RJ Millena

PhD Student, Richard Gilder Graduate School

RJ Millena Comp Bio PhD Student Holding a Display


  • Ph.D. in Comparative Biology, Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, anticipated 2025. (Primary Advisor: Dr. Jessica Ware)
  • B.S. in Entomology (Minors in Nematology and Ecology, Evolution & Biodiversity), University of California, Davis, 2021. (Advisor: Dr. Jay Rosenheim)

Research Interests

RJ’s work focuses on the systematics, phylogenomics, and host-parasite associations of the twisted-wing parasites, Strepsiptera, and their enigmatic placement in the insect radiation. In the course of her dissertation work, she is using the more than 24 million preserved invertebrates housed in the AMNH as previously-untapped resources of archival genetic material and ecological data to inform questions about strepsipteran evolution. She is also actively curating the strepsipteran collection.


Millena, R. J. A., & Rosenheim, J. A. (2022). A double-edged sword: parental care increases risk of offspring infection by a maternally vectored parasite. [Biology Letters18(6), 20220007](https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2022.0007).