Issues + Answers Lecture “Pioneers of the Gulf” set for July 18

The Sun Herald and The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast will present the Issues + Answers lecture, “Pioneers of the Gulf: Sharing a Century of Knowledge about Gulf of Mexico Fisheries” Wednesday, July 18 at 7 p.m. in the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center auditorium.

The panel, featuring Harriet Perry, Tom McIlwain and Jim Franks, will explore the status of the fisheries resources of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the Mississippi Sound and surrounding waters. With a combined research history in marine fisheries of more than a century, the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Research Lab’oratory's (GCRL) Franks, Perry and McIlwain have a unique understanding of the subject.

As the retired former director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the GCRL, Perry’s main areas of research include the population dynamics of estuarine and marine invertebrates, blue crab aquaculture, invasive species, and management of marine fisheries. Harriet Perry is the retired former director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL).  She first came to GCRL as a student over 40 years ago. Her main areas of research include the population dynamics of estuarine and marine invertebrates, blue crab aquaculture, invasive species, and management of marine fisheries. She is currently involved in a study examining potential impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on reproduction in female blue crabs in Mississippi.  Harriet is known affectionately in the research community as the “Crab Lady.”

Harriet Perry

 

   


McIlwain, the retired former director of the GCRL, has dedicated five decades of research and service in the marine fisheries sciences.

Tom McIlwain is the retired former director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (1989-1994). With a career that began in 1964 at GCRL, Tom has enjoyed five decades of research and service in the marine fisheries sciences. He spent time in Washington in the office of then minority whip Trent Lott working to effect change in marine policy. During that time he was the impetus of what became the Marine Fisheries Initiative; it remains today as one of the principal resources in support of marine fisheries research in the nation. In 1994 he took a position with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Pascagoula as a fisheries administrator. He has been a voting member of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council since 2006, attending his last meeting just this month.

Tom McIlwain

 

   
Franks, a senior research scientist and fisheries biologist with the Center for Fisheries Research and Development, centers his research on the life history aspects of coastal and oceanic pelagic fishes as well as the aquaculture of pelagic fishes. Jim Franks is a senior research scientist and fisheries biologist with the Center for Fisheries Research and Development. Jim first came to GCRL in 1963 as a student and has enjoyed nearly 50 years in fisheries research on the Gulf of Mexico. Jim’s research centers on the life history aspects of coastal and oceanic pelagic fishes as well as the aquaculture of pelagic fishes. Jim is perhaps the most recognized and recognizable GCRL scientist, putting a public-face to the ongoing marine research at the lab. A conservationist at heart, Jim is a fixture at local tournaments throughout the year.

Jim Franks

 

This lecture is free and open to the public. The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center is located at 1600 Government Street in Ocean Springs. For more information on this lecture or the Issues + Answers lecture series, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/issues-answersor call 228.865.4573.