KAWAMURA Kensuke Associate Professor

ThemeToward the conservation and sustainable use of grassland ecosystems

My DreamI want to balance grassland conservation and production


Research Department/Department of Agro-environmental Science/Division of Ecology and Environmental Science/Section of Ecology and Environmental Science
Field Grassland Ecology, Remote Sensing, Smart Farming
Keyword Vegetaiton, Biomass, Grazing Management, Animal Behavior, Geographic Inoformation System, Spatial Analysis, Hyperspectral, Machine Learning, Deep Learning


Grasslands are very small ecosystems in Japan, approximately 5% of the national land area, but looking at the world, they are huge ecosystems that occupy approximately 30% of the terrestrial land area. In this ecosystem, in addition to environmental problems such as desertification and land degradation, it contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and the carbon balance. In recent years, moreover, there is also growing interest in the role of multifaceted grasslands such as ecosystem services and social and cultural diversity. Furthermore, it is estimated that the world's grassland ecosystem supplies feed to an estimated 1.8 billion livestock. Therefore, sustainable improvement of productivity is also an important issue for solving food problems expected in the near future.
Conserving the existing grassland ecosystem while maintaining productivity at the same time, that is, balancing conservation and utilization has been my research target since I was a student. In order to clarify the structure and function of the grassland ecosystem, my research use remote sensing technologies such as satellite images and drones, which are good for monitoring resources and environment at large scale. In addition, GPS location information and IT device activity information are used for livestock grazing behavior and insect outbreaks that cannot be seen directly from remote sensing. My target is to analyze the temporal and spatial changes of the soil-grass-animal relationships in grassland ecosystem, and assess the effects of environmental factors. But, it's far from achieving the goal.

Plant sampling on Italian ryegrass fields
Canopy reflectance measurement with portable hyperspectral spectrometer in a grazing paddock
Monitoring vegetation and herbage biomass in grazing paddock using drone
Back posture measurements of dairy cows with a 3D camera to assess the body condition score

List of current research topics

  • Hyperspectral remote sensing on herbage mass and forage quality
  • Herbage biomass estimation and mapping from drone
  • Vegetation type discrimination and weed detection from drone
  • Monitoring of livestock grazing behavior with IT sensors
  • Spatial analysis of grass-livestock interactions
Related industries Environmental Sciences, Livestock Industry
Project KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) "Understanding and controlling cow dung distribution patterns to improve pasture productivity and reduce environmental impact "
Affiliated academic society Japanese Society of Grassland Science (JSGS), Remote Sensing Society of Japan (RSSJ), Japan Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (JSPRS), Japanese Agricultural Systems Society (JASS)
Editor Journal of the Japanese Agricultural Systems Society; 2011-2017
Editorial Board
  • Grassland Science: 2013-2015, 2021-present
Academic degree Ph.D.
License Teacher's license (High School and Junior High School, Science), Class 1 Health Officer's license, On-the-Ground III-Category Special Radio Operator, JFA Soccer 4th Grade Referee
Self introduction

My hometown is the Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The reason why I am interested in the natural sciences was the nature of Mount Tateyama in Toyama prefecture, which I climbed on a field trip when I was a high school student. When I was a graduate student, In the Inner Mongolia grassland, China, I was impressed by the magnificent landscape, but I remember vividly the memory of despair because it was too huge for my personal research field. Since then, I have been conducting research on grassland ecosystems incorporating remote sensing, which specializes in large scale monitoring. In grassland ecosystems, the structure and function show various expressions even if they are the same object but have different scales and viewpoints. That’s interesting, and I cannot stop interested in the grassland ecosystems.

Room addressGeneral Research Building II
Mail address kamuken atmark obihiro.ac.jp