Gala to Honor Husband-and-Wife Duo for Long-Standing Dedication and Support of Marine Science and Students
2023 Gala Treatment

STONY BROOK, N.Y., April 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Stony Brook Foundation will honor Laurie Landeau, VMD, MBA, and Robert (Bob) J. Maze, PhD, at its 24th Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala, Tuesday, April 11, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. With proceeds benefiting student scholarships at Stony Brook University, this year’s Gala will celebrate Landeau and Maze’s meaningful impact on the University and marine environments. Through their deep knowledge and passion, the couple drives big ideas to address the most pressing real-world issues affecting water quality, fisheries, aquatic animals and ecosystems.

“Our honorees are making a tremendous impact on Stony Brook University, Long Island and beyond,” said Stony Brook Foundation Chair and CEO of IMAX Corporation Richard Gelfond ’76. “From working to restore Long Island’s water quality to supporting our students and faculty researchers, they are making a lasting difference in the world.” 

Landeau, a noted aquatic animal veterinarian, and Maze, an expert in ecological parasitology, have a long and meaningful relationship with Stony Brook University, beginning when Landeau brought the AQUAVET® program in aquatic animal medicine to the university’s Southampton campus. Since that initial connection, Landeau and Maze have supported the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) by helping to establish the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program, establishing the Maze-Landeau Fellows Program and the Minghua Zhang Early Career Faculty Innovation Fund, and originating the Dean’s Fund for Success.

Landeau is the president and director of the Laurie Landeau Foundation, LLC, and the Ralph Landau Foundation, both of which specialize in supporting science and technology. Maze sits on their boards with her.

Their relationship with SoMAS and Stony Brook has flourished over the years — Maze chairs the SoMAS Dean’s Council, while Landeau is vice chair of the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees. Their leadership and support of SoMAS are made even more meaningful by their deep knowledge of and passion for the field.

Their most significant investment has been in the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program. The couple believed that the program’s evidence-based methods using science, outreach and partnerships to restore Long Island’s water quality and fisheries were unlike nearly any other program at the time. The Bay’s aquatic environment, which includes 9,000 acres of open water, salt marshes and intertidal flats, also provides essential habitat for fish, shellfish and waterfowl.

Landeau and Maze quickly realized this revolutionary and comprehensive science-centered approach could be used as a model for similar projects around the world. And they knew the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program had the potential to elevate the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and promote it as a world-class institution.

The couple then focused their support for SoMAS on attracting the best graduate students and innovative younger faculty throughout the school, recruiting a new dean who could invest strategically in the school and establishing the Marinetics Endowed Professorship.

This endowed researcher would study the interplay between disease and environment and the implications of ocean acidification and temperature stress on marine animals, primarily bivalves, at the Marine Animal Disease Laboratory. They would also collaborate with scientists worldwide to show how clams respond to infection and how farmers can breed parasite-resistant clams.

As a result of the vital efforts of Stony Brook’s talented researchers and the incredible philanthropic support of Landeau and Maze, Shinnecock Bay has been designated as a Global Hope Spot by Mission Blue, an organization founded by Sylvia Earle, famed marine biologist and first female chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Bay is the first Global Hope Spot in New York state, the only one near a central metropolitan region and one of just three along the Eastern Seaboard.

“We are incredibly grateful for and proud of the transformational work they support through their philanthropy,” said Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis. “Their sincere interest in our students coupled with their generous investments is truly inspiring.”

Landeau grew up in Northport, on Long Island’s North Shore, where she developed a love for the water and marine environments at a young age. After graduating from Princeton, where she did her senior research on predation behavior in fish, she attended the University of Pennsylvania. She became the first U.S. graduate to receive a combined MBA and veterinary degree. Landeau also serves as a founding member of the Stony Brook University Women’s Leadership Council and a longtime member of the SoMAS Dean’s Council. Over the years, Landeau has been an adjunct associate professor at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania veterinary schools.

As an undergraduate at Texas A&M, Maze began studying ctenophores, a phylum of invertebrate animals that live in marine waters around the world, and the parasites that infect them. He went on to earn a master’s degree and a doctorate in ecological parasitology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Maze and Landeau also co-founded Marinetics Inc., an oyster farm doing business as Choptank Oyster Company, in 1996. Through Marinetics, Maze sought to apply his studies to a real-world problem: the decimation of East Coast oyster stocks because of parasitic infection. Marinetics is now the largest oyster farm on the eastern shore of Maryland, selling more than 1 million oysters a year from New England to the Middle Atlantic states.

Since its inception in 2000, the Stars of Stony Brook Gala has raised nearly $67 million to support academic programs and scholarships. Proceeds from the April 11 gala will be dedicated entirely to student scholarships. Landeau and Maze will join a distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities and luminaries honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala. The roster includes President Joseph Biden; His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco; John L. Hennessy, MS ’75, PhD ’77, the president emeritus of Stanford University; Nobel Laureate CN Yang; actors Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda and Ed Harris; Chair of Stony Brook Foundation and IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76 and award-winning conservationist Patricia Wright.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

24th Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala details:


Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City

Cocktails: 6:30 pm

Dinner: 7:30 pm

About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University — New York’s flagship university and No. 1 public university — is going far beyond the expectations of today’s public universities. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. With nearly 26,000 students, more than 2,800 faculty members, more than 200,000 alumni, a premier academic health center and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs, Stony Brook is a research-intensive distinguished center of innovation dedicated to addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The university embraces its mission to provide comprehensive undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality; it’s ranked among the top 35 public universities by Forbes and one of the top 100 universities in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges listing. Stony Brook fosters a commitment to academic research and intellectual endeavors, and its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places it among the top 65 research institutions in North America. The university’s distinguished faculty have earned esteemed awards such as the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, the Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. Stony Brook has the responsibility of co-managing Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy — one of only eight universities with a role in running a national laboratory. Providing economic growth for neighboring communities and the wider geographic region, the university totals an impressive $7.23 billion in increased economic output on Long Island. Follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@stonybrooku).

About Stony Brook Foundation
Established in 1965, the Stony Brook Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It exists to advance the goals and strategic plan of Stony Brook University by raising and managing private funds on the University’s behalf. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $1 billion in gifts and employs best practices and procedures to ensure all gifts to the University are wisely invested and distributed consistent with each donor’s expressed intent.

Philanthropy that supports Stony Brook University’s programs and builds its endowment has never been more important given the well-documented decline in state funding for public higher education. Although New York state is more generous to its state university system than other states are, it funds less than 18 percent of Stony Brook’s annual operating budget.

Media contact:
Jacky Agudelo

SOURCE Stony Brook/N6A

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