IDS Poster Award to Kazuki Sugawara
by Kazuki Sugawara |
Diatom Host Specificity: Reflections on IDS26
Biotic interactions among organisms, such as mutualism, parasitism, and competition, play a significant role in driving biodiversity. Diatoms, with their impressive diversity of over 100,000 species, must be no exception. Benthic diatoms are known to colonize a wide range of substrata, including living organisms (called hosts). The composition of living organism-associated diatom communities differs depending on the type of host, which indicates not only the effect of environmental factors but also the more-or-less host specificity. The level of specificity seems to differ across diatom groups, yet our comprehension in this regard is still rather limited. At IDS26, I had the opportunity to present a poster on a newly discovered marine epiphytic diatom. This diatom stands out due to its unique ecological niche, exclusively inhabiting specific red seaweeds—a clear example of “strong” host specificity. This relationship may provide new insights into the host specificity in diatoms, a topic that has received limited attention in diatom research until now.
The people gathered there in Yamagata were very friendly and kind to me, a first-time attendee at an “in-person” international conference, and gave me many valuable suggestions about my research. It was truly a precious experience, spending much time together with many specialists and new friends in the presentations, excursions, dinner, and other various events.
Lastly, I am very honored to receive a student poster award at IDS26. I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Prof. Hidekazu Suzuki, my co-authors, and everyone who supports me from all aspects. I am also very thankful to the organizers for providing me with this wonderful opportunity to present here and make “networks” with many diatomists. This certainly motivates me to continue studies and contribute further to diatom research.