Colwellia psychrerythraea is a genus of deep sea, anaerobic bacteria that grows around -20C and is capable of producing its own cryoprotective polymers that keep it from freezing. The binomial suffix after Colwellia designates a specific genus and is a part of the Colwelliaceae family. The bacteria’s prefix is named after Rita R. Colwell, an American microbiologist.
Rita R. Colwell studied bacteriology, genetics and oceanography at Prude and University of Washington. She served as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation. Most notable is her research on cholera, discovering its aptitude to dormancy. Colwell studied the impact of infectious diseases on an international scale as well as drinking water around the world and its impact on public health. Colwell founded CosmoID a bioinformatics company and sits as chairman of its board.