Ian Miller, PhD

Raised nearly feral in rural Washington State, Dr. Ian Miller first discovered geology and paleontology while scavenging mine tailings for fool’s gold and pulling Miocene clams out of road cuts. Ian attended The Colorado College did his first paleobotanical work at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science as a hopeful intern. After a two-year stint as a field geologist in New Mexico, Ian felt the academic siren’s call and headed off to Yale University, where he studied paleobotany and tectonics, earning the title “tectonobotanist.” He briefly entertained the interest of several Hollywood executives for a major motion picture adaptation of his thesis, a treatise on paleobotanical proxies for paleolatitude and other fancy stuff. Instead, he decided to come full circle. Ian returned to Denver and the Museum in 2006.

His principle interests are fossil leaves and their applications for understanding ancient ecosystems and climate. Beyond his work as a scientist, Ian also strives to connect the people of Colorado with science in their backyards. When not digging fossils or scheming new quarries, Ian can be found fly fishing, skiing, or hiking Colorado’s mountains with his lovely wife, Robyn, and his perpetually happy dog, Wilson. Oh …  and Ian received his PhD and MA in geology and paleobotany from Yale University, and his BA from The Colorado College.  

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