WEATHER »

New Species Named After Armand Kuris

A new species of ribbon worm — the Carcinonemertes kurisi— has been named for the UCSB professor.


In the world of biology, having a new species named after you is considered one of the greatest honors for a scientist. Just ask Armand Kuris, professor of zoology in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara.

Armand Kuris
Click to enlarge photo

Todd Huspeni

Armand Kuris

A new species of worm — the Carcinonemertes kurisi— has been named for the UCSB professor. “When a species is named after you, that is forever,” said Kuris. “It’s quite an honor. One hundred years from now, when we’re all gone, people will wonder who that Kuris guy was. I also like that it is a pretty worm on a nice crab.”

The new species is a tiny, parasitic worm, from two millimeters to five millimeters long. It lives among the eggs of the purple globe crab that makes its home in the shallow waters of sandy beaches from Northern California to Baja California.

Patricia S. Sadeghian, a former student of Kuris, named the species after him in an article in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Natural History.

“I first noticed it in the early 1980s,” said Kuris. “I knew it was a ribbon worm and that it was an egg predator. I knew immediately from the circumstances that it was a new species.”

Carcinonemertes kurisi
Click to enlarge photo

Carcinonemertes kurisi

Kuris explained that the crab holds eggs in its abdomen, locking them into a place like a little purse. “The eggs are not easy to see, and no one had ever looked,” said Kuris. “But it is the kind of thing that I look for.”

For years, only Kuris and his student Sadeghian knew about the worm. Sadeghian began her work on the worms in the year 2000, and completed her Master’s thesis on them in 2003.

Sadeghian explained that she has always been very interested in taxonomy and describing new species. “The natural history of these worms also intrigued me because their life cycles are dependent on their host,” she said. “The species is named in honor of Armand for his tremendous support and enthusiasm towards the study of nemertean egg predators.”

Sadeghian is an associate curator with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History where she has worked since 1996.

Kuris is a prominent parasite ecologist who conducts research worldwide. He joined the faculty at UCSB in 1975.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Downtown Bungalow Haven Wins Big Appeal

City councilmembers voted unanimously against the proposed “monolithic” fourplex.

Free Parenting Classes

Parents and kids can learn together at SBCC

Steven Seagal Named Special Envoy by Russia

The former Santa Ynez resident is a Russian citizen.

County Services Transitioning Away from Montecito Disaster Center

Post-1/9 support will still be available at readysbc.org.

Goleta Limits Accessory Dwelling Units to 800 Square Feet

The city followed most of the state's ADU rules, though two large projects swept through before the ...