Navigation Links
UC Riverside researcher names lichen after President Barack Obama
Date:4/15/2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif. A researcher at UC Riverside has discovered a new species of lichen a plant-like growth that looks like moss or a dry leaf and named it after President Barack Obama.

"I discovered the new species in 2007 while doing a survey for lichen diversity on Santa Rosa Island in California," said Kerry Knudsen, the lichen curator in the UCR Herbarium. "I named it Caloplaca obamae to show my appreciation for the president's support of science and science education."

Knudsen published his discovery in the March issue of the journal Opuscula Philolichenum.

"I made the final collections of C. obamae during the suspenseful final weeks of President Obama's campaign for the United States presidency, and this paper was written during the international jubilation over his election," Knudsen said. "Indeed, the final draft was completed on the very day of President Obama's inauguration."

C. obamae, the first species of any organism to be named in honor of President Obama, grows on soil and almost became extinct during the days of cattle ranching that spanned nearly a hundred years on Santa Rosa Island.

"This species barely survived the intensive grazing of cattle, elk and deer on Santa Rosa Island," Knudsen said. "But with cattle now removed, it has begun to recover. With future removal of elk and deer both of which were introduced to the island it is expected to fully recover."

Lichens, which grow slowly and live for many years, result from fungi and algae living together. They represent an important element of the biodiversity of life on public lands. There are approximately 17,000 species of lichen worldwide, with approximately 1,500 species reported from California. More than 300 lichens have been reported from Santa Rosa Island, almost as many species of native plants on the island.

Knudsen is excited about his discovery of C. obamae.

"A new lichen validates the value of the public support for preserving public lands as ecological sanctuaries," he said. "C. obamae teaches us that possibly other species of lichens and plants unique to Santa Rosa Island may have disappeared, without ever being known to science, since sheep ranching began there in the 1850s."

Knudsen, 58, has been working in the UCR Herbarium, a field research resource of the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, since 2004. A retired construction worker, he volunteers his time in the herbarium, where he has built a collection of more than 10,000 lichens. Colleagues have named three new species of lichens after him.

He noted that he became interested in lichens when he grew bored after he retired from construction work in 2000.

"There are few lichen taxonomists in the United States and a few books on the lichen flora of North America, and none of these books are comprehensive," he said. "By studying lichens, I thought I could make a contribution to inventorying the fungal diversity of California, one of the world's biological hot-spots."

Knudsen, who has no academic degrees, has published more than 70 peer-reviewed research papers on lichens. He has described more than 25 species of lichens and lichenicolous (growing on lichens) fungi from California, South America and Turkey.

Next in his research he plans to map and monitor the populations on Santa Rosa Island and study their recovery after the final removal of deer and elk.


'/>"/>

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UC Riverside biologist receives prestigious MacArthur Fellowship
2. UC-Riverside partners with Chinese university to address Chinas environmental problems
3. Chemicals used as fire retardants could be harmful, UC-Riverside researchers say
4. UC Riverside to host conference on stricter air quality standards for Southern California
5. UC Riverside bioengineer receives high honor from chemical engineers
6. Tahitian vanilla originated in Maya forests, says UC Riverside botanist
7. UC Riverside botanist to study role of plants in southern Californias drought
8. UC Riverside biochemists devise method for bypassing aluminum toxicity effects in plants
9. Vitamin D a key player in overall health of several body organs, says UC Riverside biochemist
10. UC Riverside scientist to explore how vegetation affects urban heat islands
11. UC Riverside rice geneticist receives high honor from US Department of Agriculture
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UC Riverside researcher names lichen after President Barack Obama
(Date:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 5, 2017  SomaLogic announced ... "Digital Life Alliance" established by iCarbonX, the ... to build a "Global Digital Health Ecosystem that ... a combination of individual,s biological, behavioral and psychological ... agreement between the companies, SomaLogic will provide proteomics ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016  As part of its longstanding ... leading personal genetics company, recently released its latest children,s book, ... The book focuses on the topics of inheritance and variation ... Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school classrooms in the US. ... series by illustrator Ariana Killoran , whose previous book ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... , Dec. 16, 2016   IdentyTechSolutions ... Identity management products and solutions and a cutting-edge ... today that it is offering seamless, integrated solutions ... security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers ... secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... 17, 2017 The Global Implantable Biomaterials ... of around 7.5% over the next decade to ... the prominent trends that the market is witnessing ... & graft transplant surgeries and medical implants and ... is categorized into immunomodulatory biomaterials, natural, polymers, hydrogels ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Ind. , Jan. 17, 2017  Zimmer Biomet ... fourth quarter and full-year 2016 sales and earnings conference ... Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 8 a.m. Eastern Time.  ... will be made available at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time ... live audio webcast can be accessed via Zimmer Biomet,s ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017 Research ... report "Molecular Diagnostics - Technologies, Markets and Companies" ... ... diagnostics has increased remarkably during the past few years. More ... developing molecular diagnostics and 342 of these are profiled in ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... 2016 annual meeting of the North American Spine Society (NASS)1 demonstrate high ... the majority of cases, when PEEK-OPTIMA™ HA Enhanced is used for interbody-fusion ...
Breaking Biology Technology: