2022 Luminary Series – John Mylroie

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Attendees at caving events, and those that read the speleological literature, will surely recognize Dr. John Mylroie (pronounced “Mill-Roy”). At NSS Conventions, John is often seen sporting a broad-brimmed hat, an Hawaiian shirt, and yucking it up with fellow participants. But Mylroie’s “class clown” demeanor disguises what is also a serious cave scientist.

Matriculating at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, joining the university cave club, and much field work helped John to earn his Ph.D. in the spring of 1977 while detailing the caves of Schoharie County, New York. Subsequently, Mylroie worked at Murray State University in Kentucky, and enjoyed extensive extracurricular adventures with Mike Dyas and the Western Kentucky Speleological Survey.

After John and his wife Joan (bright, blonde, and beautiful) brought three sons into the world, Mylroie moved to Mississippi State University in order to earn a better income to help with the expenses of a growing family. And, while at Mississippi State, John really made his mark on cave science.

Joan Mylroie, a brilliant researcher in her own right, and John have done extensive studies of caves that the Mylroies describe as “flank margin” caves. These interesting caverns tend to form along the outer perimeter coastlines of islands located in, say, the warm ocean waters of the Caribbean. John is particularly jazzed about the care and feeding of the flank margin cave modality, giving frequent and enthusiastic talks on the subject. Indeed, in an especially ornery moment, Mylroie even opined that flank margin caves might be found on Mars. One might hope that he will soon get back with us on the subject!

Justly famous for his many studies of flank margin caves, John has been characterized as a leading light in the field by none other than Dr. Art Palmer. Indeed, Art once introduced John Mylroie as the only scientist he knows that has successfully navigated the rigors of research on tropical beaches!

2022 Luminary Series – John Mylroie

June 1, 2022

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