Kenji Nishida


Kenji Nishida was born in Matsubara-city, Osaka, Japan in 1972.  His love for nature began at an early age and collecting and rearing insects became his passion. 
Reflecting upon his youth Kenji once said, "from early spring to late fall I would venture out to my uncle's backyard, an open field, or even sneak into neighbors yards looking for insects, carrying my bamboo pole insect net in both hands and insect cage hanging from my shoulder.  I think this went on until my third or fourth grade".



Kenji and mantis, 1974, Osaka, Japan


Kenji and butterfly (Papilio machaon) at his uncle's yard, 1975, Osaka, Japan


It is evident that Kenji´s childhood passions foretold his future as a biologist.  At fifteen, Kenji traveled to Searcy, Arkansas in the United States where he spent high school life and pursued his undergraduate degree in General Biology at Harding University.

In 1998, Kenji moved south to San José, Costa Rica where he is currently completing his Master´s degree in Biology at the University of Costa Rica.  His area of emphasis is in Entomology and focus is in the Order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), and his thesis is titled ¨Biology of Gall-inducing Lepidoptera of Costa Rica.¨ Kenji´s work in the laboratory and field is impressive and has been enhanced recently by his acquisition of Nikon Coolpix digital cameras enabling him to photograph marvels of nature.  Kenji particularly enjoys his field work and digital photography in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.


Kenji trying the macro shots. Reserva Ecológica Leonel Oviedo, University of Costa Rica campus


I can´t tell you how he is able to do it, but Kenji has an amazing ability to spot and find insects from great distances.  Is it his trained eyes or a sixth sense that has been developed through practice?  You´ll have to ask Kenji for the answer - or better yet, join him on an outing in a Costa Rican cloud forest.  His keen eyes in the field have been the cause of many interesting discoveries, which will be published in the near future.

Kenji in San Ramón, Peru. Butterfly expedition with Dr. M. F. Braby from Australia. Photograph by M.F. Braby


Professionally, Kenji is a highly respected biologist.  On a personal basis, he is known and loved by many who call him their friend for his honesty, and his caring and generous spirit.


Kenji and Nicholas in Estación Biológica Monteverde in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Kenji swinging his insect net at Cantarrana Waterfall in OTS project ALAS transect 2004.
Photo by Piotr Naskrecki.


Presentation written by Nicholas Quiring




Nicholas Quiring



Nicholas Quiring is a third year art student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he is currently studying painting, photography, and illustration.  From January until June of 2001 Nicholas lived in San Jose, Costa Rica where he illustrated aquatic insects for future publications.  This past July he returned from over six months in Peru where he illustrated the orchids of Machu Picchu and taught scientific illustration to biology students at the University of Lima in San Marcos.  You can see his artworks, photography, and incredible scientific drawings here.

© 2002-2004 Kenji Nishida


Webpage design by Julián Monge-Nájera, Costa Rica, 2002 - 2004

The production of this website was partially financed by the Barrientos Llosa / Monge-Nájera Family Fund, San José, Costa Rica.