It was Saad Hafez
who found another nematode in eastern Idaho that prompted Japan to temporarily ban U.S. potatoes
Digg this storyDel.icio.us bookmarkPhotos by Chris Butler / firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Saad Hafez, a University of Idaho Extension professor of nematology, shares a lighter moment with his staff as they tease him about his new celebrity status Monday at the U of I's Parma Research and Extension Center.
discovered a nematode late last year that was confirmed recently by an agricultural-science research organization.The microscopic worm has been named for him.
ELSEWHERESaad L. Hafez
was doing a day's work last year, looking at soil samples through a microscope, when he
saw a nematode he
hadn't seen before.Until he
sent it to a British-based intergovernmental scientific organization that studies agricultural and environmental problems, he
had no idea that no one had previously identified the microscopic critter.This summer, a taxonomist for the organization named it after him."I sent it to them because I didn't know what it was," Havez, 60, said.The organization , CABI
, for Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International
, "was very generous to name it after me."Hafez was born in Cairo.He came to the United States in 1975 when he was offered a scholarship at University of California-Davis, where he earned a Ph.D. After he graduated, he was hired to work at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., before moving to Idaho 26 years ago.He
went into nematology because not very many people were in the field at the time.His
research is focused on controlling nematodes and creating educational programs for growers and agents along with recommendations for treatment.Nematodes are threadlike worms ranging in size from microscopic creatures that feed on plant matter to larger ones that feed on animals.Nematodes include heartworms in dogs and pinworms in people, Hafez
There's also the Nematode Songbook Web site with songs like "The Happy Nematologist" to the tune of "The Happy Wanderer," and "The Nematode Marching Song" to the tune of "Onward Christian Soldier."In Idaho, certain nematodes , not the one named for Hafez
, can devastate potato, sugar beet and onion crops, Thompson said.
Those potato fields will be off limits for seven years, planted only with a cover crop of oil radishes, Hafez
said.The pale potato cyst nematode is so contagious that farm equip-ment must be steam-cleaned before it can leave the quarantined area.The pale potato cyst nematode is new in Idaho and in the U.S., he
said.It has been reported in Canada but is a European variety.No one knows how it came to the U.S."It's a very small animal," Hafez