Some would see it as an occupational hazard for a parasitologist, but a James Cook University scientist says she is delighted a new parasite will be named after her.
The recently discovered Anoplodiscus hutsonae has been given its official name in honour of Dr Kate Hutson from JCU’s Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, where she is a senior lecturer in the Marine Parasitology Laboratory.
Dr Hutson is an international expert in fish parasitology, and the naming of the new species recognises her contribution to that field.
The recently discovered fish parasite was described by Dr Hutson’s PhD student David Vaughan and co-author Kevin Christison. Mr Vaughan said it was a no-brainer to name it after Dr Hutson.
“This patronym was given out of deepest gratitude and respect for Dr Hutson. Without her, I would not have been afforded this opportunity to pursue my PhD. Immortalising her name in science is a fitting act of gratitude.”
The species was initially discovered near Lizard and Heron islands in Queensland.
Mr Vaughan said it is an important addition to the known biodiversity of Australia, as it is only the second Anoplodiscus species formally described from Australia, and one of six recognised species world-wide.
The paper describing the new parasite will appear shortly in the international journal, Systematic Parasitology.
Its naming comes at an especially auspicious moment for Dr Hutson as she prepares to go on maternity leave.