Research ranges broadly across major scientific issues in the tropics, with research projects on tropical botany, ecosystems, behavior, genomics, and faunal assemblages. Because of Miami's unique location, we have several local resources available to faculty and students. On campus, we host the Gifford Arboretum, which students and faculty use for research, teaching and outreach. We also have close ties with the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy, where some of our graduate students receive support and a few of our faculty have adjunct appointments.

Tropical Biology

William E Browne

Asst. Professor

(305) 284-3319
Research in my lab is focused on investigating patterns of change underlying animal diversity.  We employ a wide range of experimental approaches to explore the molecular genetic relationship between genotype and phenotype from both developmental and evolutionary perspectives. Current work in the lab primarily use cultures of the lobate...

Michael Stephen Gaines

Assistant Provost of Undergraduate Research and Community Outreach

(305) 284-5058
Michael Gaines is assistant provost of undergraduate research and community outreach. Dr. Gaines is director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Education Program. The major goal of the program is to increase the number of disadvantaged students in biomedical research careers. He also directs an NIH Bridge Program between the...

Kevin Grant McCracken

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-9058

Kathleen Sullivan Sealey

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-3013
My research over four decades has been governed by the laws of thermodynamics –specifically the balance and transformations of matter and energy.  My experiences have grown into three current major research areas for the past decade: a) Coastal Restoration Ecology, b) Coastal ecosystem services and c) Small Island development...

William A Searcy


(305) 284-2065
My principal research interest is in animal communication. I have for many years investigated functional aspects of bird song in collaboration with Steve Nowicki and Susan Peters of Duke University. One focus of this work has been on exploring the implications of proximate mechanisms of song development and song neurobiology for ultimate...

Barbara Whitlock

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-3512
The primary goal of my research is to understand the origins of plant diversity. I use phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data in combination with information from morphology, anatomy, and ecology to understand the timing and direction of changes in floral and vegetative traits, geographic distribution, and diversification rates. My students...

Athula H Wikramanayake, Ph.D.

Chair of Biology

(305) 284-4134
I am an evolutionary developmental biologist and my laboratory uses embryological, molecular, genomic and phylogenetic approaches to investigate the evolution of pattern formation in metazoan embryos. A major focus of my laboratory is to investigate the molecular basis for the evolution, specification and patterning of the animal-vegetal (AV)...