in remote and isolated communities. He later taught tertiary EAP in Beijing and completed a PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong, focusing on the language learning motivation and academic/career choices of undergraduate students in Mainland China. Aaron joined the University of Tokyo in 2018 and teaches ALESA and FLOW classes. He continues to be interested in student motivation and decision-making.
Dr. Ellinger became a member of the ALESS program in April 2015. He also teaches courses in the PEAK Environmental Sciences division.
During his Ph.D. research, Dr. Ellinger developed methods to profile metabolites in complex biological mixtures using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This technology has applications for improving medical diagnoses, enhancing food safety, and developing next generation biofuels. During his postdoctoral research, he shifted his focus to synthetic biology. Within the realm of synthetic biology, he has been involved with research to engineer an artificial multi-species bacterial community, improve gene regulation in cyanobacteria, and mercury bioremediation using engineered Escherichia coli.
Dr. Ellinger is also interested in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. The iGEM competition is an international competition for (mostly) undergraduate university students interested in the field of synthetic biology. He has advised multiple iGEM teams since 2013 and currently advises the University of Tokyo iGEM team.
► B.A. in Biochemistry from the College of Wooster (2004)
► Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin (2012)
► Postodoctoral research – University of Minnesota, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
I am cultural and linguistic anthropologist specializing in human rights and peace movements. My current research focuses on how Northern Irish, Palestinian, and Israeli activists write and speak using representations of time, place, and religious identity to justify demands for positive and negative rights in the context of the Northern Irish peace process. This study is based upon two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Northern Ireland and the United States. In 2017, I will begin an ethnographic investigation of anti-nuclear/environmental activism in Japan and the United States. At the University of Tokyo, I teach writing to science, social science, and humanities students as well as a course on peace studies and human rights
Diana Kartika was born in Singapore with an Indonesian and Chinese cultural background. After the completion of her basic university degree in Singapore, she has studied and worked in Australia, Thailand and Japan. She first came to Japan through the Asian Youth Fellowship in 2008 and went on to obtain her doctoral degree from Waseda University, where she also worked as a Research Associate at the Writing Center. She also holds a Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and has been teaching English to second language learners since 2007.
Diana’s research interests lies in the field of comparative education, sociology of education and international cooperation, and has conducted qualitative fieldwork in Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. She also conducts research with JICA's research institute on disability and education. Additionally, Diana serves as a Communications Officer within the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), is an active SYLFF fellow of the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, as well as a member of the Japan Comparative Education Society (JCES).
► B.A. in Political Science from the National University of Singapore (2006)
► Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney (2008)
► M.A. in International Relations from Waseda University (2013)
► Ph.D. in International Studies from Waseda University (2017)
Akiko Katayama (片山晶子) earned her doctor’s degree in education from Temple University. Her master’s degree is in Teaching English to the Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Boston University, and her B.A. is in law from Waseda University. While she has been teaching English all her adult life, Dr. Katayama is also an active researcher in applied linguistics. She conducts research regarding English and English education in Japan in qualitative methods, mainly ethnographic and narrative approaches. In addition, Dr. Katayama recently started to collaborate with other researchers to do mixed-method studies about language education. She is also greatly interested in the philosophy of research, especially post-structuralism and postmodernism.
Akiko was born in Yamanashi Prefecture and grew up in Tokyo. In fact, she spent her childhood near the Komaba Campus. After studying in the United States, she returned to Japan and lived in Kobe for many years. Dr. Katayama’s first language is ‘Tokyo’ Japanese, but she has also acquired a great deal of the Kansai dialect by raising two native speakers of that particular variety of language. Though English is her second language, Dr. Katayama feels her first “academic” language is English.
Daisuke Kimura joined the program in 2018 after successfully defending his doctoral dissertation in Applied Linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University. He is originally from Osaka, and he has lived in Bangkok, Hawai’i, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania for work and education. Having learned, used, and taught English in a variety of international settings, his teaching and research revolve around how diverse users of English communicate across borders and achieve shared understandings. His doctoral dissertation longitudinally investigated the linguistic experience of international and local students at Thai universities, with a particular focus on language learning and evolving social networks. He is thrilled at the opportunity to assist students at the University of Tokyo in becoming globally-competent professionals who are equipped with necessary language skills and dispositions.
My area of specialization is experimental phonetics, focusing on issues related to Japanese prosody. I am also interested in second language acquisition and vocal attractiveness. For a list of my recent publications, please visit this website.
Before becoming a researcher, I spent 5 years working in supply chain management and obtained an MSc in logistics. I came to the University of Tokyo in September 2017.
My academic career began as a Food Technology undergraduate student of the University of the Philippines and continued as a graduate student of Food Science in the same university. I then joined the Philippine Ministry of Agriculture as a Research Specialist in charge of formulating internationally-harmonized standards on food safety. In 2007, I came to Japan as a Monbukagakusho scholar and joined the Pomology and Post-harvest Physiology Laboratory of the University of Tsukuba where I obtained my Ph.D. In a nutshell, my Ph.D. research provided the biochemical basis for the 250 year-old on the risky, or at times lethal, interaction of combined durian (fruit) and alcohol intake. I was then hired as post-doctoral scientist at the International Agro-Biological Resources Laboratory, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT). Here, I have characterized the role of UV-A on the biochemical mechanism behind the growth-inhibiting property of cyanimide, a natural plant compound, on other plants.
Basically, I am a food and postharvest scientist who is adept at scientific communication especially in the field of life and environmental sciences. Aside from the published papers I have authored, I have assisted researchers and graduate students publish scientific findings in internationally-refereed journals. I have coached professional researchers in science presentation, and taught speech communication to senior high school science students. Equipped with expertise and experience, my goal as a Project Assistant Professor is to introduce and guide science students of Tokyo University through the satisfying experience of scientific writing and presentation in the ALESS program.
I graduated with a PhD in English from the University of Oregon in 2013. My work explores the poetic innovations and aesthetic theories of Middle English poets such as William Langland and Geoffrey Chaucer.
Emiko Nozawa was born in Osaka, and grew up in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Sapporo. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught English, Cultural Studies, and Japanese Studies. Her research focuses primarily on women’s education in India. She explores the impacts of school education on the lives of first-generation female learners residing in agrarian villages in light of recent modernization, globalization, and neoliberal transition in economy and governance. She has conducted fieldwork in villages and interviewed local women to understand how they perceived the role and impacts of education in their life course, family relations, socioeconomic status, gendered identity, and community as a whole. She is also working on language issues and divisive social practices in the Indian context.
I have been Associate Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies since April 2013. Immediately prior to that I was Project Assistant Professor with the ALESS Program from 2008, and before that Postdoctoral Fellow with the History and Philosophy of Science Program at Komaba. Before coming to Japan, I spent three years as postdoctoral fellow in the Philosophy Program of RSSS, ANU, Canberra, and in 2002 I graduated with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Monash University, Melbourne. I spent the 1997-8 American academic year in graduate coursework in the Philosophy Dept of the University Maryland (College Park). I took out of Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from The University of Queensland, Brisbane, where I was born and near where I was raised.
Nigel Robb holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and an MSc in Software Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast. He joined the ALESS program in 2018. Previously, he was a Marie Curie Research Fellow at University College Dublin, and a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University. His research is focused on understanding the effects of video games on learning and cognition, and the application of games as interventions for people with cognitive disabilities.
Roger Robins is a native of Dallas, Texas, USA. He first came to Tokyo in 2008 as a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer and now serves as a professor in the Center for Global Communication Strategies. He holds a B.A. in English literature from St. Joseph’s College (Indiana), an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in American religious history from Duke University. He provides institutional support—particularly in the area of human resources—for the ALESS and ALESA Programs.
Ryan joined the ALESS/ALESA program in September 2017 after completing his Ph.D. in Physiology, from Indiana State University. He has taught a wide range of subjects in the sciences, including Basic Science and Anatomy. Building upon his Masters in Zoology from Middle Tennessee State University, his research examined selection at the interface between physiology and evolution with a focus on identification of selection pressures. During his doctorate career, he became a scientist for animal welfare and conservation working in conjunction with local conservationists to examine environment effects on vertebrates. His current research interests aim at gaining a better understanding of the interactions between the environment and wildlife in Japan.
Marjan is a native of Iran and holds a PhD in English from the University of Sunderland, UK. Her doctoral thesis involved an ecocritical study of modern Irish literature, with a focus on the poetry of W.B. Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, and Louis MacNeice. She is interested in how the cultural artefacts of language and literature help shape our understanding of the environment and are in turn shaped by it. She is currently working on the works of the Irish Romantic poet of the early nineteenth century, J.S. Anna Liddiard.
Galina joined the ALESS/ALESA Program in April 2017, after completing a Ph.D. in History at Kings College London. She also holds an M.Sc. in History of Science, Technology and Medicine from Imperial College London and a B.A. in Romance Languages and Literatures and Classics from Harvard University. Her research interests focus on intersections between histories of business, science, technology and the senses in the twentieth century. Her current research, funded by a JSPS grant, builds on her graduate work to investigate the development of perfume making as a multibillion-dollar global industry by looking at the dynamic interactions of chemical knowledge, aesthetic expertise and corporate interests throughout the twentieth century.
I completed my Ph.D. in Genetics at Harvard University and hold a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire. My graduate research focused on regulation of gene expression during early embryo development using zebrafish as a model organism. As a graduate student I was increasingly interested in scientific writing and science communication, in particular how to help scientists communicate about their research findings to the general public. After a brief postdoc at the Laboratory of Embryology at University of Tokyo, I worked at RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Saitama as an in-house editor and science communicator where I had a chance to help scientists improve their writing as well as to promote the research of the institute to the global community. I joined the ALESS/ALESA Program in September 2015.
Diego Tavares Vasques is Brazilian and holds an M. Sc. and a Ph.D. in Plants Taxonomy and Systematics from the University of Tokyo. He joined the ALESS program in April 2017. In addition to teaching ALESS, he also works as the ALESS laboratory manager. His research revolves around unveiling the evolutionary history of extant lineages of ferns in order to suggest new taxonomic combinations. His latest studies reveal how some particular species of ferns are delimited, including the discovery of new species. Diego has also a deep interest in education, in particular how to develop tools to facilitate in-class activities when teaching science-related content.
Jing Wu holds a Ph.D. Medical Imaging and a BSc. (Hons) in Computer Modelling and Simulation from the University of Surrey, UK. Dr. Wu’s interest in biomedical imaging science stemmed from his undergraduate dissertation on retinal micro-aneurysm detection, an interest that would develop further into his doctoral thesis at the Centre for Vision, Speech, and Signal Processing, on automating coronary calcium scoring to aid patients suffering from heart disease. In 2013, Jing joined the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, Ophthalmic Image Analysis Group (OPTIMA) as a research scientist/post-graduate researcher in ophthalmic image processing, with a primary focus on developing advanced methods of bio-marker extraction and registration, used in the treatment of degenerative retinal diseases. Dr. Wu joined the University of Tokyo in 2016 as a Project Assistant Professor and his current research examines new methods of ophthalmic data simulation and evaluation in Spectral-domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT).
I am originally from Calgary, Canada. I acquired my PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 2008, where I worked on designing, synthesizing, and investigating the properties of 2-indolylphosphine-based anion receptors. Afterwards, I received a JSPS postdoctoral fellowship that brought me to the Tokyo Institute of Technology where I examined the use of ring-shaped proteins as templates for producing metal nanoparticles. In 2010, I joined RIKEN to develop nanowires from ring- and tube-shaped proteins with secondary functionality through surface decoration via fullerenes or organic-dye molecules. In October 2012, I became a member of the ALESS Faculty at the University of Tokyo.
Some of my interests include the usage of X-ray crystallography as a method to examine self-assembled nanomaterials; the portrayal of scientific research in media; and the fusion of science and art through photography.
Nami Koike is principally involved in the administration of the Komaba Writers' Studio (KWS). She was born in Wakayama prefecture, and holds a bachelor's degree in English Language and Studies. She has lived a number of years in the United States and Canada.
Hidehiro Minagawa is principally involved in the administration of the ALESS laboratory. He was born in Tokyo, and holds a master's degree in biology from the University of Tokyo.