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Saussurea ramchaudharyi

Ram Prasad Chaudhary, Professor Emeritus at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal has been honoured by having a new species named after him.

Photo of the plant Saussurea ramchaudharyi
Photo:
SK Ghimire

Saussurea is a complex but wonderful group of plants with over 450 species that mainly grow in the high mountains of central and eastern Asia, but with a few species in Europe (including Norway - Saussurea alpina) and North America. Saussurea gnaphalodes holds the world record for occurring at the highest elevation - 6400 m - of any vascular plant. 

Ram was a frequent visitor to the EECRG over the last 25 years and with Ole Reidar Vetaas established a strong Norway-Nepal link. Several Nepalese students have worked in Bergen and defended their MSc or PhD theses. Inger Måren and John-Arvid Grytnes have also worked closely with Ram and his students, as have Hilary and John Birks, both of whom are Saussurea enthusiasts.

Saussurea ramchaudharyi is a fitting honour for Ram who has done so much for Nepalese nature conservation and botanical research and education, and for international netowrking. It is described by Rana et al. in the journal Phytotaxa.