Newly discovered fly species named after MRU administrator

Members of the Entomological Society of Alberta have unanimously agreed to name a 1.5-millimetre fly after Jeffrey Goldberg, the interim provost and vice-president academic at Mount Royal University.

'I was quite choked up,' says Goldberg after big reveal by family and U of C faculty

Members of the Entomological Society of Alberta agreed unanimously to name a 1.5 millimetre fly at right "Jeffrey Goldberg" after Mount Royal University's intern provost, pictured at left. (From left: Michelle Bodnar/John Swann)

Members of the Entomological Society of Alberta have unanimously agreed to name a 1.5-millimetre fly after Jeffrey Goldberg, the interim provost and vice-president academic at Mount Royal University.

Goldberg received the honour for his previous work as head of the University of Calgary's Department of Biological Sciences, where he helped to grow the department's invertebrate and entomology collection into a comprehensive teaching and learning and outreach tool.

"When I realized I was receiving the honour of having a newly identified species named after me, it was quite shocking. I was quite choked up," he told CBC's The Homestretch Monday.

The new addition species of the genus Phyllomyza was first discovered along the east slope of the Rockies through BioBlitz, a program spearheaded by Goldberg while he was at the U of C between 2005 and 2011.

"It's a very harmless and gentle soul and typically hangs out and brings benefit to ant colonies," said Goldberg.

The recognition was bestowed on Goldberg as a surprise in front of friends and family at an annual meeting of the society at the end of October. 

"Most biologists wouldn't normally imagine this happening in one's career, so it was just an amazing, amazing morning."


With files from The Homestretch