A 1973 Doctor of Philosophy recipient at Harvard University, Platnick has described over 1,800 species of spiders from around the world, making him the second most prolific arachnologist in history, behind only Eugène Simon.
He is a Professor Emeritus of the Richard Gilder Graduate School and Peter J. Solomon Family Curator Emeritus of the invertebrate zoology department of the American Museum of Natural History. Until 2014 he was also the maintainer of the World Spider Catalog, a website formerly hosted by the American Museum of Natural History which tracks the arachnology literature, and attempts to maintain a comprehensive list, sorted taxonomically, of every species of spider which has been formally described. Platnick is recognized as a world leader in spider taxonomy.
Doctor Quentin Doctorate. Wheeler stated "He is the best arachnologist of his generation, has published more monographs and nomenclatural contributions than anyone, period." Ph.
& I. I. East., Coddington, Judge-Advocate, Postdoctoral fellows Platnick"s most recent undertaking involes the goblin spiders of Oonopidae as a part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory, a project which includes scientific institutions from across the world. There are currently about 1,600 recorded species in 114 genera, but estimates have been placed as high as 2,500.
The project aims to flesh out the recorded species list and gain a more exact picture of the family"s Phylogeny through deoxyribonucleic acid analysis.
Vice president Center International de Documentation Arachnologie, 1986-1989 (president 1995-1998). Fellow Willi Hennig Society (founder, president 1990-1992). Member American Arachnological Society (charter, membership secretary 1976—2002).
Married Nancy Stewart Price, June 14, 1970. 1 child, William Durin.