"gigantopterid" = an English noun describing large leaves with complex reticulate venation resembling the Cathaysian fossil seed plant genus Gigantopteris and North American genus Delnortea of the Permian Period, 260 million years ago"

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[ John M. Miller, Ph.D., Botanist ]

Dr. Miller is a plant systematist and paleobotanist with 40 years experience as a researcher, college teacher, and international private sector botanical consultant. Scientific research papers authored by John M. Miller, Ph.D. appear in refereed, international journals covering the disciplines of biochemistry, botany, geology, paleontology, and systematics of flowering plants.

Published work includes a monograph coauthored with his major Professor, Kenton L. Chambers, Ph.D. on the genus Claytonia, and other papers written solely, or with others. Much of this research was supported and underwritten by granting agencies including the American Philosophical Society, Australia and Pacific Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, Sigma Xi, and the United States National Science Foundation.

Current research is focused on a review of the literature on possible coevolution of flowering plants with certain clades of holometabolous insects and the paleobiology of Paleozoic seed plants, including populations of candidate stem-group angiosperm ancestors and their sympatric congeners.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Oregon State University, 1978, major in botany and plant pathology, minor in plant physiology and biochemistry (Kenton L. Chambers, major professor)

  • Master of Science (M. S.), Oregon State University, 1975, major in botany and plant pathology; minor in plant physiology and biochemistry

  • Bachelor of Arts (A. B.), Humboldt State University, 1973, major in botany

  • Associate of Arts (A. A.), Moorpark College, 1971, major in forestry

Professional Affiliations:

  • Botanical Society of America (Pacific, Paleobotanical, and Systematics Sections)


  • 2009-2017, Curatorial Assistant, Herbarium Research Associate, and Volunteer, University of California Berkeley Museums, University and Jepson Herbaria.

  • 2008, Instructor, University of California, Berkeley Continuing Education. Co-presenter for the Jepson Herbarium Workshop, Beneath the Crown: A Paleobotanical Perspective on the Green Tree of Life, June 14, 2008.

  • 1989-2007, Consulting Botanist.

  • 1996-1999, West Valley Community College, Instructor of Biology.

  • 1987-1989, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Courtesy Assistant Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology, conducted National Science Foundation-sponsored research.

  • 1985-1988, University of the South Pacific (USP), Suva, FIJI ISLANDS, Lecturer I in conservation biology, foundation biology, plant physiology, population biology, and plant biology. Chair of the Vice-chancellorís Landscape and Botanical Garden subcommittee. Conducted National Geographic Society- and Australia and Pacific Science Foundation-sponsored research.

  • 1985-1988, Institute of Natural Resources, USP, Suva, Honorary Herbarium Curator, South Pacific Regional Herbarium.

  • 1985-1986, Consultant, Australian Development Assistance Bureau Fiji Hardwood Reforestation Team, Division of Forests, Fiji.

  • 1983-1984, Board of Scientists, Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, Alpine, Texas.

  • 1979-1984, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas, Assistant Professor of Biology, teacher of general botany, plant morphology, paleobotany, and plant physiology, and conducted National Science Foundation-sponsored research.

  • 1978-1979, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B. C., CANADA, Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Botany, Bohm Laboratory, assisted Professor Bohm on National Research Council, Canada-funded research.


  • Monitor of the population of Tahoe draba on USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit lands, Alpine and El Dorado counties, California and Douglas County, Nevada.  Dates of Service 1999-2003. Botanist who was responsible for the long-term monitoring of Draba asterophora var. asterophora transplant sites in the Heavenly Ski Resort Special Use Permit forest lands of the Carson Range. Discoverer of the Monument Peak population of Tahoe draba.

  • Botanist who prepared the recovery plan for several Monterey Bay area federally listed species including the robust spine flower, Monterey Bay spine flower, Scott Valley spine flower, and the sand gilia.

  • Discoverer of a new population of the Mariposa pussypaws (Cistanthe pulchella), Hoover's eriastrum (Eriastrum hooveri [with Glen Clifton]), and the Mount Diablo fairy lantern (Calochortus pulchellus [with Tim Armstrong]).

  • Provided coordination and leadership on Vice-chancellor Geoffrey Caston's Buildings and Grounds Landscape Subcommittee that established a botanical garden on the grounds of the University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus, Suva, FIJI ISLANDS.

  • Botanical and phytochemical studies of the Purple-spined Hedgehog Cactus, Washington County, Utah. Private consultant to the United States Fish & Wildlife Service Region 6 team who evaluated populations of hedgehog cactus in the Dixie Corridor of southeastern Utah.


More than three dozen publications in scientific journals and one case bound monograph (list is available).


Phenotypic Variation in Diploids of the Claytonia perfoliata Complex (Portulacaceae).  Ph.D. Thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis.

Polymorphic, Sympatric Flavonoid Variants of Claytonia perfoliata from the Columbia River Gorge. Master's Thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis.

Awards and Honors:

Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor, Ventura County Council, Boy Scouts of America.

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