Most of the people I work with today don’t know that I began my career as a biologist studying dragonflies. For at least a year or two, I was probably the world’s expert on a single species of North American dragonfly. Seem obscure? My dissertation didn’t start off as a study of climate change impacts on this species (the common green darner or Anax junius), but four years of fieldwork in rural Ontario revealed that 40 years of shifting precipitation patterns correlated closely with an altered the rate of development of the species’ larvae.
Perhaps the most recent and saddening conservation news I can think of is the death of Philip Corbet on 13 February 2008, easily the world's greatest odonate ecologist. There have been good obits in The Independent and The Guardian; he also featured in a National Geographic article along with Ola Fincke, just to Philip's left in the photo above. He will be sorely missed, and he was a good friend. This photo is from Spain in 2005 at a conference, where we were able to meet in person.