The Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES) was established in 1999. Its origins date back to the two research activities in the mid-1980s. One is the research on the fisheries environments in the Uwa Sea located at the western coast of Ehime Prefecture. The scientists at the faculties of Sciences, Engineering, and Agriculture of Ehime University started joint research responding to a request from the local fisheries union. They revealed some interesting physical, chemical, and biological processes in the area and finally finished a new guideline for fish culture, which later became a national guideline. The other is the research on pesticide pollution in India, which is conducted by the same members. They reached an important conclusion that the pesticide used in tropical countries can cause global-scale contamination.

Based on such a tradition of interdisciplinary collaborative research, CMES was established to promote studies related to societal environmental problems. Recently, CMES had three major research directions. The first is on the variations of natural environmental conditions related to marine ecosystems; the second is the survey of natural and artificial contamination by various pollutants in the terrestrial, coastal, and open ocean; the third is one health research, which comprehensively addresses the issues that intersect human, animal, and environmental health. CMES gained financial support from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) through the 21st-Century Center of Excellence program from 2002 to 2006 and the Global Center of Excellence Program from 2007 to 2011. During this period, CMES finished its Environmental Specimen Bank for Global Monitor (es-BANK) and a new research vessel named ISANA. Recently, es-BANK holds in cold storage specimens over 120,000 gathered from worldwide.

CMES started a project known as Leading Academia in Marine and Environment Pollution Research (LaMer) to promote the use of samples in the es-BANK and the use of research vessel of ISANA by the scientific community, which is granted by MEXT, Japan to CMES as a national Joint Usage/Research Center at Ehime University from 2016 to 2021. This year, LaMer was renewed for its second period from 2022 to 2027 by MEXT. In the next six years, while continuing our activities in environmental studies, we will also start some new challenges to integrate our knowledge from environmental studies to form a new direction for solving related environmental issues.

Click here to watch a video introducing the CMES