Plant Biology News
Dr. Andrew Miller receives Distinguished Research Scientist award
Dr. Andrew Miller, affiliate of Plant Biology, was presented with the Distinguished Research Scientist award from the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois during a Celebration of Excellence held on April 10, 2019 to honor the outstanding achievements of its employees. Dr. Miller is the mycologist at the Illinois State History Survey and is an international expert on the biodiversity and systematics of fungi. While his research primarily focuses on small, wood-inhabiting fungi, he also possesses a broad knowledge on the taxonomy of mushrooms and has discovered and described more than 100 new fungal taxa.
Dr. Miller has an extensive publication record with over 120 publications being cited more than 6,700 times. He also has been the principal investigator on 12 grants and co-PI for eight grants totaling $13,783,416 in the past 14 years. These grants range from detection of bat white-nose syndrome throughout Illinois to fungal inventories in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to surveys of fungal distributions along an altitudinal gradient in Peru.
As director of the herbarium, Dr. Miller is responsible for the care and management of over 1.2 million plant and fungal specimens. He has collected, databased, and preserved more than 5,000 specimens and more than 10,000 fungal isolates in culture.
As the only mycologist on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, Miller answers several queries per month on fungus-related questions—primarily “Can I eat this?” He has provided consultant services for the Illinois Poison Control Center and the Animal Poison Control Center since 2004 and developed a popular workshop on the Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of Illinois, which he has presented 26 times for Nature Centers, Forest Preserves, community colleges, and Illinois Extension. He also has mentored six post-docs, nine Ph.D. students, three M.S. students, and 16 undergraduate students.