Kentaro Inoue, Ph.D.
Kentaro Inoue is an evolutionary and conservation biologist with a passion for freshwater mussels.
Ph.D., zoology, Miami University
“My favorite freshwater mussel is the rabbitsfoot. Despite its lucky name, this and many other mussel species are endangered and in need of conservation.”
Kentaro Inoue joined Shedd Aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research in 2019. His study subjects, freshwater mussels, are among the most imperiled group of organisms in the world. Inoue will lead freshwater mussel research in the Great Lakes region to understand how human activities and environmental change affect current mussel diversity.
Studying freshwater mussels is important because these invertebrates provide important ecosystem services. In addition to stabilizing river bottoms, mussels are natural water filters, which makes them sensitive to rapidly changing environmental conditions. Using field and laboratory studies, Inoue will apply his findings to understand why mussel populations are declining and help improve freshwater mussel conservation.
Before coming to Shedd, Inoue was a research scientist at Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, where he used genetic analyses to assess conservation status of freshwater mussels in Texas. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where he worked on European freshwater mussels and fishes.
Inoue is a member of Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society and serves on a genetic committee. He earned a Ph.D. in zoology from Miami University. He received an M.S. in environmental sciences and a B.S. in wildlife ecology and management from Arkansas State University.