While Miller worked at Austin Cary Forest, she noticed wiregrass, a plant that survives prescribed burns, created a protective cover that promoted the growth of pine trees post-burn. After proving there was a statistical relationship between the two plants, Miller now focuses on finding out the reason why.
“We think that the wiregrass, which grows super tall and then drapes over the pines, makes the environment cooler. It’s not as harsh in the sun, it draws more water in and makes a more favorable micro-climate for the baby pine trees to be able to live. Now I’m trying to prove that through my research.”