W. Owen McMillan joins STRI as academic dean and staff scientist
January 25, 2010
Recently, Owen McMillan accepted the position of staff scientist and academic dean at STRI. McMillan has a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii, where his thesis focused on speciation and species boundaries in coral reef fishes. He spent three years at University College London as a postdoc working with Jim Mallet on speciation in butterflies. He continues to be interested in speciation and, more recently, in the origins of adaptive variation. His current research includes evolutionary genomics of mimicry in Neotropical butterflies; population history of morphological differentiation; and applied research in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Before coming to STRI, McMillan spent eight years at the University of Puerto Rico. Most recently he was an associate professor in the Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University. He has been a visitor to STRI for over 20 years and has encouraged many of his own students and postdocs to seek research opportunities in Panama. According to him, "STRI has always been a special place for me and I have a deep appreciation of the unique possibilities that STRI offers for research and education."
At STRI, McMillan will take a leading role in shaping STRI's academic mission. Key administrative goals include: increasing the impact of STRI's educational programs; enriching the STRI intern and fellowship experience; developing new strategic partnerships and new opportunities for STRI's academic programs.
According to director Eldredge Bermingham, "The new appointed position of Academic Dean represents STRI's recognition of the pivotal importance to our mission of academic partnerships and training the next generation of tropical scientists." McMillan joined the group of Nélida Gómez, Adriana Bilgray and Nilka Tejeira. His offices are located at the Tupper Center.