The Beauty of African Dragonflies
Klaas-Douwe ‘KD’ Dijkstra’s passion for nature emerged when he was nine. He first noticed dragonflies and damselflies three years later, drawing and naming them himself, as no books were available in Egypt, where he lived with his family. Now, at 36, he is a leading expert on these charismatic insects, being best known as the author of Europe’s most popular fieldguide to the group, and as the foremost authority of the African species. He conducted fieldwork throughout the continent and published over 40 scientific papers, obtaining his PhD on the diversity and history of African dragonflies at Leiden University in 2007.
KD still spends several months a year in Africa in search of new and rare species and their unknown habits, applying the group as indicators of the biological richness, health and change in freshwater ecosystems. His motivation comes from a desire to witness and share the beauty and diversity of these insects, and to understand the history, and possibly future, of the landscapes they inhabit.