Niels Peder Kristensen – University of Copenhagen

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Niels Peder Kristensen

Niels Peder Kristensen

Professor Emeritus

Natural History Museum of Denmark
Universitetsparken 15
2100 København Ø

Office: 11, 2-4-441
Phone: +45 353-21113
Phone (Reception desk): +45 353-22222

Date of Birth: March 2, 1943

Education, degrees: Studies at University of Copenhagen (1961-68) and University of Bristol (1966-67). Mag. scient 1968 & Dr. scient. 1984, University of Copenhagen.

Employments: 1967-68: 'Amanuensisvikar', Zoological Laboratory, University of Copenhagen; 1968-72: 'amanuensis', 1972: 'lektor', 1991: 'docent', 1995-2013: professor of systematic entomology, Entomology Department, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen (ZMUC), now Natural History Museum of Denmark.

Principal administrative responsibilities: Entomology Department, ZMUC: deputy chair 1990-93, 1994-96, 1999-2002; chair 1993-94, 1996-99, 2002-03. ZMUC: deputy director 1980-82, 2002-2004; director (and chair, Museum Committee of University Senate) 1986-89. Natural History Museum of Denmark: Head of Zoology 2004-2006.

Long-term research periods in institutions abroad: Université de Dijon (1970); Victoria University of Wellington (1982-83); Division of Entomology, CSIRO, Canberra (1983).
Numerous short-term visits to institutions abroad.

Principal invited lectures include 'Karl Jordan Medal Address', Lepidopterists' Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh 1988; Nobel Foundation symposium 'The Hierarchy of Life', Karlskoga 1988; Plenary Lecture (Opening Session), VIth European Congress of Entomology, Ceske Budejovice 1998; Closing lecture, 'Origine des Hexapodes' (Symposium sponsored by Societé Zoologique de France/Societé Entomologique de France), Paris 1999; ‘Griswold lecture', Entomology Department, Cornell University 2003; Honorary membership address, GfBS annual meeting, Göttingen 2008; Honorary membership address, RES annual meeting 'Ento 09', Sheffield 2009; introductory key note lecture, ‘Phylogeny and Evolution of the Lepidoptera’ symposium, ICE2012, Daegu. 

Supervision/co-supervision of graduate research: 5 ph.d., 7 cand.scient.

Professional council/committee work: Bearer of several domestic & international offices including: Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica (president 1998-2007); International Congresses of Entomology (Council 1988-2004, deputy chair 2000-04); Entomologicsk Forening [Society], Copenhagen (president 1989-99), Scientific Advisory Board of 'Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig', Bonn (1991-1998, chair 1994-98); Preparatory Group, Fauna Europaea project (1997-99); Scientific Advisory Board of Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt Universität, Berlin (1999-2002, chair 2000-2002). Reviewer of grant proposals for NSF (U.S.A); NSERC (Canada); FWF (Austria); NATO.

Scientific editing: Steenstrupia (editor 1980-82); Systematic Entomology (editorial adviser 1980-86): Zoomorphology (co-editor 1982-93); Zeitschrift für Zoologische Systematik und Evolutionsforschung/Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research (co-editor 1984-92, advisory board 1992-99); Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica (editor-in chief 1991-present, in collaboration with V. Michelsen); Acta Zoologica (editorial adviser 1991-present); Handbook of Zoology/Handbuch der Zoologie (co-editor of Insecta section 1995-present); Systematics and Biodiversity (editorial adviser 2002-present); Insect Systematics and Evolution (editorial adviser 2008-present). Manuscript reviewer for another ca 20 scientific journals.

Honours: Member, Danish Academy of Natural  Sciences (1982); recipient, 'Karl Jordan Medal' (Lepidopterists' Society) for "outstanding original research in lepidopterology" (1988); member, Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (1988); corresponding member, Finnish Entomological Society (1996); honorary 'Foreign member', Linnean Society of London (1998); recipient, Joachim Jungius-Medaille (J.J.Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, Hamburg) for "herausragender Leistungen in Wissenschaft und Forschung" (1999); honorary member, Sociedad Hispano-Luso-Americana de Lepidopterologia (SHILAP)( 2000); honorary member, Entomologisk Forening, Copenhagen (2001); honorary research fellow, Natural History Museum, London (2005); honorary member, Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik (2007); honorary member, Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica (2007); honorary fellow, Royal Entomological Society (2008); honorary member, Russian Entomological Society (2012).

Primary research areas

Insect anatomy and high-rank phylogeny. Lepidoptera anatomy and systematics, with special reference to 'basal' evolutionary lineages

Current research

My long-standing principal interests are Lepidoptera structure and evolution, as well as comparative anatomy and phylogeny of high-rank insect clades. My empirical research has largely focused on the structure and evolution of 'basal' Lepidoptera (i.e., those lineages that evolved in the first several splitting events that can be resolved from a study of the known fauna) and other basal endopterygotes. Ongoing projects include

1) A suite of ad hoc studies describing systematically/morphologically/biogeographically exciting newly discovered taxa of homoneurous moths).

2) A comprehensive structural/phylogenetic/taxonomic/biological treatment of the endemic New Zealand family Mnesarchaeidae. This small moth family is of outstanding interest, being an insect counterpart of ‘the tuatara case’ in ‘reptiles’ – with a N.Zealand endemic taxon being the sister group of a species-rich cosmopolitan taxon; in the mnesarchaeid case this sister group is the superfamily Hepialoidea. So far 14 mnesarchaeid species are known – half of them to be described in our forthcoming monograph. (With G.W. Gibbs, Victoria Univ., Wellington, and B. Wiegmann, N Carolina State Univ., Raleigh).

3) A review of the Afrotropical Micropterigidae, including the treatment of a still-undescribed ‘species swarm’ in Madagascar. (With D. Lees, NHM, London, G. W. Gibbs, Victoria Univ., Wellington and D. R. Davis, USNMNH, Smithsonian Institution).

4) A taxonomic review of the Old World Eriocraniidae, the first differentiated glossatan lineage and the only exclusively Holarctic family of homoneurous moths (With O. Karsholt, ZMUC, M. Mutanen, Univ, Oulu and M.Kozlov, Univ. Turku), supplemented with anatomical work on the female genitalia (with F. Hünefeld, Univ. Jena).