On a mid-October evening, Gene Burreson, who colleagues consider “one of maybe two of the most important figures in the field” of fish and shellfish pathology, stood before a room of resource managers, industry members, scientists, and family and humbly stated, “Although this award is only given to one person, science is not done alone. I’ve been lucky that I’ve always hired good people to work with me.”
It’s true that science is a collaborative effort, but when it comes to research and policy on shellfish disease, Burreson has been at the center of that effort for the past 33 years as a Virginia Institute of Marine Science researcher. That is why more than 50 colleagues, marine resource managers, policy makers, and industry representatives came to congratulate Burreson for being awarded the 2011 Mathias Medal.
The Mathias Medal is the only lifetime achievement award for scientists studying the Chesapeake Bay. Presented every four to six years by Virginia Sea Grant, Maryland Sea Grant, and Chesapeake Research Consortium, it recognizes a retired scientist from Virginia or Maryland who has made significant contributions to science and policy. Watch the video to learn more about Gene’s work and it’s impact on the state of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.