Alden Holmes Miller

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Alden Holmes Miller (born February 4, 1906 in Los Angeles , † October 9, 1965 in Clearlake ), mostly just AH Miller , was an American ornithologist and paleontologist .


Alden Holmes Miller was born in Los Angeles in 1906 to Anne and Loye Holmes Miller , himself a respected ornithologist. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles from 1923 where he studied zoology, chemistry and music and graduated in 1927 with a bachelor's degree in zoology. He then went to the University of California, Berkeley , where he met Virginia Dove , whom he married in 1928. In 1931 he did his doctorate under Joseph Grinnell on the American representatives of the stranglers ( Lanius ). He worked closely with him until Grinnell's death in 1939; Throughout his life, his work was strongly influenced by his tendency towards the meticulous collection of data and empiricism . While in his monographs on various North American songbird genera he went into great detail on their taxonomy and phylogenesis, he also turned to paleornithology , an area that has so far been little explored in the USA.

From June 1939 Miller worked as an editor for the Condor , in 1940 he succeeded Grinnell as director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ). From 1953 to 1956 he was President of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU), Miller was also elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS, 1957) and President of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature and received a Guggenheim Fellowship . In 1965 he died of a heart attack in Clearlake, California .


In 1943 he received the William Brewster Medal for his pioneering work Speciation in the avian genus Junco .

Sources and References


  • Ernst Mayr : Alden Holmes Miller . National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC 1973.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Condor, Vol 67, No 6, 1965 Alden H. Miller: 1906-1965 (English; PDF; 44 kB) original article
  2. Ernst Mayr: Alden Holmes Miller . National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC 1973.
  3. The Auk Vol. 82, No. 4, 1965 Alden Holmes Miller (1906-1965) (English; PDF; 64 kB) Original article