Meet Your Neighbours by Nathan Dappen

Along with Neil Losin I have been a contributing photograph of Meet Your Neighbors for about two years now and continue collaborate and contribute. Here is a sample of some of out MYN images:

Info from the MYN website:

Founded in 2009, Meet Your Neighbors is a worldwide photographic initiative created by Niall Benvie and Clay Bolt. The project is dedicated to reconnecting people with the wildlife on their own doorsteps – and enriching their lives in the process. These creatures and plants are vital to people: they represent the first, and for some, the only contact with wild nature we have. Yet too often they are overlooked, undervalued.

Meet Your Neighbours images have an instantly recognizable look. Each subject is photographed on location in a field studio. A brilliantly-lit white background removes the context, encouraging appreciation of the subject as an individual rather than a species. Their own form constitutes the composition. Seen this way, animals and plants we thought we knew reveal another side of themselves, encourage a second glance, perhaps even renewed interest.

The initiative engages photographers from around the world to celebrate these animals and ask people in their communities to “go meet your neighbours”. 

This is conservation photography at the grass roots level, asking people to care about their own natural heritage, where they live and showing them how extraordinary it is in a novel way.

Find out more at:


The Incipient Species Project by Nathan Dappen

In 2011, Neil and I applied for a National Science Foundation Communicating Researchers with Public Audiences Grant (NSF CRPA) to create a television hour documentary about how new species are born. We got the grant! In the last year, we have spent five weeks in the Solomon Islands and have done a fair share of domestic filming to creating a film about the NSF funded Research of Dr. Al Uy, a professor in the Biology Department at the University of Miami. 


Dr. Albert Uy. Dr. Uy has done groundbreaking research in the field of speciation, unlocking the secrets of how new species are born. He studies speciation in Monarch Flycatchers in the Solomon Islands - one of the most remote archipelagos in the world.


Among other scientists, our film also features Pulitzer Prize Winner, MacArthur Genius, recipient of the National Medal of Science, professor of geography, evolutionary biology, physiology and anthropology, and speaker of 12 languages - Dr. Jared Diamond.



Our film is still in progress and we are currently seeking distribution. With any luck the film will be broadcast here in the US sometime in 2014.


My Ph.D. research investigated the behavior, ecology and evolution of the Ibiza Wall Lizards (Podarcis pitysensis). The Ibiza Wall Lizard, a threatened species that’s only found on Ibiza and Formentera, is the symbol of these Spanish Mediterranean islands. The lizards appear in art, on clothing and postcards, and their images are on display in restaurants, hotels, and homes throughout the islands. Despite their iconic status, few people know much about the lizards, and there’s no place for tourists and locals to learn more about this fascinating species. Ibiza Wall Lizards may have the greatest diversity of colors of any reptile -- they range from green, to blue, to orange, to black! They’re also one of only a handful of lizards worldwide that act as plant pollinators and seed dispersers, so they play a crucial role in the health of this island ecosystem. Our book, The Symbol: Wall Lizards of Ibiza & Formentera brought, for the first time ever, the folklore, biology, and conservation of these lizards to everyone through spectacular photos and easy-to-read text (in four languages: English, Spanish, German & Italian) . 

Before working on this project I created an award-winning short film about these lizards behavior:

I also created an award-winning short film about some of my research on these lizards:

We raised the funds to create our book, The Symbol: Wall Lizards of Ibiza and Formentera, through a Kickstarter campaign. Funding from that campaign payed for a five-week photo expedition to Ibiza and Formentera, where we captured most of the images of our book. During that trip, we created four short films about our adventures filming the Ibiza Wall Lizard. Check them out below:

Snows of the Nile - The Film by Nathan Dappen

In 2013, Neil Losin and I embarked on a grueling expedition to document the disappearing tropical glaciers on top of Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains. Along with Neil, I produced, filmed and edited Snows of the Nile, an award-winning documentary about our journey to the top of Africa's third-highest mountains. To watch the film, check our photos from our trip, or find out more about this adventure, visit the official website for Snows of the Nile.