Prof. Frank Bisby sadly passed away unexpectedly in 2011. He was a legend in biodiversity informatics, a field that came into being as he was practising it. He was the driving force behind the initiation of the Catalogue of Life project, he saw it come to fruition and now the team is continuing his work towards completion, as executors of his vision. Prof. Frank Bisby was Emeritus Professor of Botany, Director of the Centre for Plant Diversity & Systematics and member of the Informatics Research Centre at the University of Reading. He was a founding member of the Biodiversity Information Standards organization (TDWG – Taxonomic Databases Working Group), instigator of one of the first global species databases, ILDIS - International Legume Database & Information Service, and the leader of the Species 2000 organisation since its launch in 1996, as well as co-ordinator of the European Commission Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) EuroCat project, FP7 4D4Life project and member/workpackage leader in many other EC projects such as ERMS - the European Register of Marine Species, Euro+Med, ENBI - European Network for Biodiversity Information, EDIT – the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy, BHL-E – Biodiversity Heritage Library - Europe. As Executive Director of Species 2000 he worked with an extensive network of taxonomic database hubs around the world from China and New Zealand to Brazil and North America, in projects to approach completion of known organism coverage in the Catalogue of Life, and with partner organizations on the Global Names Architecture.