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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Scott Miller, Curator of Lepidoptera

  • Phone:   202-633-5132
  • Fax:   202-786-3141
  • E-mail Address:   millers@si.edu

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 105
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th & Constitution NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0105

  • Education:
    BS California at Santa Barbara
    PhD Harvard
Scott Miller

Research Interests:

Scott Miller has managed research and collections programs in major institutions for over 20 years. At the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, he has served as Chairman of the Department of Entomology and Chairman of the Department of Systematic Biology, with oversight of a combined staff over 300 federal employees with an annual budget of over $20 million.

His previous experience includes 12 years at the Bishop Museum (Hawaii) managing its programs in biology and geology, with heavy involvement in public programs and development. He spent two years in Kenya initiating a biodiversity and conservation program at an international agriculture research institute (the International Centre of Insect Ecology and Physiology).

In addition to managing and fundraising for research, collections, and public outreach, all these positions have included significant infrastructure renovation, management of field stations, and implementation of information management systems.

He also serves on the Committee on Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society, as well as the boards of several scientific societies.

He is committed to applying biodiversity information from museums and similar research institutions to sustainable development, has participated in major reviews of biodiversity related to conservation planning, and catalyzed an Integrated Conservation Development Project in Kenya.

Miller is very interested in the "big picture" of tropical biology, and the role of biodiversity information in understanding and managing the related issues of tropical deforestation, climate change, invasive species, loss of biological diversity, and the resultant biological, economic, and political consequences. He has also been heavily involved in education, including initiating an NSF-funded minority high school intern program at Bishop Museum, training programs for international professionals, parataxonomist programs in developing countries, and mentoring graduate students.

Miller has had continuous NSF funding since 1986, and maintains an active and personal research program. He has published over 145 research publications in systematics, biogeography, and ecology, and co-edited the books Papua New Guinea Biological Diversity Country Study;The origin and evolution of Pacific island biotas, New Guinea to Eastern Polynesia: Patterns and processes; and Arthropods of tropical forests: Spatio-temporal dynamics and resource use in the canopy.

Scott Miller is also Senior Program Officer in the Office of the Under Secretary for Science at the Smithsonian Institution.

Selected Publications:

Miller, S.E., Copeland, R.S., Rosati, M.E. and Hebert, P.D.N. 2014. DNA Barcodes of Microlepidoptera Reared from Native Fruit in Kenya. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 116(1): 137-142. doi:10.4289/0013-8797.116.1.137

Miller, S.E., Martins, D.J., Rosati, M. and Hebert, P.D.N. 2014. DNA Barcodes of Moths (Lepidoptera) from Lake Turkana, Kenya. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 116(1): 133-136. doi:10.4289/0013-8797.116.1.133

Basset, Y., Eastwood, R., Sam, L., Lohman, D.J., Novotny, V., Treuer, T., Miller, S.E., Weiblen, G.D., Pierce, N.E., Bunyavejchewin, S., Sakchoowong, W., Kongnoo, P. and Osorio-Arenas, M.A. 2013. Cross-continental comparisons of butterfly assemblages in tropical rainforests: implications for biological monitoring.  Insect Conservation and Diversity, 6(3): 223-233. doi:10.1111/j.1752-4598.2012.00205.x

Hamilton, A.J., Novotny, V., Waters, E. K., Basset, Y., Benke, K.K., Grimbacher, P.S., Miller, S.E., Samuelson, G. A., Weiblen, .D., Yen, J.D.L. and Stork, N.E. 2013. Estimating global arthropod species richness: refining probabilistic models using probability bounds analysis. Oecologia, 171(2): 357-365. doi:10.1007/s00442-012-2434-5

Hrcek, J., Miller, S.E., Whitfield, J.B., Shima, H. and Novotny, V. 2013. Parasitism rate, parasitoid community composition and host specificity on exposed and semi-concealed caterpillars from a tropical rainforest. Oecologia, 173(2): 521-532. doi:10.1007/s00442-013-2619-6

Miller, S.E., Hrcek, J., Novotny, V., Weiblen, G.D. and Hebert, P.D.N.2013.DNA Barcodes of Caterpillars (Lepidoptera) from Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 115(1): 107-109. doi:10.4289/0013-8797.115.1.107

Rota, J. and Miller, S.. 2013. A new genus of metalmark moths (Lepidoptera, Choreutidae) with Afrotropical and Australasian distribution. Zookeys, 355: 29-47. doi:10.3897/zookeys.355.6158

Smith, M. A., Fernández-Triana, J. L., Eveleigh, E., Gómez, J., Guclu, C., Hallwachs, W., Hebert, P.D.N., Hrcek, J., Huber, J. T., Janzen, D.H., Mason, P. G., Miller, S.E., Quicke, D.L.J., Rodriguez, J. J., Rougerie, R., Shaw, M. R., Várkonyi, G., Ward, D., Whitfield, J. B. and Zaldivar-Riveron, A. 2013. DNA barcoding and the taxonomy of Microgastrinae wasps (Hymenoptera, Braconidae): impacts after 8 years and nearly 20,000 sequences. Molecular Ecology Resources, 13(2): 168-176.  doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12038

Basset, Y., Cizek, L., Cuénoud, P., Didham, R. K., Guilhaumon, F., Missa, O., Novotny, V., Ødegaard, F., Roslin, T., Schmidl, J., Tishechkin, A. K., Winchester, N. N., Roubik, David W., Aberlenc, H. P., Bail, J., Barrios, Hector, Bridle, J. R., Castaño-Meneses, G., Corbara, B., Curletti, G., Duarte, da Rocha, De Bakker, D., Delabie, J. H., Dejean, A., Fagan, L. L., et al. 2012.Arthropod Diversity in a Tropical Forest. Science, 338(6113): 1481-1484. doi:10.1126/science.1226727

Novotny, V., Miller, S.E., Hrcek, J., Baje, L., Basset, Y., Lewis, O.T., Stewart, A.J.A. and Weiblen, G.D. 2012. Insects on Plants: Explaining the Paradox of Low Diversity within Specialist Herbivore Guilds. American Naturalist, 179(3): 351-362. doi:10.1086/664082

Novotny, V., Weiblen, G.D., Miller, S.E. and Basset, Y. 2012The role of paraecologists in Twenty-first-century tropical forest research. In: Lowman, M. D., Schowalter, T. D. and Franklin, J. F., Methods in forest canopy research. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp.154-157.

Quicke, D.L.J., Smith, M.A., Janzen, D.H., Hallwachs, W., Fernandez-Triana, J., Laurenne, N.M., ZaldíVar-RiveróN, A., Shaw, M.R., Broad, G.R., Klopfstein, S., Shaw, S.R., Hrcek, J., Hebert, P.D.N., Miller, S.E., Rodriguez, J.J., Whitfield, J.B., Sharkey, M.J., Sharanowski, B.J., Jussila, R., Gauld, I.D., Chesters, D. and Vogler, A.P. 2012. Utility of the DNA barcoding gene fragment for parasitic wasp phylogeny (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea): data release and new measure of taxonomic congruence. Molecular Ecology Resources, 12(4): 676-685. doi:10.1111/j.1755-0998.2012.03143.x

Quicke, D. L. J., Smith, M. A., Miller, S. E., Hrcek, J. and Butcher, B. 2012. Colastomion Baker (Braconidae, Rogadinae): nine new species from Papua New Guinea reared from Crambidae. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 28: 85-121. doi:10.3897/JHR.28.3484

Quicke, D.L.J., Smith, M.A., van Achterberg, C., Miller, S.E. and Hrcek, J. 2012. A new genus and three new species of parasitoid wasp from Papua New Guinea and redescription of Trigonophatnus Cameron (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Rogadinae). Journal of Natural History, 46(21-22): 1369-1385. doi:10.1080/00222933.2012.658585

Basset, Y., Eastwood, R., Sam, L., Lohman, D.J., Novotny, V., Treuer, T., Miller, S.E., Weiblen, G.D., Pierce, N.E., Bunyavejchewin, S., Sakchoowong, W., Kongnoo, P. and Osorio-Arenas, M.A. 2012. Cross-continental comparisons of butterfly assemblages in tropical rainforests: implications for biological monitoring. Insect Conservation and Diversity, doi:10.1111/j.1752-4598.2012.00205.x

Hrcek, J., Miller, S.E., Quicke, D.L. and Smith, M. A. 2011. Molecular detection of trophic links in a complex insect host–parasitoid food web. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11(5): 786-794. doi:10.1111/j.1755-0998.2011.03016.x

Adamski, D., Copeland, R.S., Miller, S.E., Hebert, P.D.N., Darrow, K. and Luke, Q. 2010. A review of African Blastobasinae (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea: Coleophoridae), with new taxa reared from native fruits in Kenya. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 630: 1-68.

Craft, K.J., Pauls, S.U., Darrow, K., Miller, S.E., Hebert, P.D.N., Helgen, L., Novotny, V. and Weiblen, G.D. 2010. Population genetics of ecological communities with DNA barcodes: An example from New Guinea Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(11): 5041-5046.

Miller, S.E. and Lutman, R.A. 2010. New Butterfly Records from Guana Island, British Virgin Islands (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Florida Entomologist, 93(4): 642-643.

Miller, S.E., Helgen, L.E. and Hebert, P.D.N. 2010. Clarification of the identity of Homona salaconis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Molecular Ecology Resources, 10: 580

Novotny, V., Miller, S.E., Baje, L., Balagawi, S., Basset, Y., Cizek, L., Craft, K.J., Dem, F., Drew, R.A.I., Hulcr, J., Leps, J., Lewis, O.T., Pokon, R., Stewart, A.J.A., Samuelson, G.A. and Weiblen, G.D. 2010. Guild-specific patterns of species richness and host specialization in plant–herbivore food webs from a tropical forest. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79(6): 1193-1203.

Schindel, David and Miller, Scott E. 2010. Provisional Nomenclature: The On-Ramp to Taxonomic Names In: Polaszek, Andrew, Systema Naturae 250: The Linnaean Ark. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, pp.109-115.

Barrows, L.R., Matainaho, T.K., Ireland, C.M., Miller, S.E., Carter, G.T., Bugni, T., Rai, P., Gideon, O., Manoka, B., Piskaut, P., Banka, R., Kiapranis, R., Noro, J.N., Pond, C.D., Andjelic, C.D., Koch, M., Harper, M.K., Powan, E., Pole, A. R. and Jensen, J.B. 2009. Making the most of Papua New Guinea's bio-diversity: Establishment of an integrated set of programs that link botanical survey with pharmacological assessment in "the land of the unexpected". Pharmaceutical Biology, 47(8): 795-808.

Chazdon, R.L., Peres, C.A., Dent, D., Sheil, D., Lugo, A.E., Lamb, D., Stork, N.E. and Miller, S.E. 2009. The Potential for Species Conservation in Tropical Secondary Forests. Conservation Biology, 23(6): 1406-1417.

Holloway, J.D., Miller, S.E., Pollock, D.M., Helgen, L. and Darrow, K. 2009. GONGED (Geometridae of New Guinea Electronic Database): a progress report on development of an online facility of images. Spixiana, 32(1): 122-123.

Janzen, D.H., Hallwachs, W., Blandin, P., Burns, J.M., Cadiou, J.-M, Chacon, I., Dapkey, T., Deans, A.R., Epstein, M., Espinoza, B., Franclemont, J., Haber, W., Hajibabaei, M., Hallwachs, J., Hebert, Paul D.N., Gauld, I.D., Harvey, D., Hausmann, A., Kitching, I, Lafontaine, D., Landry, J.-F, Lemaire, C., Miller, J., Miller, J., Miller, L., et al. 2009. Integration of DNA barcoding into an ongoing inventory of complex tropical biodiversity. Molecular Ecology Resources, 9(S1): 1-26.

Basset, Y., Missa, O., Alonso, A., Miller, S.E., Curletti, G., De Meyer, M., Eardley, C.D., Mansell, M.W., Novotny, V. and Wagner, T. 2008. Faunal turnover of arthropod assemblages along a wide gradient of disturbance in Gabon. African Entomology, 16(1): 47-59.

Basset, Y., Missa, O., Alonso, A., Miller, S.E., Curletti, G., De Meyer, M., Eardley, C., Lewis, O.T., Mansell, M.W., Novotny, V. and Wagner, T. 2008. Changes in arthropod assemblages along a wide gradient of disturbance in Gabon. Conservation Biology, 22(6): 1552-1563.

Basset, Y., Missa, O., Alonso, A., Miller, S.E., Curletti, G., De Meyer, M., Eardley, C., Lewis, O.T., Mansell, M.W., Novotny, V. and Wagner, T. 2008. Choice of metrics for studying arthropod responses to habitat disturbance: one example from Gabon. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 1(1): 55-66.

Field, D., Morrison, N., Glöckner, F.O., Kottmann, R., Cochrane, G., Vaughan, R., Garrity, G., Cole, J., Hirschman, L., Schriml, L., Mizrachi, I., Federhen, S., Schindel, D.E., Miller, S.E., Hebert, P.D.N., Ratnasingham, S., Hanner, R., Amaral-Zettler, L., Sogin, M., Ashburner, M., Lewis, S. and Smith, B. 2008. Working together to put molecules on the map. Nature, 453(7198): 978

Percy, D.M., Garver, A.M., Wagner, W.L., James, H.F., Cunningham, C.W., Miller, S.E. and Fleischer, R.C. 2008. Progressive island colonization and ancient origin of Hawaiian Metrosideros (Myrtaceae). Proceedings of the Royal Society (London) B, 275:1479-1490.

Foley, D., Weitzman, A.L., Miller, S.E., Faran, M.E., Rueda, L.M. and Wilkerson, R.C. 2007. The value of geo-referenced collection records for predicting patterns of mosquito species richness and endemism in the Neotropics. Ecological Entomology, 33:12-23.

Hulcr, J., Miller, S.E., Setliff, G.P., Darrow, K., Mueller, N.D., Hebert, P.D.N. and Weiblen, G.D. 2007. DNA barcoding confirms polyphagy in a generalist moth, Homona mermerodes (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Molecular Ecology Notes, 7: 549-557.

Miller, Scott E. 2007. DNA barcoding and the renaissance of taxonomy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(12): 4775-4776.

Miller, Scott E. 2007. Insects of Papua In: Marshall, Andrew J. and Beehler, Bruce McP, The ecology of Papua. Singapore: Periplus, pp.515-531.

Novotny, V., Drozd, P., Miller, S.E., Kulfan, M., Janda, M., Basset, Y. and Weiblen, G.D. 2007. Response to Comment on "Why Are There So Many Species of Herbivorous Insects in Tropical Rainforests?". Science, 315(5819): 1666

Novotny, V., Miller, S.E., Hulcr, J., Drew, R.A.I., Basset, Y., Janda, M., Setliff, G.P., Darrow, K, Stewart, A.J.A., Auga, J., Isua, B., Molem, K., Manumbor, M., Tamtiai, E., Mogia, M. and Weiblen, G.D. 2007. Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests. Nature, 448(7154): 692-695.

Novotny, V., Drozd, P., Miller, S.E., Kulfan, M., Janda, M., Basset, Y. and Weiblen, G.D. 2006. Why Are There So Many Species of Herbivorous Insects in Tropical Rainforests?. Science, 313(5790): 1115-1118.

Weiblen, G.D., Webb, C.O., Novotny, V., Basset, Y. and Miller, S.E. 2006. Phylogenetic Dispersion of Host Use in a Tropical Insect Herbivore Community. Ecology, 87(7 Supplement): S62-S75.

Becker, V.O. and Miller, S.E. 2005. Moths: Lepidoptera In: Lazell, J. D., Island: Fact and theory in nature.. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, pp.303-309.

Novotny, V., Miller, S.E., Basset, Y., Cizek, L., Darrow, K., Kaupa, B., Kua, J. and Weiblen, G.D. 2005. An altitudinal comparison of caterpillar (Lepidoptera) assemblages on Ficus trees in Papua New Guinea. Journal of Biogeography, 32(8): 1303-1314.

Schindel, David and Miller, Scott E. 2005. DNA barcoding a useful tool for taxonomists. Nature, 435: 17

Schindel, David and Miller, Scott E. 2005. DNA barcoding and the Consortium for the Barcode of Life In: Success Stories in Implementation of the Programmes of Work on Dry and Sub-Humid Lands and the Global Taxonomy Initiative.. Montreal: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, pp.144-146.

Basset, Y., Mavoungou, J.F., Mikissa, J.B., Missa, O., Miller, S.E., Kitching, R.L. and Alonso, A. 2004. Discriminatory power of different arthropod data sets for the biological monitoring of anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13(4): 709-732.

Basset, Y., Novotny, V., Miller, S.E., Weiblen, G.D., Missa, O. and Stewart, J. A. 2004. Conservation and Biological Monitoring of Tropical Forests: The Role of Parataxonomists. Journal of Applied Ecology, 41(1): 163-174.

Novotny, V, Basset, Y, Miller, SE., Kitching, RL., Laidlaw, M., Drozd, P. and Cizek, L 2004. Local Species Richness of Leaf-Chewing Insects Feeding on Woody Plants From One Hectare of a Lowland Rainforest. Conservation Biology, 2: 227-237.

Basset, Y., V. Novotny, S. E. Miller, and R. L. Kitching, eds. 2003. Arthropods of tropical forests: Spatio-temporal dynamics and resource use in the canopy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. xvi + 474 pp.

pdf icon Novotny, V., Basset, Y., Miller, S.E., Weiblen, G., Bremer, B., Cizek, L. & Drozd, P. 2002. Low host specificity of herbivorous insects in a tropical forest. Nature 416: 841-848.

pdf icon Miller, S. E., and L. M. Rogo. 2002. Challenges and opportunities in understanding and utilisation of African insect diversity. Cimbebasia 17: 197-218 ("2001").

Holloway, J.D., Kibby, G. Peggie, D., Carter, D. & Miller, S.E. 2001. Families of Malesian moths and butterflies.  Fauna Malesia Handbook Series.  Brill, Leiden. xii + 456 pp.

Keast, A. & Miller, S.E. (eds) 1997. The origin and evolution of Pacific island biotas, New Guinea to Eastern Polynesia: Patterns and processes. SPB Publications, Amsterdam. viii + 531 pp.

Sekhran, N. & Miller, S.E. (eds) 1995. Papua New Guinea Country Study on Biological Diversity. Papua New Guinea Department of Environment and Conservation, Waigani. xl + 438 pp.

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