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Released August 8, 2005

FISHERIES SOCIETY HONORS LOCAL SCIENTIST

Ocean Springs– A national fisheries society has recognized the lifework of local marine parasitologist Robin M. "Bob" Overstreet, Ph.D.

A professor of coastal sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Overstreet accepted the 2005 S.F. Snieszko Distinguished Service Award presented by the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries Society during the section's annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., July 27-29. The Snieszko award is named in honor of one of the most influential figures in the establishment of modern fish health sciences nationally and internationally.

"The award is a career achievement award, and Dr. Overstreet's dedication and contributions to research, teaching and service in parasitology and fish health are recognized by his colleagues the world over," said Jeffrey M. Lotz, Ph.D., professor and chair of coastal sciences at the GCRL. "Dr. Overstreet has been instrumental in my education and scientific career, and it is gratifying to learn that he has been so justly honored by the American Fisheries Society. His expertise is incredibly deep and wide, and his work has expanded our scientific knowledge as well as positively affected economies and human health."

The veteran scientist began his tenure as a researcher at the GCRL in 1969. He has authored approximately 275 publications, including one book and 37 book chapters. He served as major professor or research adviser for nine graduated doctoral students and three graduated master's students. He is currently mentoring five graduate students.

Daniel R. Brooks, professor of zoology at the University of Toronto, describes his former research adviser as "an exceptional mentor." Brooks conducted his doctoral research under Overstreet's guidance from 1975 to 1978. "He expected a lot from himself, and that made me strive all the harder to achieve a level of excellence in my own studies and career."

Brooks said Overstreet is "one of the world's most versatile and accomplished scientists in the area of marine and fisheries biology and especially of the biology of disease in the marine environment.”

"One groundbreaking study after another has put Bob in the position today of having established many of the fundamental protocols for assessing health risks in both the natural and mariculture environments."

Overstreet and his wife Kim reside in Ocean Springs.

The Department of Coastal Sciences and the GCRL are part of the Southern Miss School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, College of Science and Technology.

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August 9, 2005 1:45 PM