Vincent Kalkman

Vincent Kalkman

I work both for the European Invertebrate Survey and for Naturalis. I am interested in a broad number of insects groups but my true love are dragonflies. Volunteers have a vital role in nearly all projects I work on and making information on natural history available for all kinds of users is key in most of my work.


Conservation, phylogeny, biogeography, New Guinea, Bhutan, dragonflies, damselflies, Odonata, bumblebees, bugs, Heteroptea

Dr. Ing. Vincent J. Kalkman

Evolutionary Ecology
+31 (0)71 751 7373


I want to understand how historical and present-day factors determine the distribution and trend of insects. This is not only interesting from a scientific point of view but is also crucial for the effective conservation of biodiversity. Collecting reliable distribution information is an important part of my work. For this I cooperate with and, write field guides, contribute to the development of image recognition and support (amateur) specialist with their work.

In the Netherlands I have worked on various insect groups including bumblebees, bugs and ladybeetles. My main interest is in understanding how plant distributions determine the distribution and trend of phytophage insects. For this we are currently building a database of insect-plants relations which describes the link between plants and the 7.000 Dutch insect species feeding on them.   

My current work on dragonflies focusses on the Himalayan region. Together with Bhutanese counterparts I work on the taxonomy (describing new species and undescribed larvae), phylogeny and biogeography of the dragonflies and damselflies of this region.



A selection of the topics I am currently working on.


Bumblebee conservation

Bumblebees have strongly declined since the 1950th. Since 2017 we are therefore working on increasing the knowledge on bumblebees in order to contribute to their conservation. Together with hundreds of volunteers we are mapping the distribution of the…
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Dragonfly phylogeny

Most of my publications deal with dragonflies and this groups is still at the center of my attention. I worked extensively on Europe (e.g. the EU Red list, Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies), southwest Asia (mainly Turkey), New Guinea…
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Bhutan biodiversity project

Bhutan biodiversity project

Bhutanese and Dutch scientists are involved in a common effort to describe and better understand the biodiversity of Bhutan (Bhutan Biodiversity Project). This cooperation has since 2015 resulted in numerous small expeditions and the discovery and…
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ARISE logo

ARISE: knowing Nature in the Netherlands

In the ARISE project, Naturalis, together with the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute and the universities of Amsterdam and Twente, is building an infrastructure that knows and recognizes all (multicellular) Dutch species. Every species, every sample…
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Stichting Fonds Pontium for systematic zoology

Fonds Pontium provides funding to projects which promote the scientific field of systematic zoology in general and in particular alpha taxonomy at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden. In general grant sizes will vary between 1000 and 2500 euro. The…
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  • Boudot JP & VJ Kalkman (2015). Atlas of the European dragonflies and damselflies. KNNV-Publishing, the Netherlands
  • Cuppen JGM, VJ Kalkman, G Tacoma-Krist (2017). Verspreiding, biotoop en fenologie van de Nederlandse lieveheersbeestjes (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Entomologische Berichten 77: 147-187
  • Kalkman VJ, JP Boudot, R Bernard, G De Knijf, F Suhling, T Termaat (2018). Diversity and conservation of European dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata). Hydrobiologia 811: 269-282
  • Kalkman VJ, KDB Dijkstra, RA Dow, FR Stokvis, J van Tol (2018). Out of Australia: the Argiolestidae reveal the Melanesian arc system and East Papua composite terrane as possible ancient dispersal routes to the Indo-Australian archipelago. International journal of odonatology 21: 1-14
  • Orr B & VJ Kalkman (2015). Field Guide to the dragonflies of New Guinea. Brachytron 17: 3-156

All publications in Google Scholar

In the

From 16 June (Sunday evening 9 p.m.) the Tower will be broadcast on NPO with a leading role for our work in Bhutan in the first episode. View the trailer of the series

Volkskrant: Ontwikkeling automatische cameraval voor insecten

Bionieuws: Beeldherkenning en veldbiologie

Bhutan research