16th to 31st of October 2021
"Nature can heal and provide us with life supporting services. Spend just 5 min with insects and you feel reconnected to the environment around you."
Dr. Dino J. Martins is a Kenyan entomologist and evolutionary biologist, he is currently the Executive Director of the Mpala Research Centre and a Research Scholar and Lecturer in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He holds a PhD from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University (2011), and a BA in Anthropology (with distinction) from Indiana University (1999).
Dr. Martins’ current scientific research is focused on the evolution and ecology of interactions between species: insects and plants, vectors and hosts and parasites. Current research includes work with farmers in relation to bees and pesticides and improving pollinator awareness and conservation, general studies of bee evolution and ecology in East Africa, hawkmoth and butterfly pollination, co-evolution and the links between biodiversity and landscape-level processes. In the field of ‘One Health’ Dr Martins currently leads projects on the biology vectors for malaria, trachoma, leishmaniasis and other neglected tropical diseases in relation to adaptation to climate, landscape and environmental changes in the Turkana Basin and Greater Horn of Africa region. His work has been featured in the Smithsonian magazine, the Guardian, TED, the BBC as well as in National Geographic.
In the interview, Dino talks about the importance of insects in regenerative farming and how insects contribute to healthy soils and prosperous yields. He also highlights various insects that are essential for your garden and how you can attract them.
Communicating and celebrating biodiversity is one of Dr Martins passions and he has authored the ‘Insects of East Africa’, ‘Butterflies of East Africa’ (with S. Collins) and: ‘Our Friends the Pollinators: A Handbook of Pollinator Diversity and Conservation in East Africa. This book has been downloaded over 10,000 times from the web and content accessed by millions of farmers through digital and social media platforms.