We are pleased to announce that Dr. Dino J. Martins has accepted an offer from the Board of TBI (Kenya) Ltd. to serve as Chief Executive Officer of TBI (Kenya). The offer was made following full consultation with, and enthusiastic support from, TBI Kenya’s key partners: Stony Brook University, the Stony Brook Foundation, and members of the TBI International Advisory Board. Dino will assume the position formally on a full-time basis on August 1, 2022 but will be involved in all decisions and planning with immediate effect.
Dr. Dino J. Martins exploring Napudet hills in Turkana
Dino is internationally respected for his evolutionary biology and entomological research and is widely known as one of Kenya’s leading biological scientists. Dino graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Indiana University in 1999 and with an M.Sc. in Botany from the University of KwaZulu in 2004. He earned his Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University in 2011 before joining TBI as a postdoctoral fellow at Stony Brook University. Dino has taught in the TBI Origins field school every semester since Spring 2011, when the field school began, including Spring 2020 just before COVID curtailed in person teaching activities.
Dr. Dino J. Martins at Central Island in Lake Turkana in June 2014
On completion of his postdoc, Dino took on the position of Resident Academic Director of the TBI Origins Field School, a position that he held for three years before accepting the position of Executive Director of Princeton University’s Mpala Research Center in Laikipia, Kenya. During his seven years as Mpala Director, Dino has dramatically improved operations and finances of Mpala and has greatly expanded the number of institutions conducting research there. Under his leadership, Mpala constructed a DNA sequencing laboratory and a Stable Light Isotope Laboratory with support from the US National Science Foundation, greatly enhancing the research infrastructure for visiting researchers and he has significantly increased the participation of Kenyan and African scholars. Dino’s experience in directing the Mpala Research Center will be tremendously valuable to enhance TBI’s support for human origins and related scientific research.
TBI is poised to play an even more pivotal role in science and scholarship around some of the biggest questions of our time concerning our origins, our current role and responsibilities and, most critically, our future on a changing planet. Dino’s research and partnerships with local communities in the wider Turkana Basin, across East Africa and internationally offer a great opportunity to explore and build further big-picture science and discovery.
Dino’s research in the Turkana Basin has included the description of new species of bees, including some of the most ancient lineages of bees known and the discovery of genera previously not recorded from Africa.
One of the new bee species (Samba turkana) as described by Dr Dino Martins.
One of the new bee species (Samba Turkana) as described by Dr Dino Martins
This incredible, tiny Chiasmognathus bee is a parasite of other solitary bees.
Dino is also a Co-PI of the Turkana Genome Project. This project brings together dozens of international scientists to look at the complex interactions among human genes, the environment and adaptation in a world that is increasingly mismatched between our biology and technology/culture. The Turkana Genome Project is also pioneering engagement with communities, forging collaborations and exploring how to more robustly answer pressing questions about our health and future, based on understanding our past and origins. These discoveries highlight the immense potential at TBI for deepening and connecting understanding of our own origins to that of life itself.
Please join us in welcoming Dino to his new role as CEO of TBI (Kenya).
Members of the Board of TBI (Kenya) Ltd.