Educator Paleontologist Scientist Zoologist

Alden H. Miller

Quick Facts

IntroU.S. ornithologist
A.K.A.A. H. Miller
Was Scientist
From United States of America
Type Academia
Birth 4 February 1906, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.
Death 9 October 1965, Clearlake, Lake County, California, U.S.A.
(aged 59 years)
Father:Loye Holmes Miller


Alden Holmes Miller (February 4, 1906 – October 9, 1965) was an American ornithologist and director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley for 25 years. He published over 250 papers on the biology, distribution, and taxonomy of birds, and served as president of the American Ornithologists’ Union (1953-1955) and the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (1964-1965), and as editor of The Condor from 1939 until his death. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Alden Miller was born February 4, 1906 in Los Angeles, California, the son of Loye H. Miller, a noted professor and researcher. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, earning a B.A. in 1927, then enrolled in UC Berkeley, receiving an M.S. in 1928 and his PhD in 1930 under Joseph Grinnell. Ten years later he succeeded Grinnell as the director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. He is noted for his studies of Lanius (the largest genus of shrikes) and juncos (sparrow-like birds). He received the Brewster Medal for his contributions to ornithology. Miller’s approach to collections-based research employed “concepts, theories, practices, tools, and technologies from the laboratory, museum, and field.”

Miller supervised around 30 doctoral students and 15 master’s students. list. and 15 master’s students, many of whom became notable ornithologists in their own right. His doctoral students included Charles G. Sibley, who co-developed the Sibley–Ahlquist taxonomy of birds; author and conservationist A. Starker Leopold; and Richard C. Banks, founder of the Ornithological Council.

Miller died of a heart attack at Clear Lake, California, on October 9, 1965, at the age of 59.


  •   (With Joseph Grinnell)
  •   (With Robert C. Stebbins)