Biological Science Faculty Member
Dr. Thomas E. Miller
Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1985
Graduate Faculty Status
As a community ecologist, I am interested in what controls the diversity and abundance of species in different ecosystems. But, I am open to exploring different questions within this broad area. I teach General Ecology (PCB 3043), as well as several graduate courses, and I am always interested in students who might want to complete Directed Independent Study projects.
Research and Professional Interests:
My current research program is divided into two very different areas. (1) Coastal Dune Vegetation: I am interested in the forces that structure plant communities on barrier island, especially in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We have been using a long-term study of the vegetation on St. George Island to understand the relative importance of hurricanes, drought, geomorphology, and succession on determining patterns of individual species abundance and community diversity through time, with a particular interest in looking at restoration and climate change. (2) Evolution of Protozoa in Pitcher Plants: We have been using models and experiments to ask questions about how suites of competitors evolve though time. Because of their unique microhabitats and short generation times, protozoa found in the water-filled leaves of pitcher plants are an ideal system to conduct selection experiments, looking at how competing species evolve and, ultimately, how diversity itself affects the evolution in multi-species assemblages. My students are not tied to my systems and questions and have explored a variety of areas, including plant invasion biology, metacommunities, and range-shifts in response to climate change.
Green, M. D., and T. E. Miller. 2019. Germination traits explain deterministic processes in the assembly of early successional coastal dune vegetation. Estuaries and Coasts 42:1097-1103. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-019-00550
Miller, T. E., M. Buhler, and C. Cuellar-Gempeler. 2019. Species-specific differences determine responses to a resource pulse and predation. Oecologia. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-019-04393
Ryan, W. H., and T. E. Miller. 2019. Reproductive strategy changes across latitude in a clonal sea anemone. Marine Ecology Progress Series 611:129-141. doi:https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12862
Canter, E., C. Cuellar-Gempeler, A. Pastore, T. E. Miller, and O. Mason. 2018. Predator identity more than predator richness structures aquatic microbial assemblages in Sarracenia purpurea leaves. Ecology, 99, 652-660. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2128.
Ryan, W. H. 2018. Seasonal patterns and geographic variation in temperature dependent fission rate plasticity in a clonal sea anemone. American Naturalist, 191, 210-219.
Savage, C., and T. E. Miller. 2018. A test of group foraging by the carnivorous plant, Sarracenia flava: are pitcher plants like wolves? American Midland Naturalist, 179, 78-85. doi:https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031-179.1
terHorst, C. P., P. C. Zee, K. D. Heath, T. E. Miller, A. I. Pastore, S. Patel, S. J. Schreiber, M. J. Wade, and M. R. Walsh. 2018. Evolution in a community context: Trait responses to multiple species interactions. American Naturalist, 191, 1-13.
Ryan, W. H., E. Gornish, L. Chrstenson, S. Halpern, S. Hendersn, G. LeBuhn, and T. E. Miller. 2017. A toolbox for initiating and managing long-term data collections with students and citizen scientists. American Biology Teacher 79:28-34. doi:10.1525/ABT.2017.79.1.28
Reid, R. Y. Luc, S. Yan, T. Miller, and B. Song. 2016. Transcriptome dataset of halophyte beach morning glory, a close wild relative of sweet potato. Frontiers in Plant Science 7:1267. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.0126
Gray, S., T. Poisot, E. Harvey, N. Mouquet, T. Miller, and D. Gravel. 2016. Temperature and trophic structure are driving microbial productivity along a biogeographic gradient. Ecography 39:981-989. doi:10.1111/ecog.01748
Miller, T. E. 2015. Effects of disturbance on vegetation by sand accretion and erosion across coastal dune habitats on a barrier island. AoB Plants 7: plv003. doi: 10.1093/aobpla/plv003
Gornish, E. S., and T. E. Miller. 2015. Plant community responses to simultaneous changes in temperature, nitrogen availability, and invasion. PlosOne DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123715.
Miller, T. E., E. Moran, and C. P. terHorst. 2014. Rethinking niche evolution: experiments with natural communities of protozoa in pitcher plants. American Naturalist 184:277-283.
Paisie T. K. , T. E. Miller, O. U. Mason. 2014. Effects of a ciliate protozoa predator on microbial communities in pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) leaves. PLoS ONE 9(11):e113384. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113384
Pastore, A. I., C. M. Prather, E. S. Gornish, W. H. Ryan, R. D. Ellis, and T. E. Miller. 2014. Testing the competition–colonization trade-off with a 32-year study of a saxicolous lichen community. Ecology 2014 95:306-315
Gornish, E. S., and T. E. Miller. 2013. Using long-term census data to inform restoration methods for coastal dune vegetation. Estuaries and Coasts 36:1014-1023.
Baiser, B., N. J. Gotelli, H. L. Buckley, T. E. Miller, and A. M. Ellison. 2012. Geographic variation in network structure of a nearctic aquatic food web. Global Ecology and Biogeography: 21:579-591.
Kadowaki, K., B. D. Inouye, and T. E. Miller. 2012. Assembly-history dynamics of a pitcher-plant protozoan community in experimental microcosms. PLoS ONE 7: e42651. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042651. PDF
Miller, T. E. and C. P. terHorst. 2012. Testing successional hypotheses of stability, heterogeneity, and diversity in pitcher-plant inquiline communities. Oecologia 170:243-251. PDF