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Caloplaca obamae

Caloplaca obamaeOn March 9th, 2009 President Barack Obama lifted George Bush’s ban on using US taxpayers’ money to fund stem cell research. As a thank you to President Obama, Kerry Knudsen named a newly discovered lichen Caloplaca obamae. The new species was discovered by Kerry on Pleistocene soils on Santa Rosa Island. The name Caloplaca is derived from Greek meaning beautiful shield or patches. Ireland has about 40 Caloplaca species.

Kerry is a retired construction worker (no academic qualifications) who has devoted his spare time to working in the Herbarium at UC Riverside. With over 70 peer reviewed research papers under his belt Kerry already has three new species named after him. Read more on