Discovery of a new parasite honors scientist’s mother and father
Flathead catfish. Photo by Eric Engbretson/USFWS. New parasite (inset). Photo by Eric Leis/USFWS.
After I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, I always intended to write my parents a card to share my appreciation for all their help and support. With regret, the moment slipped away from me and the card was never completed. Years later I now have the opportunity to make amends. I am pleased to say that a new parasite has been named to honor my father and mother, Michael and Alice. Ligictaluridus michaelalicea is a small parasitic flatworm that measures approximately 1 millimeter in length and lives on the gills of flathead catfish in the upper Mississippi River. While it may fall short of a Hallmark card, it’s the best way I know to express my gratitude for the way my parents fostered the scientist in me from an early age.
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