Research Associate Charis Bratt was recently honored with the naming of a new lichen species. Acarospora brattiae is new to science and was described by Dr. Kerry Knudsen, who said of Charis, "She is a fine collector of California lichens, has discovered many lichens new to science, and has earned a solid place in the history of lichenology in California."
The lichen, which Charis collected near Los Alamos, is a terricolous lichen, meaning that it grows directly on undisturbed soil. This is an important find, as terricolous lichens are severely threatened in California by development, overgrazing, and nitrate pollution.
Today, our lichen collection in the Herbarium contains over 40,000 specimens and is one of the most extensive collections of California lichens in existence. It is the basis for collaborations with lichenologists from around the world.