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Staff member Kentaro Inoue stands before Shedd's historic bronze doors.

Kentaro Inoue, Ph.D.

Research Biologist

Kentaro Inoue is an evolutionary and conservation biologist with a passion for freshwater mussels.

Education

Ph.D., Zoology, Miami University
B.Sc., Wildlife Ecology and Management, Arkansas State 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.

See Publications


A new species of freshwater mussel in the genus Popenaias Frierson, 1927, from the Gulf coastal rivers of central Mexico (Bivalvia: Unionida: Unionidae) with comments on the genus

Inoue, K., Cummings, K. S., Tiemann, J. S., Miller, T. D., Johnson, N. A., Smith, C. H., & Randklev, C.R. (2020) A new species of freshwater mussel in the genus Popenaias Frierson, 1927, from the Gulf coastal rivers of central Mexico (Bivalvia: Unionida: Unionidae) with comments on the genus. Zootaxa, 4816(4), 457–490. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4816.4.3

A comprehensive approach uncovers hidden diversity in freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) with the description of a novel species

Inoue, K., Harris, J. L., Robertson, C. R., Johnson, N. A., & Randklev, C. R. (2020). A comprehensive approach uncovers hidden diversity in freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) with the description of a novel species. Cladistics, 36(1), 88–113. https://doi.org/10.1111/cla.12386

Use of species delimitation approaches to assess biodiversity in freshwater planaria (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida) from desert springs

Inoue, K., Pohl, A. L., Sei, M., Lang, B. K., & Berg, D. J. (2020). Use of species delimitation approaches to assess biodiversity in freshwater planaria (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida) from desert springs. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 30(2), 209–218. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3273

Status of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) of the Río Conchos basin, Chihuahua, Mexico

Tiemann JS, Inoue K, Rodríguez-Pineda JA, Hart M, Cummings KS, Naranjo-García E, Randklev CR. (2019) Status of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) of the Río Conchos basin, Chihuahua, Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist, 64, 180–186. DOI:10.1894/0038-4909-64.3-4.180