Zach Miller


Yale University

About me

I am an ecologist using mathematical, statistical, and computational methods to understand natural systems. In my research, I look for simple models to explain and predict ecological patterns and dynamics. I am particularly interested in using theory and models to understand how biodiversity is generated and maintained in species-rich ecosystems.

Currently, I am a postdoc at Yale University working with Pincelli Hull and David Vasseur. I completed my PhD in Stefano Allesina's lab at the University of Chicago, and then briefly joined James O'Dwyer's group as a postdoc at the University of Illinois. Previously, I studied ecology, evolution, and applied mathematics at Yale University.

Working with other researchers to tackle interesting questions is my favorite part of science, so please feel free to reach out to me!


  • Theoretical ecology
  • Diversity and coexistence
  • Ecological networks
  • Statistics and data analysis


  • PhD in Ecology & Evolution, 2022

    University of Chicago

  • BSc in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Applied Mathematics, 2017

    Yale University


Modeling environmentally-mediated interactions

Many interactions between organisms occur indirectly, through modifications made to a shared environment. Competition for resources is …

Inferring species interactions and predicting coexistence from community endpoints

An important goal in ecology, with many potential applications, is learning patterns of species interactions from data. Most …

Causes and effects of ecological network structure

Reconciling the complexity and (apparent) stability of natural ecosystems is one of the deepest and oldest challenges in ecology. We …

Linking ecological and evolutionary dynamics

Ecology and evolution are intimately connected in nature, but linking the theory of these two fields has been an ongoing challenge for …

Recent Publications

(2022). Modelling ecological communities when composition is manipulated experimentally. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.


(2022). Stability criteria for the consumption and exchange of essential resources. PLOS Computational Biology.


(2022). No robust multispecies coexistence in a canonical model of plant-soil feedbacks. Ecology Letters.


(2019). Predicting coexistence in experimental ecological communities. Nature Ecology & Evolution.


Recent & Upcoming Talks

Theoretical foundations of multispecies coexistence maintained by plant-soil feedbacks

Invited talk on plant-soil feedback models at ESA.

Coupled metapopulation dynamics with patch modification and memory

Contributed talk on metapopulation models with habitat modification at ESA.

Coupled metapopulation dynamics with patch memory and modification

Departmental seminar on a new modeling framework for ecological communities where organisms modify their local environment at UChicago.

Testing the predictive value of phylogeny for community productivity

Contributed talk on biodiversity-ecosystem function models with phylogenetic structure at ESA.

Predicting coexistence in experimental ecological communities

Contributed talk on predicting coexistence in experimental ecological communities at ESA.


  • 210 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511