Young Faculty：Lecturer Kazutaka Yasukawa
Lecturer Kazutaka Yasukawa : Kato, Nakamura & Yasukawa Lab, Frontier Research Center for Energy and Resources, Department of Systems Innovation
Mar. 2008: B.E., Department of Systems Innovation, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Mar. 2010: M.E., Department of Systems Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Apr. 2010-Mar. 2012: Ministry of the Environment
Apr. 2012-Mar. 2015: JSPS Research Fellow (DC1)
Mar. 2015: Ph.D. (Engineering), Department of Systems Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Apr. 2015: Research Associate, Department of Systems Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Mar. 2019-Present: Lecturer, Frontier Research Center for Energy and Resources, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
<About the Research>
The material cycle on the Earth’s surface is a non-equilibrium process, which sometimes causes global environmental changes, and/or generates resources beneficial to human society. By deciphering the Earth’s material cycle based on geoscientific knowledge, I would like to gain a panoramic view of the important issues that humanity faces, such as environmental and resource problems, and propose approaches to solve them. To this end, I am currently working on the following research topics.
<Characterization of frontier resources>
Seafloor mineral resources attract our attention as a novel source of various metals that are critical for the modern society. However, the distribution and resource potential of such frontier resources are largely unknown. I aim to quantify the contents and visualize the spatial distributions of critical metals in seafloor mineral resources, based on high-precision chemical analyses.
<Genesis of resources and guide for exploration>
Resources are extraordinary concentrations of elements/compounds in nature. I aim to decipher the source components and/or physicochemical processes that contributed to formation of the resources by statistical analyses of multi-elemental data. I also aim to clarify the relationships between changes in the marine environment and the genesis of seafloor mineral resources. Clarifying the condition(s) necessary for the resource formation can provide a useful guide for the efficient exploration of the resource in the vast ocean.
<Earth system’s responses to climate changes>
Climate change, or global warming, is one of the urgent issues for human society. On a geologic timescale, it is considered that Earth system can respond to an abrupt and massive carbon emission and remove the excess carbon via natural processes. To understand this negative feedback in Earth system quantitatively, I conduct geochemical and statistical analyses of geologic samples that record the signature of past global warmings. I also create some computer simulations of geochemical cycles on the Earth’s surface to reproduce and verify the feedback theoretically.
As I proceed my research on resources and the environment, I am becoming increasingly aware that they are essentially inseparable in Earth system. By further deepening the experimental techniques, chemical and statistical analyses, and theoretical approaches, I hope to come up with practical proposals that can lead to solutions to the two major global issues facing humanity.