I am a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying the diversity and evolution of whelks. This summer I was sponsored by the NSF (USA) and JSPS (Japan) to work with Dr. Seiji Hayashi at Nagoya University in Japan to collect buccinid gastropod (whelk) tissue samples and examine whelk shell collections at musems throughout Japan. Sugoi! Some of the snails that I study are pictured to the right.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


After the trip to Rikuzen-Takata I went to Sendai for (a) the meeting of the Paleontological Society of Japan, (b) to look at some fossil tsubu-gai at the Tohoku University Museum of Natural Hisory, (c) to photograph some extant tsubu-gai from a private shell collector, and finally (d) to search for tsubu-gai at the Sendai Fishmarket.The meeting was a bit of a challenge for me because almost all of the talks and posters were in Japanese.However, everyone I met was gracious and friendly. Here I am with the Society president.Next I visited Higuchi-san, a Sendai native who has been collecting shells for over 10 years. In addition to this room of specimens, he has another ENTIRE HOUSE devoted to his collection. It was amazing.He had some rare specimens including these sinestral (left-handed) shells from species in the Neptunea genus.Here are tsubu-gai at the fishmarket!There was quite an assortment of other sea creatures at this market including ascidians (tunicates!),and barnacles, which perplexed both my Japanese host, Seiji, and me.I also got a chance to explore some of Sendai on my own. As per usual, there was a plentiful assortment of shrines but also castle remnants and one pretty spectacular mausoleum to Date Masumune from 1637. Here I am running to get in a picture with the Sendai castle gate at second 9 of the 10 second camera timer.Here is the Date on horseback, a famous image of Sendai.Some more pictures are here.

No comments: