Dr. Dino J Martins is an internationally renowned biologist with vast experience in biodiversity and natural history spanning 25 years.
Many in our landscape have become familiar with Dino due to his work at Mpala. He has served as the Director of the Mpala Research Center for seven years, where he has shown leadership in managing operations and finances at the research center.
Dino will, however, be stepping down from this role in the coming months to take up the Chief Executive Officer role at the Turkana Basin Institute.
He recently launched his latest work, Grasses of East Africa, a book that covers 100 of the common and ecologically important species found in East Africa. (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi).
Dino worked on the book for up to 20 years and “credits” Covid as having played a part in helping in the completion of the book. Additionally, 2020 being a wet (rainy) year, also meant there was a lot of grass, and it was an excellent time to take the photographs captured in the book.
The book is friendly to non-scientists and provides an introductory insight into grasses. Dino mentioned that, “Anyone can use the book to identify what grasses are around them.”
Grasses are essential, especially in our landscape. They play an indispensable role and are the backbone of Laikipia’s economy and ecology.
Laikipia grass species have been under threat due to drought and overgrazing; consequently, we have been losing a lot of grass species in recent years.
Dino was, however, quick to mention that we have great potential to restore the grass on our land.
Dino and the Mpala Research Center have worked with their neighbours on scientific-based methods to restore grasslands and carbon sequestration initiatives.
Dino appreciates the communities’ contribution in Northern Kenya and East Africa. He finds them welcoming and have helped Dino and his students with ecological and natural history information.
Also, he appreciates the assistance received from East African Herbarium and National Museums of Kenya for providing access to specimens and, more significantly, Dr. Christine Kabuye, a retired head of the East African Herbarium, who revised a full checklist of Grasses in Kenya, which will be published soon. He doesn’t forget the scientists and the staff at Mpala for their assistance.
Interested in getting your own copy? The book is available in bookshops countrywide and can also be purchased from Nature Kenya by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complimentary copies are also available for conservationist, guides, educationist and more. To request copies, get in touch with Dino through email@example.com or contact us for help.