24th February 2023 was a special day for the Mandayam community when the statue of Late Dr. MOP Iyengar – a doyen in the field of Algology was unveiled at MARS (Marine Algal Research Station) at Mandapam, a small township near Rameswaram. He was a pioneer scientist who contributed enormously to Phycology, discovering new species, both microscopic and macroscopic, thus he was rightly called as the”Father of Indian Phycology ”

Professor Dr. M O P Iyengar served a major part of his life teaching at the Presidency College, Madras, and the last dozen years as Professor at the new established University Research Laboratory also at Madras (now Chennai). After retirement he was provided with facilities to work at home and he did so till the end. Dr. Iyengar aimed to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of India’s algal wealth, its diversity and ecology. During his time, algae were sent to Dr. Iyengar for studying. Characiosiphon Iyengar is a hollow club-shaped alga, a coenocytic cell, first collected and sent to Prof. Iyengar by a preacher–teacher. An active teacher all his life, Iyengar had acquired a reputation for the credibility for his observations and it was hazardous to contradict him. No wonder, because he patiently studied rare algae with their peculiar and important characteristics before publishing. This endless studying had other fallouts and he left behind a great deal of unpublished observations and drawings of very many new and rare algae. Volvocales, with which he began his algae studies, covered about thousand printed pages in his posthumous publications.

T V Desikachary 1968 Mandyam Osuri Parthasarathy Iyengar (1886–1963); Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Indian National Science Academy, No. 7, pp 12–21

Thanks to Dr.Rohini and Sri.A.N.Parthasarathy for all the material sent on WhatsApp groups