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Matthew J Miller

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Matt Miller

Matthew J. Miller

Assistant Professor of Biology

Assistant Curator of Ornithology, SNOMNH

Ph.D., University of Alaska Fairbanks
405-325-1609 (Phone)
405-325-6202 (Fax)
SH 104

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Research is our group seeks to understand the how history and ecology combine to drive avian diversification, and what the consequence of this diversity is for emerging diseases. Our research program is inter-disciplinary, blending analytical approaches from genomics, biogeography, and community ecology, but the foundation of our work are natural history specimens. We believe that vouchered museum specimens are fundamental units of reproducible biological science that provide unique resources for biological discovery.


Current research projects in our group include classifying avian diversity in the Neotropics; uncovering the mechanisms and history of speciation in Neotropical birds, especially as revealed through the study of secondary contact and hybrid zones; and understanding the relationship between wild birds and emerging tropical diseases. Along with collaborators in Latin America, our group also looks at the geographical ecology of Neotropical vector-borne diseases such as Chikungunya and Zika viruses, specifically at how these diseases transition from urban to sylvatic transmission cycles, and what role avian communities plan in such ecological dynamics.


More details about our growing lab can by found (here). If you might like to join the group, please get in touch!


  • M.J. Miller, H.J. Esser, J.R. Loaiza, E.A. Herre, C. Aguilar, D. Quintero, E. Alvarez, E. Bermingham. Molecular ecological insights into Neotropical bird–tick interactions . In press. PLOS ONE.

  • M.J. Miller, G.R. Angehr, R.S Ridgely, J. Klicka, O.G. López. Ch., J. Arauz, E. Campos C., D.E. Buitrago-Rosas. 2015. Annotated checklist of the birds (Aves) of Cerro Hoya National Park, Azuero Peninsula, Panamá. Checklist 11:1585. DOI: 10.15560/11.2.1585.

  • M.J. Miller, J.R. Loaiza. 2015. Geographic expansion of the invasive mosquito *Aedes albopictus* across Panama — Implications for control of dengue and Chikungunya viruses. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9(1): e0003383. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003383.

  • M.J. Miller, S.E. Lipshutz, N.G. Smith, E. Bermingham. 2014. Genetic and phenotypic characterization of a hybrid zone between polyandrous Northern and Wattled Jacanas in western Panama. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 227. DOI:10.1186/s12862-014-0227-7.

  • M.J. Miller, C. Aguilar, L.F. De León, J.R. Loaiza, W.O. McMillan. 2014. Complete mitochondrial genomes of the New World jacanas: *Jacana spinosa* and *Jacana jacana.* Mitochondrial DNA DOI: 10.3109/19401736.2014.915530.

  • M.J. Miller. 2014. A distinctive avian assemblage in western Darién, Panamá is uncovered through a disease surveillance program. International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation (Revista de Biologia Tropical) 62: 711–717.

  • W.G. Navia-Giné, J.R. Loaiza, M.J. Miller†. 2013. Mosquito-host interactions during and after an outbreak of Equine Viral Encephalitis in eastern Panama. PLOS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081788.

  • M.J. Miller, E. Bermingham, K. Winker. 2010. Neotropical birds show a humped distribution of genetic diversity along a latitudinal transect. Ecology Letters 13: 576–586.

  • M.J. Miller, E. Bermingham, J. Klicka, P. Escalante, F.S. Raposo do Amaral, J.T. Weir, K. Winker. 2008. Out of Amazonia again and again: episodic crossing of the Andes promotes diversification in a lowland flycatcher. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 275: 1133–1142.