International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature

Christopher H. C. Lyal


Country: United Kingdom

Elected: December 2017, see BZN 75: 4.

Summary of Research & Education:

Chris Lyal is a systematist focussing on the hyperdiverse beetle group Curculionoidea (weevils). During his career at the Natural History Museum in London he has also studied Hemiptera and Phthiraptera, and conducted his PhD on the latter group. His studies within Curculionoidea encompass functional morphology, seed-predation, higher-level classification of the group, as well as cataloguing and nomenclatural issues. Current research is a review of the subfamily Molytinae and its 41 tribes and subtribes, seeking clarity on their composition and homologous characters that can be used in classifying the group. He has also, together with Dr Miguel Alonso-Zarazaga of Madrid, produced the World Catalogue of Family and Genus names of Curculionoidea (1999) and several subsequent additional catalogues with updates. Ongoing work is in compiling and checking the online species-level database of weevils WTaxa ( These cataloguing issues are giving rise to challenging nomenclatural issues. He was engaged in the initial development of the ZooBank concept.

In addition to taxonomic activities he is also deeply engaged with biodiversity policy nationally and globally. He is UK National Focal Point for the CBD’s Global Taxonomy Initiative, and spent three years working part-time for the CBD Secretariat on this issue. He is also very engaged with the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing and its implementation across the EU and globally. Chris is a member of the UK’s Darwin Expert Committee, chairs the Informal Advisory Committee to the ABS Clearing House, and is a member of policy subcommittees of the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities and the Global Genome Biodiversity Network. He is on the editorial board of several journals, including Zoological Bibliography.

Contact Details:

Dr Christopher H. C. Lyal, PhD
Department of Life Sciences
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW 7 5BD

tel: +44 (0)207 942 5113
e-mail: c.lyal [at]