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Butler's Award-Winning Research Is Featured in CCPO Seminar

Mark Butler, a marine biologist at Old Dominion University who is a 2011 recipient of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, will speak about his research Monday, Feb. 7, in a seminar of ODU's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO).

Butler's talk, "Host Behavior Alters the Spread of Disease in Social Marine Animals," will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Room 3200 of Innovation Research Building 1. The seminar is free and open to the public, as is a reception with refreshments that begins at 3.

For more than a decade, Butler has been studying the way a lethal pathogenic virus called PaV1 affects the Caribbean spiny lobster. The lobsters are very social and their populations could be expected to be devastated by the highly contagious disease. But the lobsters have defenses against the disease, Butler's research has found, and his remarkable insights have been publicized by media throughout the world.

Butler, who was designated an Eminent Scholar at ODU last year and is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been the principal or co-principal investigator on more than 50 grants totaling nearly $8 million since he joined the university in 1989. Much of the support has come from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has continuously funded his research since 1995.

In recent years, Butler has led multidisciplinary research teams in the study of marine diseases and the roles that species behavior, habitats and long-distance oceanographic transport of larvae play in disease dynamics.

This article was posted on: February 5, 2011

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