Dr. Yasuharu Mamiya, born in Osaka in 1933, was educated at Kyoto University, where he received a B.A. in Agriculture. He subsequently joined the Government Forest Experiment Station in Tokyo and started his research career initially with investigations on biology and ecology of root-lesion nematodes in forest nurseries. He advocated the importance of controlling nematodes in forest nurseries in Japan based on results of his pioneering works. In the early 1970s, after finding the pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus lignicolus, as a causal agent of devastating damage to pine forests, Dr. Mamiya concentrated his research on he pine wood nematode. Although the nematode was the synonymous species of B. xylophilus, he opened the door to the study of pine wilt disease caused by the nematode.
Dr. Mamiya and his colleagues clarified the association between the pine wood nematode and the vector insect, the pine sawyer, Monochamus alternatus. He organized and managed several research projects for nearly 15 years and contributed to establishing the countermeasures for pine wilt disease in Japan. He found and described a new nematode species, B. mucronatus, from dead pine trees. It is closely related to B. xylophilus but differentiated from B. xylophilus by its non-pathogenic trait and differences in DNA. Wide distribution of B. mucronatus throughout the Eurasian Continent as an aboriginal species provides interesting perspectives on the phylogeny of Bursaphelenchus nematodes.
For his contribution to the study on pine wilt disease, Dr. Mamiya was awarded from the Japanese Society of Agriculture, the Japanese Forestry Society and the Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology in 1974. In 1975, he received the Ph.D degree in Agriculture from Kyoto University for his dissertation entitled "Studies on the life cycle of the pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus lignicolus Mamiya and Kiyohara".
In 1991, he took a position as Division Head of Forest Biology at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (formerly the Government Forest Experiment Station). There he was engaged in administrative management of the division as well as his own nematological studies. In 1993, he retired from the Institute and moved to Tamagawa University as a professor of forestry science. He turned his attention to teaching advanced undergraduate and graduate students. With his students, he conducted research not only on the pine wood nematode but also on entomopathogenic nematodes. In 1999, he retired from the University. Since then he has served as a part-time teacher at Tamagawa University and at Nihon University. He was president of the Japanese Nematological Society between 1997 and 2000.
Dr. Mamiya has been lead editor and contributed chapters to 21 books; he has published more than 70 scientific papers in refereed journals; more than 50 review papers; and has presented eight invited-lectures at international symposia.
Dr. Mamiya was elected Fellow of the Society of Nematologists in 2002. The award is made in recognition of distinguished contributions to the science of nematology.
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