Dr. Nicholas Miller

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Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Department of Entomology
109E Entomology Hall
Lincoln, NE
Phone: (402) 472-6200
Fax: (402) 472-4687
Miller Lab Webpage: http://www.unl.edu/entomology/millerlab/welcome
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80% Research, 20% Teaching

  1. BSc Biological Sciences, The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, 1996.
  2. PhD, The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2000.
Professional Responsibilities and Activities: Research
Broadly, I am interested in how herbivorous insects respond to some of the selection pressures they encounter in their environments. Recently, this has focused on the population genetics of the western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera virgifera in relation to the adaptation of this important agricultural pest to crop rotation as a management tactic and the species’ potential to adapt to transgenic corn. I also have an interest in understanding the extent to which alternative host plants affect the genetic structure of insect populations.
I am currently developing a research program that will address some of the molecular processes involved in insect-plant interactions. This program aims to investigate the genes and gene products that enable insect herbivores to cope with the many potent defensive secondary metabolites and macromolecules that plants produce in response to insect feeding.
Another area of interest is the use of population genetics approaches to study species that are invasive or expanding their existing ranges into new territory. Teaching
I teach Insect Physiology in the Spring semester of even-numbered years and Population and Ecological Genetics in the Fall Semester of odd-numbered years.


  • Miller, N. J., J. Sun and T. W. Sappington (2012). High-Throughput Transcriptome Sequencing for SNP and Gene Discovery in a Moth. Environmental Entomology 41: 997–1007.
  • Coates, B. S., A. P. Alves, H. Wang, K. K. O. Walden, B. W. French, N. J. Miller, C. A. Abel, H. M. Robertson, T. W. Sappington and B. D. Siegfried (2012). Distribution of Genes and Repetitive Elements in the Diabrotica virgifera virgifera Genome Estimated Using BAC Sequencing. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 2012: 1–9.
  • Ciosi, M., N. J. Miller, S. Toepfer, A. Estoup and T. Guillemaud (2010). Stratified dispersal and increasing genetic variation during the invasion of Central Europe by the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. Evolutionary Applications 4: 54-70.
  • Miller, N. J., S. Richards and T. W. Sappington (2010). The Prospects for Sequencing the Western Corn Rootworm Genome. Journal of Applied Entomology: 134: 420-428.
  • Miller, N. J., D. L. Dorhout, M. E. Rice and T. W. Sappington (2009). Mitochondrial DNA Variation and Range Expansion in Western Bean Cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): No Evidence for a Recent Population Bottleneck. Environmental Entomology 38: 274-280.
  • Miller, N. J., T. Guillemaud, R. Giordano, B. D. Siegfried, M. E. Gray, L. J. Meinke and T. W. Sappington (2009). Genes, gene flow and adaptation of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 11: 47-60.
  • Gray, M. E., T. W. Sappington, N. J. Miller, J. Moeser and M. O. Bohn (2009). Adaptation and invasiveness of western corn rootworm: Intensifying research on a worsening pest. Annual Review of Entomology 54: 303-321.
  • Meinke, L. J., T. W. Sappington, D. W. Onstad, T. Guillemaud, N. J. Miller, J. Komaromi, N. Levay, L. Furlan, J. Kiss and F. Toth (2009). Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) population dynamics. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 11: 29-46.
  • Ciosi, M., N. J. Miller, K. S. Kim, R. Giordano, A. Estoup and T. Guillemaud (2008). Invasion of Europe by the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera: multiple transatlantic introductions with various reductions of genetic diversity. Molecular Ecology 17: 3614-3627.
  • Meihls, L. N., M. L. Higdon, B. D. Siegfried, N. J. Miller, T. W. Sappington, M. R. Ellersieck, T. L. Spencer and B. E. Hibbard (2008). Increased survival of western corn rootworm on transgenic corn within three generations of on-plant greenhouse selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: 19177–19182.
  • Miller, N. J., M. Ciosi, T. W. Sappington, S. T. Ratcliffe, J. L. Spencer and T. Guillemaud (2007). Genome scan of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera for genetic variation associated with crop rotation tolerance. Journal of Applied Entomology 131: 378-385.
  • Miller, N. J., K. S. Kim, S. T. Ratcliffe, A. Estoup, D. Bourguet and T. Guillemaud (2006). Absence of genetic divergence between western corn rootworms (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) resistant and susceptible to control by crop rotation. Journal of Economic Entomology 99: 685-90.
  • Miller, N. J., A. Estoup, S. Toepfer, D. Bourguet, L. Lapchin, S. Derridj, K. S. Kim, P. Reynaud, L. Furlan and T. Guillemaud (2005). Multiple transatlantic introductions of the western corn rootworm. Science 310: 992.
  • Miller, N. J., N. B. Kift and G. M. Tatchell (2005). Host-associated populations in the lettuce root aphid, Pemphigus bursarius (L.). Heredity 94: 556-564.
  • Barbara DJ, Morton A, Miller NJ (2005). Isolation of Microsatellite Markers from an Interspecific Hybrid Isolate of the Fungal Plant Pathogen Verticillium dahliae. Molecular Ecology Notes 5:854-856.
  • Miller NJ, Birley AJ, Overall ADJ, Tatchell GM (2003). Population Genetic Structure of the Lettuce Root Aphid, Pemphigus bursarius (L.), in relation to geographic distance, gene flow and host plant usage. Heredity 91:217-223.
  • Miller NJ, Birley AJ, Tatchell GM (2000). Polymorphic Microsatellite Loci from the Lettuce Root Aphid, Pemphigus bursarius. Molecular Ecology 9:1951-1952.
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