Marine biologist McIlwain dead at 71

OCEAN SPRINGS – (AP) Thomas D. McIlwain, a longtime marine biologist, fishery scientist and educator in Mississippi, has died after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 71.

Officials with Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home say services were scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 7, at First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs.

McIlwain had a 50-year career in marine biology and spend most of his time at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs. He was the lab director from 1989 to 1994 and retired in 2011.

He was credited with helping it transition from an independent lab to a part of an academic program at the University of Southern Mississippi. He also was known for his work in developing aquaculture programs to raise striped bass for recreational purposes and in shrimp farming.