William & Mary

Plumeri Award Impact: Kimberly Reece

To those who enjoy shellfish, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Professor Kimberly Reece’s trip to a conference on the human pathogens in the Vibrio species group may be of particular concern.

Kimberly Reece“These pathogens cause illness when infected shellfish such as oysters are consumed,” said Reece, who was able to attend the conference — which also focused on the effect of last spring’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on shellfish — and  several others thanks to the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence she received in 2009.

The Plumeri Award, which is handed out to 20 William & Mary faculty members every year for contributions to teaching, research and service — beginning in 2009 — comes with a $10,000 stipend for recipients to use to further their research goals.

A professor in the Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health Department who’s held a number of research and teaching roles at VIMS since 1990, Reece’s research interests include the molecular genetic analysis of aquaculture species and disease organisms.

Reece, who holds a doctorate from Cornell University, was also able to travel to Korea and to a conference in Tampa, Fla., where she presented data on a group of invertebrate parasites that are found in commercially important species such as oysters, abalone and clams that are fished and grown in aquaculture.

Reece’s Plumeri Award-funded research also allowed her to provide support for student researchers.

“Graduate students, a post-doctoral research associate and an undergraduate (National Science Foundation) summer internship student were all co-authors on presentations at international conferences,” she said. “In addition, the supplies for the summer internship student’s research were purchased with Plumeri funds.”