Alabama entomologist part of international dragonfly database project

With their jewel-toned bodies and glass-like wings, dragonflies have a story to tell scientists that starts with the origins of flight, millions of years ago, and continues to the health of freshwater habitats today.

Dr. John Abbott, the chief curator and director of research and collections for the University of Alabama’s museums, started collecting insects at age five. Now, he’s part of an international team that will spend four years creating the most complete database of dragonflies and damselflies ever assembled.

“We’re not going to be able to look at every single species, but we’re going to come close,” he said.