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MILES MAXCER

Insect Ecologist. Problem Solver.

Science Communicator.

 
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MY STORY

I'm a man of the west -- raised in Idaho and educated at Montana State University in Bozeman -- and the wilderness is an inseparable part of who I am. While my training is in environmental science, science communication, public policy, & entomology, what I am most passionate about is making this world a better place for the people and wildlife that call it home.


Back as a seven-year-old, I never would have imagined I would develop a passion for ants -- or politics and communications, for that matter. When I sat on an anthill during school recess and they stung me all over, I formed a hatred towards the insects. Some years later, my teacher challenged us to learn more about something we didn't like, and at the end of the project, decide if our prejudice was justified.

Turns out, ants are wicked cool. I've been studying them ever since -- and trying to solve the problems of our day along the way. I'm so excited to have joined the University of Florida for my PhD in Entomology, so stay tuned for updates as I embark on this exciting journey.

Thank you for visiting my website, and please feel welcome to contact me.

 
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MY WORK

Ecology & Entomology

I have been studying ants for over a decade, and I am particularly interested in the roles that they play in ecosystems. I’ve hunted elusive species around the globe, ranging from honeypot ants in the high Sonoran desert to the mysterious silk-spinning ants in the canopy of Madagascar’s dry forest. I recently concluded four years as an undergraduate research assistant at Montana State University's Department of Land Resources & Environmental Sciences, where I worked with alfalfa leaf-cutting bees, xerophilic tiger beetles, and insect-inspired drone technology. I also study the insect life in one of America’s greatest living laboratories: Yellowstone National Park. I was asked by the National Park Service to help them understand the biodiversity of ant species in Yellowstone, and how their diversity and distribution may shift due to climate change. Other projects have included curation of Chalcid wasps at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and participation in an Oregon State University IPM initiative to combat the spread of the invasive spotted wing Drosophila

I recently joined the University of Florida, where I will continue to work on ant ecology, science communication, and public policy while completing my PhD in Entomology.


Science Communication & Conservation

My work with insects has led me to explore new ways to communicate science and excite others about conserving the natural world. In concert with The Ant Network's team and advisors, I create online media about ants and ant keeping, give presentations to schools and science camps, and create live insect exhibits for museums, science centers, and zoos. I have visited dozens of classrooms to engage students with exciting, hands-on activities, earning recognition as 2017’s Apprentice Ecologist of the Year.

I believe that communicating science effectively usually requires a compelling narrative, and I work to incorporate storytelling into everything that I do.

Public Service​ & Policy

I have been privileged to serve Montana State University, the State of Montana, and the United States federal government in a range of capacities. I was nominated by U.S. Senator Jon Tester for the Truman Scholarship, and in 2018, Governor Steve Bullock endorsed my selection to serve as the Montana delegate for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship’s College Student Congress in Lexington, KY and Washington, D.C., where I collaborated with peers to develop proposals to improve healthcare policy in the United States, and presented to top lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The Ant Network

The ultimate combination of my personal and professional interests, I founded The Ant Network in 2015 as a service to unite ant keepers, researchers, and educators as one community. Although the company has evolved since, we continue to believe that everyone can be a part of the scientific process and can contribute meaningful knowledge and experience to improve our collective understanding.


We believe that by using ants and other wildlife, we can inspire people to take a closer look at the world beneath their feet. The Ant Network is focused on telling compelling stories about wildlife and wild places through our engaging online videos, educational classroom and science camp presentations, and beautiful live insect exhibits crafted for science centers, museums, zoos, and passionate individuals.

 
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Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter

"I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message"

 

IN THE NEWS

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April 19, 2021

MSU News Service

January 5, 2019

Montana State University News Service

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November 30, 2020

Future Founders

March 19, 2019

Montana State University News Service

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July 31st, 2019

North Carolina State University CALS News Service

November 9th, 2020

Grubbing in the Filth: An Invertebrate Podcast

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May 11, 2020

Animals to the MAX Podcast with Corbin
Maxey

November 12, 2017

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Op-Ed

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"STUDENT STARTUPS COMPETE FOR CASH"

March 13, 2019

Montana Kaimin

 
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"Miles hopes to put the skills he's honed to use for the public good as a scientist advocating for sustainable, science-based environmental policy.


Public service requires dedication, intellect and a willingness to do tough work. Miles possesses all of these qualities"

U.S. Senator Jon Tester

Truman Scholarship Nomination Letter

 

CONTACT ME

Want to work with me to tell stories, explore the natural world, or communicate science? Email me.

Need more info? Take a look at my curriculum vitae.

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