My research broadly focuses on the evolutionary biology of reptiles and amphibians from Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. I’m interested in using genome-scale data, along with comparative morphological and biological data, to answer questions about the evolution and diversification of animals within these regions to better understand how biodiversity arises and is maintained on microevolutionary and macroevolutionary scales.
Systematics and Taxonomy of Caribbean and Southeast Asian Amphibians and Reptiles
Genomics of Caribbean Iguanas
This is a collaborative project with Dr. R. Graham Reynolds (UNC Asheville) that uses novel genome-scale data to understand the phylogeny, historical biogeography, and species diversity primarily in the genus Cyclura— a remarkable yet critically threatened group of iguanas distributed throughout the Greater Antilles. Research derived from this project has already been published (Miller et al. 2019).
Understanding Cryptic Species Radiations
Species are the fundamental units which we derive our inferences of evolutionary dynamics, yet we have no singular criterion for how we define species! This conundrum is especially magnified in what we call “cryptic species”, taxa that show little to no morphological divergence yet considerable genetic divergence. Understanding how cryptic species arise is a particularly interesting facet of this fascinating phenomenon. Thus far, I have worked with colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Oklahoma to demonstrate this concept empirically in reptiles from Myanmar– specifically skinks and pitvipers.
Vietnam, May-July 2019
Turks and Caicos, January 2019
U.S. Virgin Islands, November-December 2018
Limón, Costa Rica, June-July 2014