Dragonflies are way cool because…

Two dragonflies (Anax junius) copulating on a branch. A red Way Cool ribbon logo on the lower left hand corner. Photo by Dr. Rassim KhelifaDragonflies have fascinated and captivated the interest of people and scientists for centuries. They are among the most noticeable species in freshwater habitats and thus are good model organisms to study the biology, behavior, and test evolutionary theories. They are also good sentinel species to track climate change.

Climate change has affected the phenology and distribution of species worldwide. Spring phenology shifted to earlier dates, and spatial distribution shifted to higher latitude and higher elevations. Dragonflies are no exceptions and have shown both temporal and spatial shifts. In Dr. Khelifa’s research, he’s made two amazing discoveries in their behavior which shed light on some aspects of sexual selection.

Dr. Rassim Khelifa stands in the foreground in a red t-shirt and jeans. He has a white insect net tucked under his arm, and is holding a dragonfly. He is in a wetland. Dr. Rassim Khelifa is an SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia who researches the responses of dragonflies to climate change as well as their behavioral ecology and conservation.
Find him on twitter @Rassim_Kh