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Nico Franz

Nico Franz

Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Ecology, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874501
Tempe, AZ 85287-4501


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Ecology, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Director, ASU Biocollections, Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center
  • Curator, Insects, Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center
  • Affiliated Faculty, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation


Nico Franz is an evolutionary biologist and insect systematist who specializes in the megadiverse plant-feeding lineage of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea), estimated to include 220,000 species globally. His research program also focuses on developing innovative biocollections infrastructure and biodiversity data science services; including AI- and logic-enabled tools to integrate evolving systematic knowledge robustly, equitably, and at scale.

At Arizona State University, he is the principal investigator of the NEON Biorepository and the iDigBio Symbiota Support Hub, which sustains more than 1,800 collections and 90 million global occurrence records. He serves as curator of insects and directs the ASU Biocollections and Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center (BioKIC).


  • PhD, Systematic Entomology, Cornell University, 2005
  • MSc, Biology, University of Costa Rica, 1999
  • Prediploma, Biology, University of Hamburg, 1996


Journal Articles


Franz, N. and B. Sterner. 2018. To increase trust, change the social design behind aggregated biodiversity data. Database 2018(1): bax100. DOI: 10.1093/database/bax100.


Sterner, B. and N. M. Franz. 2017. Taxonomy for humans or computers? Cognitive pragmatics for big data. Biological Theory 12(2):99-111. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-017-0259-5. (link )



Stromberg, J. C., H. L. Bateman, E. Makings, N. Franz, H. Rowe, S. Beute, A. Suchy, D. Wolkis, B. Scott and R. DePuydt. 2012. Inventory and monitoring of the Salt River in Phoenix. Poster presented at 13 January 2012 CAP LTER 14th Annual Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )