Kyle Miller Hesed

Kyle Miller Hesed
Biology Professor
Phone 620-327-8132
Office Charles Hall

Affiliated Departments or Programs


  • B.A., biology with a minor in linguistics, University of Kansas (Lawrence), 2008
  • Ph.D., biology, University of Maryland (College Park), 2015


  • Muñoz, D.J., K. Miller Hesed, E.H. Campbell Grant, and D.A.W. Miller. 2016. Evaluating within-population variability in behavior and demography for the adaptive potential of a dispersal-limited species to climate change. Ecology and Evolution 6(24): 8740-8755. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2573.
  • Link, W. A. and K. Miller Hesed. 2015. Individual heterogeneity in growth and age at sexual maturity: a Gamma process analysis of capture–mark–recapture data. Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics 20(3): 343-352. DOI: 10.1007/s13253-015-0211-8.
  • Miller Hesed, K. (2015). Dispersal & Population Ecology of the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). Ph.D. Dissertation. Graduate School, University of Maryland.
  • Miller Hesed, K. 2013. Uncovering salamander ecology: a review of coverboard design. [Abstract]. FrogLog 21(2): 80. IUCN SSN Amphibian Specialist Group.
  • Miller Hesed, K. 2012. Uncovering salamander ecology: a review of coverboard design. Journal of Herpetology 46(4): 442-450. DOI: 10.1670/10-220.
  • Linkem, C.W., K. Miller Hesed, A.C. Diesmos, and R.M. Brown. 2010. Species boundaries and cryptic lineage diversity in a Philippine forest skink complex (Reptilia; Squamata; Scincidae: Lygosominae). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 56(2): 572-585. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.03.043.
  • Miller Hesed, K. 2009. Polypedates leucomystax (Common Tree Frog): Saurophagy. Herpetological Review 40(2): 208.
  • Hesed, K. 2006. Ophiophagus hannah (King Cobra): Diet. Herpetological Review 37(4): 480.

Papers Presented

  • Muñoz, D., D. Miller, K. Miller Hesed, and E.H. Campbell Grant. 2015. “Predicting climate change adaptive potential in Red-backed Salamanders: within-population variation in responses to climate.” Oral contribution: 100th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America; 9-14 August, Baltimore, MD.
  • Miller Hesed, K. 2015. “Dispersal and population ecology of the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus).” Oral contribution: 58th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles; 30 July-2 August, Lawrence, KS.
  • Muñoz, D., D. Miller, K. Miller Hesed, and E.H. Campbell Grant. 2014. “Predicting climate change adaptive potential in Red-backed Salamanders: within-population variation in responses to climate.” Oral contribution: Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society; 25-30 October, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Miller Hesed, K. and W.A. Link. 2014. “Growth, maturation, and spatial ecology of the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus).” Oral contribution: Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists; 30 July–3 August, Chattanooga, TN.
  • Hill, J., D. McLeod, K. Miller Hesed, S. Mohammadi, and T. Artchawakom. 2010. “Herpetofaunal diversity at Sakaerat Environmental Research Station, Northeast Thailand: Revisiting a historically important site.” Oral contribution: Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists; 7-12 July, Providence, RI.
  • Hesed, K., C.W. Linkem, A.C. Diesmos, and R.M. Brown. 2007. “Redefined species boundaries in a complex of scincid lizards from the Philippines (Squamata: Lygosominae: Sphenomorphus).” Oral contribution: Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 11-16 July, St. Louis, MO.
  • Hesed, K. 2005. “Ecology of a Thai pitviper.” Oral contribution: 32nd Annual Meeting of the Kansas Herpetological Society, 4-6 November, Pittsburg, KS.

Invited Lectures & Panel / Workshop / Symposium Participation

Invited Lectures

  • “Biodiversity and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in Southeast Asia.” Biology Science Speakers Series, Biological Sciences Department, Goshen College. 26 March 2014. Goshen, IN.
  • “Evolutionary approaches to understanding the origin of sensory systems: examples from Philippine lizards and the American alligator.” Chair of Zoology, Technische Universität München. 27 October 2008, Weihenstephan, Germany.


  • “Estimating growth of animals in nature: A Bayesian approach with mark-recapture data.” First-place award in “Scientific Innovation” session: Graduate Research Interaction Day, University of Maryland. 9 April 2014. College Park, MD.
  • “Molecular phylogenetics uncovers cryptic diversity: Biogeography of a species complex of Philippine lizards.” Biology Graduate Student Research Day, University of Maryland. 19 September 2008, College Park, MD.
  • “Phylogeny of a species complex of Philippine lizards (Scincidae: Lygosominae: Sphenomorphus) based on mitochondrial data: cryptic diversity and biogeography.” Honors Symposium, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Kansas. 10 May 2008, Lawrence, KS.
  • “Molecular techniques reveal unrecognized lizard diversity in the Philippines.” Presentation award in opening session: 10th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Kansas. 14 April 2007, Lawrence, KS.

Professional Affiliations

Courses Taught

  • BiSc 100 Introduction to Biology (4 hours)
  • BiSc 103 Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology (4 hours)
  • BiSc 104 Introduction to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (4 hours)
  • BiSc 105 Introduction to Organismal Biology (4 hours)
  • BiSc 205 Anatomy and Physiology (4 or 5 hours)
  • BiSc 215 Pathophysiology (3 hours)
  • BiSc 240 Genetics (4 hours)
  • IDS 130 Introduction to STEM Careers (1 hour)

In Addition …

What draws you to the study of biology?

The diversity of life on Earth is spectacular, and I’ve always loved animals (especially amphibians and reptiles). Science is both the process and the result of working to understand the world we live in, and I find understanding to be particularly satisfying. Since my childhood, I’ve wanted to make my career studying and learning about living things.

What about teaching energizes you?

I think the living world is wonderful. I love teaching, because it gives me an opportunity to share my excitement about biology (life) with students. Sometimes this deepens an interest they already have, and sometimes it introduces them to new and surprising ideas; both of these are fun outcomes for me. I enjoy planning the structure of a course—what content can I have students read, how can I make assignments that let them reflect on the ideas and how can I plan activities to help reinforce them? I get excited to interact with new students each semester.

What are your favorite courses to teach? Why are they favorites? What do you like about them?

I particularly enjoy teaching introductory biology for non-majors. It’s a fun challenge to try to build a framework for students to connect the different aspects of biology together. I have had a lot of excellent students who are relatively new to biology, but who approach the material with interest and curiosity—it’s a real pleasure to work with these classes.
     It’s been fun to have nursing students for a sequence of courses: anatomy and physiology in the spring, and then pathophysiology in the fall. It’s rewarding to make connections across the semesters and to work with students who are motivated by their vocation.
     I’ve added several introductory courses for majors to the biology curriculum, and it will be fun as they develop. As with the nursing students, I’m looking forward to getting to see these biology majors apply ideas from these courses to their developing career interests.

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