My academic interests lie in floriculture, greenhouse cropping systems and the physiology of ornamental plants. My research and extension efforts in flower bulb forcing and use are substantially supported by the Dutch flower bulb export industry as well as US companies and Foundations. Findings from my research group have been adopted by many in the floriculture industry worldwide. I also provide leadership for the Seeley Conference, a major floral industry think tank held annually in Ithaca, and I teach courses in herbaceous plant materials and greenhouse management and crop production.
The focus of my group is essentially in the areas of floricultural crop production and postharvest physiology, especially with flower bulbs. We are interested in growth control, ethylene effects on plants, interactions of specific plant pathogens (e.g., Fusarium oxysporum fs tulipae) and tulip bulbs in terms of ethylene evolution by the pathogen, carbohydrate metabolism in bulbous plants and physiological disorders (physiological diseases) in floricultural crops. We are also heavily involved in outdoor trialing and evaluation of annuals and perennials in Ithaca’s USDA Hardiness Zone 5 climate. Since ca. 2010, we have been looking at ways to regulate plant growth through root-zone ethylene applications. Since ca. 2013, we have been conducting preliminary research assessing the impacts of peat moss and horticultural substrates on greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 emission) and how this might be related to climate change.
Outreach and Extension Focus
I communicate my research findings through a newsletter and the Flower Bulb Research Program website. In addition to talks to grower groups, I also provide leadership for the annual Seeley Conference, and collaborate on the annual Cornell Floriculture Field Day.
I am responsible for two formal courses, Hort 3000 (Annuals and Perennials, aka Herbaceous Plant Materials), and Hort 3100 (Greenhouse Crop production and Marketing). Additionally, I usually direct several independent studies each semester and give guest lectures in other courses.
Awards and Honors
- Kenneth Post Award (2012) American Society for Horticultural Science
- Miller, W. (2013). Dark-stored flurprimidol solutions maintain efficacy over many weeks. HortScience. 48:77-81.
- Miller, W. (2012). Current status of growth regulator usage in flower bulb forcing in North America. Floriculture and Ornamental Plant Biotechnology. 6:35-44.
- Miller, W., Mattson, N. S., Xie, X., Xu, D., Currey, C. J., Clemens, K. L., Lopez, R. G., Olrich, M., & Runkle, E. S. (2012). Ethephon substrate drenches inhibit stem extension of floriculture crops. HortScience. 47:1312-1319.
- Miller, C. T., Lockhart, B., Daughtrey, M. L., & Miller, W. (2012). Iron deficiency may result in interveinal chlorosis of Shamrock Plant (Oxalis regnellii). Floriculture and Ornamental Plant Biotechnology. 6 (Spec. Iss. 2):99-103.
- Cerveny, C. B., Mattson, N. S., Bjorkman, T. N., & Miller, W. (2012). Soaking temperature of dried tuberous roots influences hydration kinetics and growth of Ranunculus asiaticus (L.). HortScience. 47:212-216.
- Hou, J. Y., Miller, W., & Chang, Y. A. (2011). Effects of simulated dark shipping on the carbohydrate status and post-shipping performance of Phalaenopsis. Journal of the American Society for Horticulture Science. 136:364-371.
- Miller, C. T., Mattson, N. S., & Miller, W. (2011). Fertilizer composition, concentration and irrigation method affect growth and development of Oxalis regnellii and Oxalis triangularis. HortScience. 46:1110-1115.
- Miller, C. T., & Miller, W. (2011). Investigating interveinal chlorosis in Oxalis regnellii. Acta Horticulturae. 886:183-186.
- Whipker, B. E., Hammer, P. A., & Miller, W. (2011). Nutrient partitioning in ÔNellie WhiteÕ Lilium longiflorum at anthesis for two temperature regimes. Acta Horticulturae. 900:119-124.
- Cerveny, C. B., Miller, W., & Taylor, A. G. (2011). Storage temperature and moisture content affect respiration and survival of Ranunculus asiaticus dry tuberous roots. HortScience. 46:1523-1527.