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A pink and yellow fish found off the east coast of Nigeria has been identified as a new species and named after Old Dominion University marine biologist Kent Carpenter.

Meganthias carpenteri is a type of jewelfish that when mature is 7 to 12 inches long. Carpenter, an expert in global marine species assessment, was chosen for the naming honor because of his role in introducing specimen of the fish to a South Carolina scientist who formally identified the new species.

Carpenter is known internationally for his work in waters near the Philippines, where he has documented the existence of a region that has the richest shore-fish biodiversity in the world.

As a coordinator of global marine species assessment for the World Conservation Union, the ODU professor of biological sciences has worked with Victor Springer of the Smithsonian Institution and in conjunction with the Conservation International organization in producing biodiversity analyses.

Carpenter also has worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and it was through the FAO that he introduced two specimen of the fish William D. Anderson Jr., a researcher at the College of Charleston's Grice Marine Biological Laboratory. Anderson's article identifying the new species appeared in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.

Anderson wrote that he named the fish carpenteri because Carpenter "has done a superb job in editing and organizing the production of FAO Species Identification Guides."

Carpenter produced FAO identification guides of marine species, first as an author, then for five years as the manager of the FAO Species Identification and Data Programme in Rome. After joining ODU in 1996, he continued to manage production of these guides as funded research through the ODU Research Foundation.

"Part of this work involved organizing workshops with between 40 and 60 prominent scientists, and at these workshops typically a few new species are discovered," Carpenter said. "It was nice to see that Bill Anderson named one of these new species after me in recognition of all the work that went into running these workshops and for my service to FAO in producing these guides."

This article was posted on: January 24, 2007

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