Professor Emeritus Thomas Platt Names Parasite after President Barack Obama

UPDATED September 16

September 9, 2016 (Notre Dame, Ind.) —  Professor Emeritus of biology Thomas Platt has named a parasite that lives in turtle's blood after President Barack Obama. It's a compliment, he says.

The idea of naming a parasite after the 44th president of the United States came to Platt after he learned that he was the fifth cousin, twice removed, of President Obama, according to an LA Times article.

Baracktrema obamai, Platt told the Associated Press, "are phenomenally, incredibly resilient organisms. I hold them in awe and with phenomenal respect."

The AP article ran yesterday and over 75 other sites have picked up the story since including Time, the Miami Herald, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Platt wrote an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, defending his decision to name a parsite after the President.

About Saint Mary's College: Celebrating over 175 years of empowering women to make a difference in the world, Saint Mary’s College is recognized as a pioneer and continued force in the education of women. A Catholic, liberal arts institution in Notre Dame, Indiana, the College offers more than 50 undergraduate academic programs and also offers co-educational master’s degrees.

Contact for News Media: Haleigh Ehmsen, Media Relations Associate, Saint Mary’s College, (574) 284-5343

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