In recognition of his contributions to NCCOS coral reef research,University of Puerto Rico scientist Dr. Francisco E. PagÃ¡n will have a new species of sediment-dwelling crustacean named in his honor. The new species – the cumacean crustacean Cumella pagani n. sp. – lives on the Caribbean mesophotic coral reefs studied by Dr. PagÃ¡n. Cumaceans are small, benthic marine crustaceans, common in muddy and sandy sediments.
In addition to serving as a program manager for the NCCOS-sponsored mesophotic Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies Program (‘Deep CRES’) and the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI), Dr. PagÃ¡n is a modeler of fish and crustacean egg and larvae dispersal, a skilled remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) technician, a research diver, and a website administrator. ‘It is impossible to overstate what an integral role he played in all of our programs in Puerto Rico, including CRES and CCRI. Anyone who had the opportunity to know and work with Francisco will tell you he is an absolute delight to work with and has a particular knack to make things work (like ROVs) when no one else could’ said Dr. Michael Dowgiallo, Chief of Regional Ecosystem Research at NCCOS.
The discovery and description of the new species will be published in the scientific journal Cahiers de Biologie Marine in 2014 (volume 55, issue 2).