Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dr. Douglas has his own millipede

Our faculty get out into the community and often into really interesting places. For Dr. Joe Douglas those places include caves. And even though he's a History Professor he's now officially on record for helping to discover a new species. Here is a note from his colleague Le-Ellen Dayhuff and one from Joe explaining it all:

The new species Pseudotremia douglasi is named in honor of Dr. Joseph C. Douglas, Professor of History, Volunteer State Community College. Pseudotremia douglasi is known from two caves about 2 miles apart along the western edge of the Appalachian Cumberland Plateau in north-central Tennessee. I guess all that time in caves did finally pay off !! Congratulations Joe.

Le-Ellen Dayhuff
Several people have asked, so I guess I should tell something about it. I have been volunteering for the last five or six years to assist biological cave surveys on the Cumberland Plateau conducted by the Nature Conservancy and partners, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Julian (Jerry) Lewis of Indiana is the principle investigator. As a result of his work, a few dozen new species of obligate cave dwelling animals have been found. Now these are pretty much all invertebrates, not flashy or showy things like mammals or birds. They are mostly spiders, beetles, pseudoscorpions, millipedes, and the like. Anyway, I think Dr. Lewis must have run out of other names; after naming them after TNC scientists and the donors who funded the project he started to name them after his field volunteers. So I have a small white millipede, a Pseduotremia. It is kind of an ugly little thing, but it is an honor. I do not have a photo of it currently, but I’ve attached a photo of a related Pseudotremia.
Joe Douglas

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