|Nigel R. Franks, a professor of animal behavior and ecology at the University of Bristol, is a leading expert on ants who has studied social insects for a quarter century. His pioneering research demonstrated that insights from the organization of ant colonies could form the basis for computer algorithms. His interest in mathematical biology and the application of social-organization theory led him to undertake investigations that showed how simple rules of thumb employed by individual social insects at a purely local level can generate complex adaptive features at the level of the whole society. Educated at the University of Leeds, where he took first-class honors in special studies zoology, Dr. Franks also earned his Ph.D. in zoology at Leeds, based on extensive fieldwork on army ants in Panama. His thesis was recognized as the best doctoral dissertation in zoology in the United Kingdom in 1980 by the Zoological Society of London, which presented him with its Thomas Henry Huxley Award. Dr. Franks studied with E.O. Wilson at Harvard University on a post- doctoral fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. His research interests expanded during this period from ecology to animal behavior, and he conducted one of the first studies of behavioral conflicts within ant societies, which led to a co-authored (with Edward Scovell) cover article in Nature. Appointed a lecturer in ecology at the University of Bath in 1982, he was named a professor of animal behavior and ecology in 1996, a post he held until accepting his present position at Bristol in 2001. Dr. Franks has been a professional fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin and held a Venture Research Fellowship awarded by British Petroleum. His investigations have been supported by the Royal Society, the Nuffield Foundation, NATO, the Leverhulme Trust, the Wellcome Trust, and the Linnaean Society, as well as by American and British corporations and United Kingdom research councils. He has delivered invited lectures in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and the United States and has frequently taken part in radio and television programs promoting public understanding of science, including a BBC film that received an award from the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Formerly a correspondent for Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Dr. Franks serves on the editorial board of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Biological Sciences). He has published some 120 papers in scientific journals and is the co-author of three books, including (with John H. Sudd) The Behavioural Ecology of Ants (1987), (with Andrew F. G. Bourke) Social Evolution in Ants (1995), and, most recently, (with Scott Carmazine, Jean-Louis Deneubourg, James Sneyd, Guy Theraulaz, and Eric Bonabeau), Self Organization in Biological Systems, which was published in 2001 by Princeton University Press.