Diane graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Bridgeport. In her last semester prior to graduation, she participated in a cooperative internship semester at the NOAA Fisheries Milford Laboratory. Diane was soon hired as a Biological Laboratory Technician and began her career in federal service at the Milford Laboratory. She experiencing field work onboard the research vessel Shang Wheeler, sampling and analyzing winter flounder blood for pollution effects. Later, Diane’s focus turned to Microbiology and Immunology, focusing on immune effects of pollutants on finfish such as winter flounder and striped bass. As the focus of the Milford Laboratory turned from pollution effects to shellfish aquaculture, Diane became the principal investigator for researching and developing probiotics for oysters, beneficial bacterial strains which can prevent bacterial disease and improve hatchery production of Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) seed for aquaculture and restoration. In 2016, Diane Kapareiko, Dorothy Jeffress and Gary Wikfors, all of the Aquaculture Sustainability Branch at NOAA’s Milford Laboratory, were awarded the Department of Commerce Group Silver Medal for Scientific and Engineering Achievement for this probiotic research as well as negotiating a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. In late 2019, she took on new responsibilities as a Microbiologist.
Diane is currently advancing the Milford Laboratory’s probiotic bacterial strain OY15 to commercialization in cooperation with Prospective Research Inc. of Massachusetts. Prospective Research Inc. is poised to commercialize this probiotic strain in the Spring of 2022 as an economical and environmentally-friendly way to mitigate bacterial disease in shellfish aquaculture facilities, improve larval survival and provide seafood and financial security to the shellfish aquaculture industry. Diane has recently completed 43 years of federal service at the Milford Lab!