Melissa Miller, Ph.D.

Position and Affiliation

Invasive Species Research Coordinator, UF - Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center

Areas of Interest

My research interests involve examining the impact of invasive species on native taxa. My work focuses on how nonnative species alter host-parasite dynamics during biological invasions. Specifically, I examine how an invasive South Florida population of Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) affect parasite assemblages of native snakes through spillover of a non-native pentastome, Raillietiella orientalis. I am also interested in how novel parasites affect parasite community structure within native hosts and the role that landscape disturbance plays on host-parasite relationships of native and nonnative species.


Ph.D. Auburn University, 2017
M.S. Sam Houston State University, 2009
B.S. Northern Kentucky University, 2005

Project Involvement

I am currently involved in research aimed to increase our understanding of the ecology, impacts, and dispersal pathways of invasive species in southern Florida with a primary focus on Nile monitors, Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus, and spectacled caiman.


Miller, M.A., J.M. Kinsella, R.W. Snow, B. Falk; R.N. Reed; F.J. Mazzotti, C. Guyer and C.M. Romagosa. 2020. Highly competent native snake hosts extend the range of an introduced parasite beyond its invasive Burmese python host. Ecosphere. 11(6):e03153. 10.1002/ecs2.3153 Full PDF

Notice of Copyright: © 2020 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Guyer, C., B. Folt, M. Hoffman, D. Stevenson, S. Goetz, M.A. Miller, and J.C. Godwin. 2019. Patterns of head shape and scutellation in Drymarchon couperi (Squamata: Colubridae) reveal a single species. Zootaxa. 4695(2):168-174

Westfall *, A.K., M.A. Miller, C.M. Murray, B.G. Falk, C. Guyer, and C.M. Romagosa. 2019. Host-specific phenotypic variation of a parasite co-introduced with invasive Burmese pythons. PLOS ONE. 14(1): p.e0209252

Miller, M.A., J.M. Kinsella, R.W. Snow, M.M. Hayes, B.G. Falk, R.N. Reed, F.J. Mazzotti, C Guyer, and C.M. Romagosa. 2018. Parasite spillover: indirect effects of invasive Burmese pythons. Ecol Evol. 8(2):830 – 840

Gitzen, R.A., B.J. Keller, M.A. Miller, S.M. Goetz, D. Steen, J. Godwin, and J.J. Millspaugh. 2016. Effective and purposeful monitoring of species reintroductions. In Jachowski, D.S, J.J. Millspaugh, P.L. Angermeier, and R. Slotow, Eds, Reintroduction of fish and wildlife Populations. University of California Press, Oakland, CA. pp. 283 – 317

Nikolakis *, Z., A.K. Westfall *, S.M. Goetz, D. Laurencio, and M.A. Miller. 2016. Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban Treefrog), Predation. Herpetol. Rev. 47(3):440.

Westfall *, A.K., Z. Nikolakis *, J. Friers, and M.A. Miller. 2016. Basiliscus vittatus (Brown Basilisk), Diet. Herpetol. Rev. Vol. 47(3):461

Miller, M.A. and W.I. Lutterschmidt. 2014. Cutaneous water loss and epidermal lipids in two sympatric and congeneric pit vipers. J. of Herpetol., 48(4):577 – 583

Dorcas, M.E., J.D. Willson. R.N. Reed., Snow, R.W., Rochford, M.R., Miller, M.A., Meshaka Jr., W.E., Andreadis, P.T., Mazzotti, F. J., Romagosa, C. M., and K.M. Hart. 2012. Severe mammal declines coincide with python proliferation in Everglades National Park. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109(7):2418 – 2422 (cover article)

Ray, J.M., A.M. Hein., A. Gonzalez, S.M Goetz, and M.A. Miller. 2011. Imantodes cenchoa (Brown Blunt-Nosed Vine Snake), Diet. Herpetol. Rev. 42(2):100

Ray, J.M., A.M. Hein., A. Gonzalez, S.M Goetz, and M.A. Miller. 2011. Imantodes cenchoa (Brown Blunt-Nosed Vine Snake), Maximum Size. Herpetol. Rev. 42(3):614 – 615

* Denotes undergraduate researcher