Debra L. Miller
Debra Miller is a Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Center for Wildlife Health (CWH) in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and in the Department of Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Wildlife Pathologist and Certified Wildlife Biologist. Dr. Miller came to the University of Tennessee from the University of Georgia where she was a member of the Pathology faculty for over 10 years. For 6 years prior to coming to UT, she served as an adjunct member of the UT faculty.
Dr. Miller received her B.S. in Wildlife, Biology, and Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her M.S. was in Wildlife Ecology at Mississippi State University and her thesis study was growth and development of bobcats. Dr. Miller continued at Mississippi State earning her D.V.M. and her Ph. D. (Veterinary Science and Wildlife). Her dissertation study explored the feasibility of embryo transfer in bobcats. She completed her pathology training in the Comparative Pathology Division of the Department of Pathology at the University of Miami (UM) School of Medicine. At UM, she gained pathology experience in marine mammals and sea turtles.
Dr. Miller’s primary areas of research are amphibian diseases, Leatherback sea turtles and marine and Arctic mammal pathology. At UT, Dr. Miller is part of the Amphibian Disease Program and focuses primarily on ranaviruses. Additionally, she collaborates with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) and Dr. Betsie Rothermel (Archbold Biological Station, Florida) to investigate the prevalence and impact of ranaviruses and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on various amphibian populations in north Georgia. Dr. Miller also collaborates with Dr. Jeanette Wyneken (Florida Atlantic University) to study the impact of various environmental and toxicological factors on nest success in Leatherback sea turtles. Similarly, Dr. Miller collaborates with Dr. Todd O’Hara at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks investigating pathological changes in Bowhead whales, Arctic fox, Polar bears and Seals. Dr. Miller also collaborates with various researchers at UGA, Savannah River Project and GADNR on Coyote and Shoal bass studies.
Dr. Miller is dedicated to service and teaching at UT. As a Wildlife Pathologist, her chief focus is free-ranging wildlife followed by captive native species (e.g., alligators, amphibians, fish), exotic free-ranging species, zoo species and exotic pet species. She provides externship experience in wildlife health through the CWH. She also serves as one of the faculty advisors for the student chapter of the Wildlife Disease Association. Dr. Miller contributes to courses in the wildlife health curriculum and guest lectures on pathology as requested. Dr. Miller served on the APHIS USDA Wildlife Services National Advisory Committee from 2001-2007 and the Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Committee for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA/SAP) (2007). Dr. Miller’s professional memberships include the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, the Wildlife Disease Association, Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, The Wildlife Society, and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.