California scientist names lichen after Obama

April 17th, 2009 - 12:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Los Angeles, April 17 (DPA) A California scientist has named a species of lichen that he discovered after US President Barack Obama, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Kerry Knudsen, a curator of the plant-like combination of fungi and algae at the University of California, Riverside, named the new species of orange-coloured lichen, Caloplaca Obamae after Obama.

“I supported him running for president and while we were doing the collecting, the election was in its last couple of weeks,” Knudsen, 58, said. “It was real suspense so we were talking about that every day.”

Knudsen said the naming decision reflected his delight at seeing the end of the Bush administration’s anti-science policies.

“After the Bush administration, I appreciated the change to an administration supporting science and science education,” said Knudsen.

The rare species of lichen has so far been found on only about 10 patches of soil, including an old horse or cattle pen, on Santa Rosa Island in Channel Islands National Park, Knudsen said. The largest patch was only about 13 centimetres across.

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