A New International Program

A Partly Personal Tale by Trish Morse, Ph.D.

Faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral students at the Friday Harbor Labs (FHL) have access to a new international program with marine scientists in Japan.The purpose of the program is to exchange scholars between the Friday Harbor Laboratories and several Marine Laboratories in Japan, and name these marine scientists as life members of the E. S. Morse Institute. Three scientists, two from Japan and I launched the concept of this endeavor; but let me make it clear that E.S. Morse is NOT my Grandfather!!

"Older colleagues (Bill Clench at Harvard, Paul Illg, Aubrey Gorbman and Bob Fernald of the University of Washington) had told me of the reputation of E. S. Morse (1838 – 1925), a protégé of Louis Agassiz at Harvard, who was the first Professor of Zoology at the University of Tokyo. During his four years in Japan, Morse introduced evolution and zoology to Japanese students. But, it took my "retirement" and the encouragement of two colleagues in Japan, for me to make the trip. These colleagues who are long time visitors to FHL are Drs. Motonori (Ghen) Hoshi and Makoto Omori (who received his PhD in UW Oceanography). (Fig. 1, right)

The three of us as "founders" established the concept to make this Institute a continuous collaborative activity with the following objectives:

• to strengthen our international collaboration,
• to create a community of such scholars and
• to open this exchange concept to both senior scholars (faculty) and junior scholars (graduate students and postdocs).

Enthusiasm for this program is shared by he various laboratory directors in Japan and at the Friday Harbor Laboratories. Edward S. Morse (Fig. 2, left) began the exchange of scholars between these two countries in the 1870s, leaving a legacy that we now seek to formalize and support for future collaborations in our shared Pacific Ocean environment.


On June 24th we celebrated the entry of four junior and two senior scholars as the first members of the E. S. Morse Institute. Joining this celebration were Professors Hoshi and Omori from Japan. Certificates were presented (Fig. 3, right) and welcomes were made by Professor Ken Sebens, FHL Director and Dr. Stephanie Harrington, Assistant Dean, Planning and Initiatives, UW College of the Environment.


Professor Hiro Takeda, University of Tokyo, a Senior Morse Fellow, visited and lectured in the Fish Biology Class with Professor Adam Summers (Fig. 4, left). Two Japanese graduate students, Masako Mino and Kazunori Yamamoto, both from Nagoya University were students in Professor Billie Swalla's Invertebrate Development Course are Junior Fellows.


Professor Ichiro Imai, from Hokkaido University and two of his students (Yuka Onishi and Nobuharu Inaba) (Fig. 5, right) came to FHL to research harmful marine algal blooms with Dr. Vera Trainer, from the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Center (see article in this e-newsletter). Dr. Trainer is a researcher at FHL, who comes with her NOAA trailer that is seen set up next to the Fernald building. Professor Imai is the other Senior Fellow and the two graduate students are new Junior Fellows in the Morse Institute.

Several special guests joined us at the celebration. Dr. Ben Shapiro (Fig. 6, left), former chair of U.W. Biochemistry and Vice President at Merck, and his artist wife, Fredericka Foster Shapiro, had been exchange fellows in the Laboratory of Motonori Hoshi many years ago. Also present were Drs. Mineo and Akiko Iwata, presently at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who were postdoctoral students at the Friday Harbor Labs (arranged by Professor Arthur Whiteley) in the 1980s. We also welcomed Garett and Karen Sweany, whose family was host to Makoto Omori some years ago when he was a Ph.D. student in Seattle.

It is an exciting initiative, and planning is already underway to have the exchange take U.S. scholars to Japan in the coming year. As marine scientists, we share the Pacific Ocean, and look forward to building lifetime scholarly associations as E. S. Morse Fellows in the years to come. To support the E. S. Morse Institute with an online donation, please visit the UW Foundation website. For more information contact Rachel Anderson (rachelea@u.washington.edu) or one of the founders, Trish Morse (mpmorse@u.washington.edu), Motonori Hoshi(hoshim@ouj.ac.jp) or Makoto Omori (makomori@amsl.or.jp).

Figure 1. Drs. Makoto Omori, Motonori Hoshi and Trish Morse with junior member of the Morse Institute, Kazunori Yamamoto.
Figure 2. Professor Edward Sylvester Morse, first Professor of Zoology at the University of Toyko, 1877.
Figure 3. Four Junior Members of the Morse Institute. Top row, Nobuharu Inaba, Masako Mino, Kazunori Yamamoto and bottom row, Yuka Onishi standing with Dr. Makoto Omori.
Figure 4. Senior member of the Morse Institute, Dr. Hiro Takeda with Dr. Adam Summers.
Figure 5. Dr. Ichiro Imai, Senior member of the Morse Institute with his two research Junior Fellows, Nobuharu Inaba and Yuka Onishi.
Figure 6. Drs. Ben Shapiro, Arthur Whiteley and Ghen Hoshi.

Pictures contributed by Hiro Taeda and Mineo Iwata.