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Researcher wins national paleontology award

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Students walking to class.The Paleontological Research Institution selected Dr. Jim Miller, emeritus professor of geology at Missouri State University, as the 2013 recipient of the Gilbert Harris Award.  Miller will receive the award Oct. 28 at the annual Geological Society of America meeting in Denver.

Miller’s contributions to the field began with his work with conodonts, a Paleozoic tooth-like microfossil derived from an extinct marine animal. He established the first Cambrian and oldest North American conodont zonation based on collections from western Utah. He extended his reach into overall Cambrian/Ordovician stratigraphy, trilobite and brachiopod stratigraphy, using fossils to date meteorite impact structures and other related fields.

Miller has had three fossils named for him: a new species of fossil genus named Chasbellus milleri, trilobite; Eukteanochiton milleri, a mollusk;  and Notchpeakia milleri, another trilobite. All three have been discovered in the same interval of sedimentary rock, the Notch Peak Limestone.

Since 1993, PRI has presented the Gilbert Harris Award annually to an individual who has demonstrated a career commitment to excellence in systematic paleontology.

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College of Natural and Applied Sciences
The College of Natural and Applied Sciences incorporates more than 20 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs along with one cooperative program offered through a partnership with Missouri S&T. The academic departments that make up the college include: biology; chemistry; computer science; engineering; geography, geology and planning; hospitality and restaurant administration; mathematics; and physics, astronomy and materials science. Students have the opportunity for intense hands-on research and internships through a number of outreach and research centers and work alongside faculty who are producing cutting-edge research in their fields.

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