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Pacific Professor has Lizard Named After Him

Jun 10, 2011

Move over Geico gecko! Stockton Professor Steven Anderson has a gecko named after him, the Carinatogecko stevenandersoni. It's a new species of lizard discovered in Iran that was named in his honor last month.

Emeriti Professor Steven AndersonAnderson, emeritus professor of Biological Sciences at the University of the Pacific, was granted the honor by Farhang Torki, a researcher who Anderson once advised. Torki announced the discovery of the new gecko species in the latest issue of the journal Salamandra.

Torki and Anderson first were introduced more than five years ago while Anderson mentored Iranian graduate students preparing papers for publication. Anderson's research interest is focused predominantly on Iranian fauna. He also has an extensive teaching and research career and is the associate editor of the journal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, as well as a consulting editor for Encyclopaedia Iranica for the past 20 years. Anderson began his research more than 50 years ago in the biodiversity of Southwest Asia and has published more than 100 papers and three books.

In addition, Anderson also has named a number of species from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates.

"After some 50 years of research on the Iranian fauna, it is a dubious distinction to have a species wearing my name," Anderson said. "It brings an amused sense of recognition to my past efforts and reinforces my determination to encourage future research in Iran."

While at Pacific, Anderson taught ecology, environmental issues, ecological geography and natural history. He said that being in the class room was a learning experience for himself, as it added to his passion for flora and fauna. Anderson continues his work and research in the Middle East, potentially adding to his newest name sake Carinatogecko stevenandersoni.

To read the article that granted the new name or to learn more about the subject, visit http://www.salamandra-journal.com and click on the Torki, F. article.