Arthur J. Cronquist Curator of North American Botany at the Institute of Systematic Botany at The New York Botanical Garden


Robert Naczi is a plant systematist and authority on the flora of the eastern United States, the Sedge Family (Cyperaceae), and the Western Hemisphere Pitcher Plants (Sarraceniaceae). Naczi uses a multi-pronged approach in his research, utilizing field, herbarium, and laboratory methods. His field work has given him first-hand knowledge of the flora of much of North America. Presently, he is writing a comprehensive account of northeastern North America’s plants, New Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. He co-authored Mistaken Identity? Invasive Plants and their Native Look-alikes: An identification guide for the Mid-Atlantic, and co-edited Sedges: Uses, Diversity, and Systematics of the Cyperaceae. In addition, he has published over 60 papers in scientific journals and books. Naczi earned a B.S. in Biology from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, and a Ph.D. in Botany from University of Michigan.

Research Projects at BFREE

Survey of Sedge Diversity (Cyperaceae)

This project is part of a larger project to document the sedges (Cyperaceae) of Belize. The sedges are one of the ten largest families or flowering plants worldwide, and fifth largest in Belize. Sedges occur in most terrestrial habitats and dominate some of them, such as Belizean savannas. The specific goals of this project are to document all species of sedges at BFREE, to describe and publish new species and thus make them known to the world, to document their habitats, and to identify which species are of conservation concern. One significant outcome so far is description and publication of the new species Rhynchospora marliniana, named in honor of the Marlin family. Many former students have assisted with this project.

Survey of Hispine and Tortoise Leaf Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae, Cassidinae)

This project is part of a larger project to document the Cassidinae of Belize.  The hispine and tortoise leaf beetles are a very large and ecologically important subfamily of beetles, especially in the Neotropics.  Much remains to be learned about these beetles, including several fundamental aspects about their biology.  What is known indicates that most of these beetles are specific for the plant species on which they feed.  The goals of this project are to document all species of hispine and tortoise leaf beetles at BFREE and to document their host plants.  A significant outcome of this project is publication of new country and host-plant records for Belize, including several from BFREE and vicinity.  Charles Staines of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC is my collaborator on this project.


Naczi, R. & Staines, C. (2011). Noteworthy records of hispines from Belize.

Naczi, R. F. C., Knapp, W.M., & Thomas, W.W. (2012). Rhynchospora marliniana (Cyperaceae), a new species of Rhynchospora sect. Plumosae from northern Central America and southeastern North America. Kew Bulletin, 67: 771–778.

Naczi, R. (2013). Rhynchospora marliniana. The Bladen Review.