Delmarva Dragonflies and Damselflies

About Me

Background

I have been a Biology professor for 37 years and am nearing retirement. I learned a love of the outdoors from my father who was an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. I started birding in Massachusetts when I was 11 years old. I worked at Manomet Bird Observatory in Massachusetts in college and then completed a PhD in Zoology at the University of Washington on White-crowned Sparrow breeding behavior and endocrinology. I have published nearly a 100 papers in scientific journals. I was on the faculty at Arizona State University for 27 years, but moved to the University of Delaware in 2009.

Interest in Odes

I became interested in odes after moving to Delaware. As a birder, I had always loved chasing new life birds, but since my life list for the lower 48 states is currently 718, there are very few life birds left to chase. I decided I needed a new taxon. After spending a summer looking at odes and butterflies, I choose odes because I thought they were more fun to photograph. I then started my quest to photograph all the species of odonates that occur on the Delmarva Penninsula. I owe a great debt to two people who helped me gain knowledge about how to identify and find odonates. First, to my long time friend Pierre Deviche who introduced my to the concept of watching odes and generously shared his knowledge about them. Second, I am greatly indebted to the dean of Delmarva odonatologists, Hal White, whose decades of exploration of the peninsula laid the groundwork for everything we know today about odes here. Hal has been very generous and patient in helping me learn about odonates.

Currently I have photographed 126 of the 132 species known to occur on the penninsula, although I have had to go outside the penninsula to find and photograph many species that are rare or no longer occur here. My list of species seen on the penninsula is 111. My North American ode list stands at 270. With almost 200 more to go, I have many lifer odes to chase!

I love sharing knowledge of odes with others. I am active on several Facebook Groups, including Northeast Odonata, Southeast Odes and Odonata of the Eastern United States. I regularly attend meetings of The Dragonfly Societies of the Americas and currently serve as Secretary for the Society.

Familiar Bluet male