Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, particularly those who live in the state’s Coastal Plain, held their collective breath as Hurricane Irene spun through the state in late August.

But it’s probably a safe bet no one in North Carolina watched the storm with any more apprehension than Craig Sullivan.

Sullivan, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Biology, was safe in Raleigh as Irene headed up the East Coast. But on the coast, in the path of the storm, was 20 years of Sullivan’s life, indeed, the vast majority of his professional life.

Sullivan’s career has been distinguished by his work with hybrid striped bass. Hybrid striped bass represent a significant segment of American aquaculture today, largely because Sullivan developed techniques to keep striped bass in captivity and to breed striped and white bass to produce hybrids.

The hybrids are hardier than either striped or white bass and thus, better aquacultural candidates.