Wetlands Research Program

Paul W. Kirk, Jr., Fund

Dr. Allan Kirk established this fund in honor of his late father and former ODU Biology Professor, Paul W. Kirk Jr. His donations provide support for a lecture and development of a wetlands ecology research program at ODU.

Paul W. Kirk Jr., professor emeritus of biology at Old Dominion, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth and attended the Norfolk Division of William and Mary (the predecessor to ODU) and the University of Richmond before enlisting in the U.S. Army, where his talent for science was fostered through service as a medical bacteriologist.

After a tour in Europe, he returned to the University of Richmond, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's in biology, and met Evelyn Beard. They married in 1958.

Kirk completed his Ph.D. in botany at Duke University.

After brief appointments at Western Carolina University, Virginia Tech and North Carolina Wesleyan, in 1971 he joined the faculty of Old Dominion, where he rose to the rank of full professor and served as the associate dean for the College of Sciences and Health Professions and graduate program director of biology.

He conducted seminal work in hydrocarbon utilization by marine fungi that informed the current understanding of marine ecosystems and biological remediation of oil spills. He edited the first comprehensive study on the Great Dismal Swamp, and became renowned as a passionate lecturer to the undergraduate and graduate students in botany and medical microbiology.

He retired from ODU in 1992.