Growing up in a farming area in western Pennsylvania, Jacqueline Y. Miller loved wandering outside, collecting butterflies and birds, and going fishing. She decided she wanted to pursue her interests further, so she became a curator of drosophila in the Department of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. Getting this opportunity was wonderful for her, and only strengthened her passion. Set on her quest for discovery, Dr. Miller advanced through positions like curator of drosophila in the Department of Zoology at the University of Maryland, College Park, instructor in the Department of Biology at Gallaudet College, and assistant curator and entomology associate at the Allyn Museum of Entomology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. She continues to serve as an associate curator at the Allyn Museum of Entomology and as both an Allyn curator for lepidoptera and an associate director at the McGuire Center to this day. Her focus is on morphology; she looks at biodiversity as a whole and tries to make sense of it. Her goal is to see the origin of some species.
Dr. Miller was fortunate to have a husband that was interested in the same things; they grew together in that respect. They set goals and did field work together, even publishing a book with David Spencer Smith on the butterflies of the West Indies. Dr. Miller loved passing her enthusiasm and knowledge on to others. In total, she authored 150 peer-reviewed publications and seven books. Additionally, she has served as the associate editor of the Bulletin of the Allyn Museum since 1971.
To prepare for her endeavors, Dr. Miller obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965, a Master of Science from the University of America in 1968, and a PhD from the University of Florida in 1986. She also joined prominent organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Lepidopterists Society, the Entomological Society of America, the Florida Entomological Society, the New York Entomological Society, the Washington Entomological Society, the Society for Systematic Biology, and the National Scientific Collections Alliance. In recognition of her efforts, Dr. Miller was honored with the William D. Winder Service Award from the Lepidopterist Society, fellowships from the Entomological Society of America and the Royal Entomological Society of London, and the John Abbot Award, as well as with the title of honorary research associate from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Some of Dr. Miller’s interests outside of her work include orchids, Springer spaniels, and cooking. She has been an accredited judge in the Florida North Central Judging Region of the American Orchid Society since 1986.