A newly discovered species of algae has been named after former SCCWRP Senior Scientist Dr. A. Elizabeth “Betty” Fetscher in recognition of her decades of contributions to the field of algae taxonomy.
Algae researcher Dr. Rosalina Stancheva of California State University, San Marcos, who discovered the new species, named it Cocconeis fetscheriana and explained that it is characterized by a “closed and uninterrupted” ring that connects the organism’s frustule valves – “a symbol of Betty’s devotion to SWAMP and scientific eternity,” Stancheva said in announcing the species’ name at an annual algal taxonomy seminar hosted by SCCWRP.
Fetscher, who worked at SCCWRP from 2003 to 2015, was a key champion in statewide efforts to begin using algae as a bioassessment tool for monitoring water body health. She spearheaded development of stream algae sampling protocols and Southern California’s first algae-based stream scoring tool in 2014, as well as conducted a 2015 statewide survey of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in streams.
After leaving SCCWRP, Fetscher worked as the San Diego Region 9 Coordinator for California’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), where she continued to support SCCWRP’s efforts to develop the statewide Algal Stream Condition Index and DNA-based approaches to algal bioassessment. Fetscher retired in 2019 and passed away March 17, 2021.
More news related to: Bioassessment, Indices of Biotic Integrity