Associate Professor & Curator of Insects
Ph.D. 2005, Systematic Entomology – Cornell University
Synopsis. My research program concentrates on the systematics and evolutionary history of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) – a megadiverse and notoriously intractable lineage of plant feeding beetles estimated to include some 220,000 species worldwide. Much of my field- and morphology-based work has focused on Neotropical radiations; including descriptions of several dozens of new taxa and a revised tribal classification of acalyptine flower weevils. I presently lead a project that will produce a phylogenetic redefinition and e-monograph of the Exophthalmus genus complex, with implications for Caribbean and Neotropical mainland biogeography. On the more conceptual side, I am interested in improving the linkage between numerous aspects of traditional taxonomic practice and logic-based methods for knowledge representation and reasoning. At the School of Life Sciences, I am in charge of curating the Frank Hasbrouck Insect Collection.
Representative Publications (complete list)
Franz, N.M. 2014. Anatomy of a cladistic analysis. Cladistics 30: 294-321.
Franz, N.M. & J. Cardona-Duque. 2013. Description of two new species and phylogenetic reassessment of Perelleschus Wibmer & O’Brien, 1986 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), with a complete taxonomic concept history of Perelleschus sec. Franz & Cardona-Duque, 2013. Systematics and Biodiversity 11: 209–236.
Cardona-Duque, J. & N.M. Franz. 2012. Description and phylogeny of Azotoctla, a new Neotropical genus of Acalyptini (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Curculioninae) associated with the staminodes of Cyclanthaceae. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 166: 559-623.
Franz, N.M. 2012. Phylogenetic reassessment of the Exophthalmus genus complex (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Eustylini, Geonemini). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 164: 510-557.
Girón, J.C. & N.M. Franz. 2010. Revision, phylogeny, and historical biogeography of the genus Apodrosus Marshall, 1922 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae). Insect Systematics & Evolution 41: 339-414.
Franz, N.M. & M.S. Engel. 2010. Can higher-level phylogenies of weevils explain their evolutionary success? A critical review. Systematic Entomology 35: 597-606.
Franz, N.M. & D. Thau. 2010. Biological taxonomy and ontology development: scope and limitations. Biodiversity Informatics 7: 45-66.
Franz, N.M. & R. K. Peet. 2009. Towards a language for mapping relationships among taxonomic concepts. Systematics and Biodiversity 7: 5-20.