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Research Scientist (Fire Ecology)
Biodiversity Conservation Centre
Kattidj Close
Kings Park Western Australia 6005
(+61 8) 9480 3637

Research themes

  • Restoration ecology – ecological interactions, community ecology, restoration targets and monitoring
  • Fire ecology – plant traits, fire regimes and bushland management
  • Rare plant conservation – population ecology, distribution modelling, dispersal
  • Ecosystem management – urban ecology, weed management, drivers of ecosystem change, spatial interactions
  • Conservation planning – strategy development for biodiversity conservation
  • Mediterranean shrubland and woodland communities
  • Banded Iron Formation (BIF) communities

Academic background

  • 1991 Bachelor of Science (Hons), The University of Melbourne.
  • 2004 PhD, The University of Melbourne. Thesis title: Life history variation in co-existing, Mexican rain-forest understorey palms.

Major projects


  • How plant traits and fire regime elements interact to define species response to fire.
  • The effect of varying fire interval and season on resilience of Banksia woodland species.
  • Assessing the impact of management alternatives on fire risk, biodiversity and weed cover in urban bushlands.
  • Development of completion criteria and monitoring protocols for mine closure.
  • Banksia decline: hydrology, physiology and demography of trees in urban remnants.

Visit the Ecosystem Ecology section to learn more about the current projects.


  • Strategy for the conservation and rehabilitation of native plant cover in Saudi Arabia
  • An integrated research program into the ecology, conservation and restoration of the rare plant species Darwinia masonii and Lepidosperma gibsonii.
  • Habitat characterisation the rare BIF-endemic plant Tetratheca erubescens.

Research associates and students


  • Lauren Svejcar (PhD; commenced 2016) How do species interactions drive community assembly of Banksia woodlands? Supervisors: Dr Ben Miller, Dr Jason Stevens (BGPA), Dr Joseph Fontaine (Murdoch University).
  • Ryan Tangney (PhD; commenced 2015) Understanding how varying season and intensity of fire affects the fate of seeds of native plant species in wildfire and managed fire in Banksia Woodlands. Supervisors: Dr Ben Miller, Dr David Merritt, Professor Kingsley Dixon (Curtin University).
  • Russel Miller (PhD; commenced 2015) Plant population responses to varying fire interval and season in Banksia woodlands. Supervisors: Dr Ben Miller, Dr David Merritt, Professor Neal Enright, Dr Joseph Fontaine (Curtin University).


  • Cameron Mounsey (PhD; 2014) Role of spatial and temporal patterns of in development of vegetation and soil hydrology as a determinant of restoration success following sand mining in SW WA.
  • Sacha Ruoss (PhD; 2013) Conserving Rare Banded Ironstone Formation Endemic Plants in the Ecological Restoration of Iron Ore Waste Dumps in the Semi Arid Midwest of Western Australia.
  • Vanessa Westcott (PhD; 2010) The effect of increased fire frequency on the high-diversity Eneabba Sandplain Shrublands, Western Australia.
  • Kelly Hunt deBie (PhD; 2009) Herbivory, seedling defence and community composition; examining defence trade-offs as mechanisms of coexistence in the high diversity, Eneabba shrublands of Western Australia.
  • Dulana Herath (PhD; 2009) Fire impacts on restored shrublands following mining for heavy minerals near Eneabba, southwestern Australia.

Selected publications

Miller BP, Sinclair EA, Menz MHM, Elliott CP, Bunn E, Commander LE, Dalziell E, David E, Davis B, Erickson TE, Golos P, Krauss SL, Lewandrowski W, Mayence CE, Merino-Martín L, Merritt DJ, Nevill P, Phillips RD, Ritchie AL, Ruoss S and Stevens JC (2016) A framework for the practical science necessary to restore sustainable, resilient and biodiverse ecosystems. Restoration Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12475

Challis A, Stevens JC, McGrath G and Miller BP (2016) Plant and environmental factors associated with drought induced mortality in two facultative phreatophytic trees. Plant and Soil. 404: 157-172.

Paul S, Dixon KW and Miller BP (2014) The persistence and germination of fern spores in fire-prone, semi-arid environments. Australian Journal of Botany 62: 518-527.

Miller BP and Dixon KW (2014) Plants and fire in Kwongan vegetation. In Lambers H (ed) Plant life on the sandplains in southwest Australia, a global biodiversity hotspot. UWA Press, Perth.

Enright NJ, Fontaine JB, Lamont BB, Miller BP and Westcott VC (2014) Resistance and resilience to changing climate and fire regime depend on plant functional traits. Journal of Ecology 102: 1572-1581.

Enright NJ, Clarke M, Keith D and Miller BP (2012) Australian sclerophyllous shrubby ecosystems: heathlands, heathy woodlands and mallee woodlands. In: Bradstock, R., Gill, A. & Williams, R. (eds) Flammable Australia: Fire Regimes and Biodiversity in a Changing World. CSIRO Publishing. Melbourne.

Miller BP, Enright NJ, Perry GLW and Lamont BB (2010) Contrasting spatial pattern and pattern-forming processes in natural versus restored shrublands. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 701-709.

Esther A, Groeneveld J, Enright NJ, Miller BP, Lamont BB, Perry GLW, Blanki FB and Jeltsch F (2010) Sensitivity of plant functional types to climate change: Classification tree analysis of a simulation model Journal of Vegetation Science 21: 447-461.

Herath D, Lamont BB, Enright NJ and Miller BP (2009) Impact of fire on plant-species persistence in post-mine restored and natural shrubland communities in southwestern Australia. Biological Conservation 142: 2175-2180.

Miller BP, Enright NJ, and Lamont BB (2007) Record error and range contraction, real and imagined, in the restricted shrub Banksia hookeriana in south-western Australia. Diversity and Distributions 13: 406–417.

Enright NJ, Mosner E, Miller BP, Johnson N and Lamont BB (2007) Patterns of soil versus canopy seed storage and plant species coexistence in species-rich shrublands of southwestern Australia. Ecology 88: 229–2304.

Perry GLW, Miller BP and Enright NJ (2006) A comparison of methods for the statistical analysis of spatial point patterns in plant ecology. Plant Ecology 187: 59–82.

See Ben's full list of publications on Google Scholar...

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