Botanist goes Gaga for ferns

Botanists are get­ting com­pet­it­ive when it comes to nam­ing plant spe­cies. Duke University has announced that a whole genus of ferns, with 19 known spe­cies, has been named after Lady Gaga. This, as the press release notes, beats the mere one car­ni­vor­ous plant that Helen Mirren has named after her. In her defence though when Helen Mirren wakes up in the morn­ing, she’s Helen Mirren — which is surely a pretty amaz­ing feel­ing most days.

Seventeen of Lady Gaga’s new spe­cies will be re-classified old spe­cies from the genus Cheilanthes. The new genus is based on DNA ana­lysis of the ferns that includes a dis­tinct­ive GAGA sequence. There are also two new spe­cies. Gaga mon­stra­parva is named after Lady Gaga’s fans, who she calls ‘little mon­sters’. Gaga german­otta in con­trast is named after Lady Gaga her­self as she was born Stefani Germanotta. Graduate Student Fay-Wei Li was delighted to dis­cover this new spe­cies while on field­work in Costa Rica.

Graduate Student Fay-Wei Li at the moment he discovered Gaga germanotta alive in Costa Rica.

Graduate Student Fay-Wei Li at the moment he dis­covered Gaga german­otta alive in Costa Rica.

You can pick up the paper describ­ing the ferns, Gaga, a New Fern Genus Segregated from Cheilanthes (Pteridaceae), from Systematic Botany.

Alun Salt. ORCID 0000-0002-1261-4283

When he's not the web developer for AoB Blog, Alun Salt researches something that could be mistaken for the archaeology of science. His current research is about whether there's such a thing as scientific heritage and if there is how would you recognise it?

1 Response

  1. Sam says:

    I don’t see why lady gaga gets ferns named after her, i think there are prob­ably many other more suited can­did­ates! I mean i’m just say­ing she couldn’t even call her­self an ‘envir­on­ment­al­ist’ as she struts around in animal fur!