2018 Mentors and Projects
Plant Systematics, Conservation Biology, and Ethnobotany

09

James S. Miller, Ph.D.

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James S. Miller, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President
Science & Conservation Division

Research Interests
• Flora of Madagascar
• Systematics of Boraginaceae

Description of new species of Malleastrum from Madagascar. Dr. Miller is the Senior Vice President of Science and Conservation at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He has over thirty years of experience in conducting taxonomic and floristic studies of the flora of Madagascar, a biological hotspot known for the extremely high percentages of species that are endemic and endangered. A student working with him will study herbarium specimens of a small group in depth, learn to distinguish existing species, identify new species, take data and measurements from them, write descriptions, and co-author a publication. The genus Malleastrum (Meliaceae) has twenty known species, all of which are endemic to Madagascar, except one that extends to the Comoro Islands. However, collections by MBG botanists in recent years have supplied specimens that are not identifiable as any known species. A collaborating institution is reporting that one of these contains an antiplasmodial compound, creating a real need to sort out its taxonomy to facilitate further research.

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