Each episode, we ask our guests for their personal book recommendations. Our latest guest was Dr Jessica L Ware!
She is the assistant curator in invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Ware’s research focuses on the evolution of behavioral and physiological adaptations in insects, with an emphasis on how these occur in Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) and Dictyoptera (termites, cockroaches and mantises). Her research group focuses on phylogenetics/phylogenomics and uses these tools to inform their work on reproductive, social and flight behaviors in insects. Jessica holds a BSc from the University of British Columbia in Canada, and a PhD from Rutgers, New Brunswick. She was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the AMNH 2008-2010, before being hired at Rutgers Newark where she was an associate professor of evolutionary biology. She is the current president of the Worldwide Dragonfly Association, and serves as an elected board member on the executive committee of the Entomological Society of America Governing Board. She was recently awarded a PECASE medal from the US government for her work on insect evolution.
Want to join our book club to find other nature-nerds who may be interested in reading the same things as you so you can geek out in all your glory?
Dr Ware’s Must-Read Book Picks:
“Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History is an engaging, beautifully illustrated introduction to these remarkable insects. Drawing on her experiences as a natural history instructor, dragonfly monitor, cancer survivor, grandmother, and steward, Crosby tells the stories of dragonflies: their roles in poetry and art, their fascinating sex life—unique within the animal kingdom—and their evolution from dark-water dwellers to denizens of the air. We follow Crosby and other citizen-scientists into the prairies, wetlands, and woodlands of the Midwest, where they observe the environment and chronicle dragonfly populations and migration to decipher critical clues about our changing waterways and climate.”
Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East
“This is the first fully illustrated guide to all 336 dragonfly and damselfly species of eastern North America―from the rivers of Manitoba to the Florida cypress swamps―and the companion volume to Dennis Paulson’s acclaimed field guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of the West. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East features hundreds of color photos that depict all the species found in the region, detailed line drawings to aid in-hand identification, and a color distribution map for every species―and the book’s compact size and user-friendly design make it the only guide you need in the field. Species accounts describe key identification features, distribution, flight season, similar species, habitat, and natural history. Paulson’s authoritative introduction offers a primer on dragonfly biology and identification, and also includes tips on how to study and photograph these stunningly beautiful insects.”
Unaware that he has been transported back in time, retired entomologist Amos Garruty lands in a biological world unknown to him. Early on he sees peculiar dragonflies cure an injured snake, a superstition long debunked. Things soon take a turn for the worse when he sees a large bony-toothed bird streak through a clearing in the rainforest. He is aware that these flightless giants went extinct millions of years ago. He soon realizes he is alone