Oak Ridge National Laboratory Reporter; Number 110, May 2009


Maronetus reicheli

*Notoriety comes to those who wait

When Dave Reichle came to ORNL in the mid-1960s he probably had little idea what fame or fortune lay ahead: He would rise to upper management, eventually leading ORNL’s environmental and life sciences directorate until his retirement in 2000.

One of his first assignments was to be dispatched by the late Stan Auerbach, who established the Lab’s Environmental Sciences Division, to the “cesium forest” in the ORR backcountry to perform research on radionuclides in the environment, and to, as he recalls, “get some publications out.” Among Dave’s duties was to send samples of the area’s fauna to biologist Tom Barr.

Dave learned recently from Barr, who is a renowned expert on cave biosystems and carabid beetles, that one of the bugs he sent over back in the sixties was a new species of beetle. Barr has named the critter Maronetus reicheli, after the researcher who trapped it in a beer can decades ago.

Buildings, bridges, streets and even towns often bear the names of the noteworthy, and they will all eventually crumble and be forgotten. There’s a good chance, however, that Maronetus reicheli will be crawling around the ORR for centuries to come.


Dave Reichle in his field work days.