Meet the Curator
Dr. Norman Platnick is curator emeritus in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology.
Dr. Platnick’s research focuses on the spider family Oonopidae (the goblin spiders). He heads a National Science Foundation-funded Planetary Biodiversity Inventory project that aims to complete a global revision of these spiders over the next few years. More than 45 arachnologists in 12 countries are involved in the project. Although only about 500 species of these small spiders had been described when the project began, the research team has already increased that number to over 1,000. It is estimated that there are actually about 2,500 species, most of which are expected to have very small geographic ranges and are therefore likely to be highly informative for studying historical biogeography and establishing conservation priorities.