Quantcast

PSU Professor’s find makes world top-10 list - KOAM TV 7

PSU Professor’s find makes world top-10 list

Updated:
Dr. Neil Snow works in his office at PSU where he is member of the faculty in the Department of Biology. Dr. Neil Snow works in his office at PSU where he is member of the faculty in the Department of Biology.
Eugenia petrikensis. Photo by David Rabehevitra Eugenia petrikensis. Photo by David Rabehevitra

NEWS RELEASE ISSUED OCTOBER 1, 2013 BY PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

Professor’s find makes world top-10 list

Neil Snow is one of the thousands of scientists who are racing -- against time, against climate change, against the destruction of fragile ecosystems -- to identify our planet’s still poorly understood biodiversity.

Snow, a member of the faculty in Pittsburg State University’s Department of Biology, and others like him are identifying and cataloging a surprising number of new plant and animal species every year. By his own count, Snow has described more than five dozen new plant species within the Myrtle family. This year, one of his discoveries received special recognition.

The International Institute for Species Exploration selected one of Snow’s finds as one of the top 10 new species of 2013. Snow’s Eugenia petrikensis, a small woody plant from Madagascar, joined a charming monkey from the Congo, a tiny frog (the world’s smallest vertebrate), and a cockroach that glows in the dark on the annual list of top finds.

“It was really exciting and professionally satisfying,” Snow said of the work that went into identifying the new species.

It is time consuming and, some would say, tedious work that can focus on small patches of real estate. In the case of Eugenia petrikensis, it was a coastal region in Southeastern Madagascar.

“We’re talking about an area maybe the distance between Fort Scott and Pittsburg,” Snow said, “and we’ve described eight new species from that one small area.”

Because the Missouri Botanical Garden has had a long-running research presence in Madagascar, Snow said, he was able to work with local botanists and researchers to match photographs with dried specimens and thereby determine that Eugenia petrikensis was a species that had not been identified previously.

It isn’t as if no one knows these plants and animals exist, Snow said.

“The local people know them and know what they can be used for,” Snow said. “They have their own names for them.”

Identifying and cataloging new species makes it possible for researchers to add new pieces to Earth’s biological jig saw puzzle, Snow said. It also allows them to send up warning flags when species are threatened.

According to Snow’s paper, Eugenia petrikensis is considered endangered and can be found only in the specialized humid forest that grows on sandy substrate within kilometers of the shoreline in southeastern Madagascar.

“Once forming a continuous band 1,600 km long, the littoral forest has been reduced to isolated, vestigial fragments under pressure from human populations,” he wrote.

Snow, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in St. Louis, joined the PSU Department of Biology this fall. He said one of the things that excited him about coming to PSU was the opportunity to serve as director of PSU’s Sperry Herbarium.

“This is an important regional and historical collection of vascular plants and bryophytes,” Snow said.

As director of the herbarium, Snow said he hopes to upgrade and update its collections and make them more accessible to a wider variety of users. He would also like to convert as much of the herbarium’s data to readily accessible formats on-line as possible.

# # #

  • NewsMore>>

  • Suspect in Galena Arson Pleads Guilty

    Suspect in Galena Arson Pleads Guilty

    Monday, October 15 2018 8:05 PM EDT2018-10-16 00:05:44 GMT
    A Galena, Kansas man pleads guilty to two arsons from the spring and summer. Ronny Ray Piercefield admits that he set a grass fire on North Jefferson Street in Galena in March. That fire eventually engulfed a small structure. Piercefield also pleaded guilty to setting a fire that engulfed 68 bales of hay in rural Cherokee County, Kansas in July of 2018. Piercefield is to be sentenced in December of 2018.  Authorities have been investigating a string of fires that happened in ...More >>
    A Galena, Kansas man pleads guilty to two arsons from the spring and summer. Ronny Ray Piercefield admits that he set a grass fire on North Jefferson Street in Galena in March. That fire eventually engulfed a small structure. Piercefield also pleaded guilty to setting a fire that engulfed 68 bales of hay in rural Cherokee County, Kansas in July of 2018. Piercefield is to be sentenced in December of 2018.  Authorities have been investigating a string of fires that happened in ...More >>
  • Police Release More Information Regarding Pittsburg Shooting

    Monday, October 15 2018 6:07 PM EDT2018-10-15 22:07:44 GMT
    The Pittsburg Police Department is searching for a suspect in a weekend shooting. Police say Eric James Cravey is wanted in the Saturday shooting that injured Vanessa Rae McWhirt-Martin of Chetopa, KS. Authorities say McWhirt was a passenger in a black "Dodge Nitro" driven by Cravey. They say witnesses say she got out of the SUV during an argument with Cravey and was shot with a handgun.  McWhirt was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery. At last repo...More >>
    The Pittsburg Police Department is searching for a suspect in a weekend shooting. Police say Eric James Cravey is wanted in the Saturday shooting that injured Vanessa Rae McWhirt-Martin of Chetopa, KS. Authorities say McWhirt was a passenger in a black "Dodge Nitro" driven by Cravey. They say witnesses say she got out of the SUV during an argument with Cravey and was shot with a handgun.  McWhirt was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery. At last repo...More >>
  • Pittsburg Police Identify Shooting Victim

    Sunday, October 14 2018 2:43 PM EDT2018-10-14 18:43:35 GMT

    Police identified the victim in a  shooting Saturday afternoon in Pittsburg  as 37 year old Vanessa Rae McWhirt-Martin of Chetopa, Kansas. 

    More >>

    Police identified the victim in a  shooting Saturday afternoon in Pittsburg  as 37 year old Vanessa Rae McWhirt-Martin of Chetopa, Kansas. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by Frankly, Inc. All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.