Faculty of Biology

Links and Functions
Language Selection

Breadcrumb Navigation


Systematic Botany

Biologists have identified two new genera of algae, and named them after well-known industrial musicians. In so doing, they hope to stimulate debate over the guidelines that currently constrain taxonomic nomenclature.


Excerpt from LMU press release of May 16, 2017:

Catchy names for exotic algae

Unicellular algae, to which the so-called dinophytes belong, are important primary producers in marine and freshwater habitats and, as such, they provide a vital source of food for other organisms. They also serve as indicator organisms, and are used to monitor the status of fish populations, as well as playing an important role in ecosystem modeling. Many dinophyte species are under certain circumstances capable of dominating planktonic communities – giving rise to so-called algal blooms, which are often accompanied by the local accumulation of algal toxins. Given their potential ecological impact, monitoring of changes in dinophyte diversity and population dynamics is advisable – and this of course requires the ability to identify and quantify the present algal species. Researchers led by LMU’s Professor Marc Gottschling, in collaboration with Chinese colleagues, have now identified two new genera of dinophytes, which they named Blixaea and Unruhdinium in honor of the Berlin industrial musicians Blixa Bargeld and N.U. Unruh. These findings appear in the journal Phytotaxa. Phytotaxa 2017

LMU press release