What is the interplay between planetary and biological evolution? How did the Earth form and evolve? How did life emerge and evolve?

This interdisciplinary training course held at the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a nearby field site will include lectures from experts and hands-on training in field techniques and computational approaches. Attendees will go home with an integrated perspective and new tools and concepts to apply in their own research.


The most recent version of the schedule can be found here. Schedule

Jan 21st 
Arrival in Tokyo – You MUST arrive by the evening on the 21st in order to be at ELSI at 9AM on January 22nd for the start of the school; if you are late arriving at ELSI on the morning of Jan 22nd (for whatever reason), you will not be able to attend the Winter School and you will be solely responsible for all expenses incurred.
Jan 22nd
9AM Welcome and coffee
Introduction to Japan geology
Orientation and set-up of computers
Poster session and dinner

Field Portion of the Course (Jan 23 – Jan 26)

Jan 23nd – Jan 26th
Morning/Day Time – Field expeditions to various geological sites in the Izu peninsula and the Hakone region, including volcanic formations and faults, geoparks, hot springs, and local research institutes.
Afternoon – Arrive at lodging (local inns and hotels in the Izu/Hakone region — to be precised in on-site organization)
Evening (except Jan 26th) – Dinner and seminars/discussion
– Microbial diversity
– Diversity of evolutionary mechanisms
– Comparative geology
Jan 26th
~6PM – Return to ELSI

Jan 27th – 28th

(Mostly) free time over the weekend (there may be a lecture and/or optional organized group excursions to points in greater Tokyo)

2nd week (Jan 29 – Feb 2)

Morning/Afternoon (9:00am to 8:00pm, including lunch and dinner) – We will have various seminars and hands-on tutorials from experts in a diverse range of research fields. There will also be ample opportunity to interact with the research community at ELSI, participate in ELSI social activities.
Seminar and tutorial topics
Tectonics and volcanology of Japan
Planetary Formation and Star System Evolution
Phylogenetic trees — meaning, making
Earth interior
Planetary atmospheres
Deep Earth (Core and Mantle) Dynamics (ASPECT tutorial)
Why do things happen in chemistry?
Prebiotic and biological chemistry
Telescope night
Exoplanets — observations, structures, limitations
Introduction to Artificial Life
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (tutorial)
Genomics (tutorial)
Visit of archean rocks museum
Thermodynamics complexity
Open question in astrobiology
We will ask students to work on a research project during that weeks, guided by researchers at ELSI. Research projects will be assigned the first day and students will present their progress on the last Friday.

List of instructors

Takeshi Ohba (Tokai University), Yuichiro Ueno (ELSI), Katie Petrie (ELSI-EON-UC San Diego), Kazumi Yoshiya (ELSI), Tomohiko Sato (ELSI), Shawn McGlynn (ELSI), Tomohiro Mochizuki (ELSI), Shigeru Ida (ELSI), Ramon Brasser (ELSI), Hidenori Genda (ELSI), Christine Houser (ELSI), Ramses Ramirez (ELSI), Hiroyuki Kurokawa (ELSI),  Juliane Dannberg (Colorado State University), Rene Gassmoeller (Colorado State University), Marine Lasbleis (ELSI), Henderson James Cleaves (ELSI-EON), Yuka Fujii (ELSI), Steven Desch (ASU), Elizabeth Tasker (JAXA), Nathanael Virgo (ELSI-EON), Nicholas Guttenberg (Araya Brain Imaging), Eric Smith (ELSI-EON), Tony Z. Jia (ELSI), Matthieu Laneuville (ELSI), Hilairy Hartnett (Arizona State University), Shige Maruyama (ELSI)