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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Kirk Wetland Research Awards Announced

Three Old Dominion University graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences have received Paul W. Kirk Jr. Wetland Research Awards for 2016. Kirk was a longtime researcher and teacher at Old Dominion.

Awards go to fund undergraduate or graduate research and related travel for wetland studies with botanical or mycological (the study of fungi) relevance.

The recipients and their projects are:

Nicholas Flanders (Ecological Sciences Ph.D. student) - Testing the influence of host availability on the association of oak mistletoe with forested wetlands in Virginia and North Carolina. Flanders received $4,289;

Peter Schafran (Ecological Sciences Ph.D. student) - Molecular characterization of wetland orchid mycorrhizal symbionts by PacBio targeted sequencing. Schafran's award is $2,500. And;

Leah Gibala-Smith (Wetlands master's student) - Influence of hydrology and salinity regimes on bald cypress swamps in the Coastal Plain of Virginia. She received $1,411.

During his long career at Old Dominion, the late mycologist Paul Kirk was an inspirational researcher and teacher who spread his enthusiasm for plants and fungi in wetland and marine ecosystems.

Kirk taught at ODU from 1971 until his retirement in 1992, serving during that time as associate dean for the College of Sciences and Health Professions and as director of the biology master's degree program. A gift from his son, Allan Kirk, and Allan's wife, Robin, made these awards possible.

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