10 June 2006

DSA 2006, Day 1

Greetings from beautiful central Kentucky, where Stylurus and I are attending the 2006 annual meeting of the Dragonfly Society of the Americans. The meeting location is in Cave City, just outside Mammoth Cave National Park. There are about 60 people here from many states, and it’s already been fun to meet odonata experts that I’ve corresponded with in the past, especially Ellis Laudermilk of the Kentucky State Natural Preseves Commission; Dennis Paulson, recently retired from the University of Puget Sound, and an expert on Neotropical odonata; Bob Glotzhober and Dave McShaffrey, of the Ohio Odonata Survey and authors of a great book on Ohio odonata; Ed Lam, the author and illustrator of stunning The Damselflies of the Northeast, the best example of the intersection between art and science that I can think of; and Nick Donnelly, longtime odonata researcher.

Today after the business meeting we heard four papers:
  • Utilizing citizen science to study the odonates of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Reversible temperature-dependent color change in Anax junius
  • What is a species? Odonate problems involving hybrids, intergrades, subspecies and plain old variation
  • Molecular phylogeny of the Libelloidea
There was also a workshop by John Abbott on current features and ambitous future plans of Odonata Central, and an amazing presentation of his photos of South African odonata, which I mentioned in a previous post.

Tomorrow: Field trips. The Little Barren River is nearby, and the list includes boatloads of gomphids. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we will get a few nifty pictures.

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