Dr. Eugene Burreson, professor emeritus at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has been honored with the prestigious Mathias Medal for his significant contributions to Chesapeake Bay science and policy.
The Mathias Medal—established by Maryland Sea Grant, Virginia Sea Grant, and the Chesapeake Research Consortium in 1990—is presented every four-to-six years to a retired scientist for their lifelong efforts to study and restore the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
Dr. Troy Hartley, Virginia Sea Grant Director, says "Dr. Burreson’s unique contributions to shellfish pathology, monitoring oyster diseases, and providing information critical for developing oyster-management strategies have had an enormous impact on Chesapeake Bay."
The award is named after Senator Charles “Mac” Mathias of Maryland, widely considered the father of the contemporary Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program. Senator Mathias set the tone and shape of many of the programs designed to study and restore Chesapeake Bay. In his political career, Senator Mathias recognized the value of science for the public good and frequently sought advice from the scientific community.
Since the prize’s inception, only five other Medals have been awarded. Past recipients include Grace Brush, past VIMS Director William Hargis Jr., Clifford W. Randall, L. Eugene Cronin, and Donald W. Pritchard.
The Mathias Medal is the latest in a series of awards honoring Dr. Burreson's long and fruitful career. He is a previous recipient of an Honored Life Member Award from the National Shellfisheries Association and a Virginia Outstanding Scientist award from the Governor's Office and the Science Museum of Virginia.
During his career, Burreson authored more than 70 publications related to shellfish diseases, and 50 more on fish parasites. He also played a significant international role in managing shellfish health. Largely due to his efforts, the Office International de Epizooties (OIE) has designated the Shellfish Diseases Laboratory at VIMS as the international OIE Reference Laboratory for MSX and Dermo, diseases that affect oyster stocks worldwide.
Dr. Burreson will receive the award during a formal presentation on October 17th at Sam Miller's Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Richmond. If you are interested in attending, contact [[krenn,Ms. Janet Krenn]].