Director of Science
Human wildlife conflict
Community-based conservation
Ecosystem ecology
Contact details

Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
Regent's Park

Google Scholar

Professor Johan du Toit's research interests encompass ecology and conservation of large mammals in terrestrial ecosystems, human-wildlife interactions, and the scientific basis of rewilding.

As Director of Science, Johan’s role is to facilitate the success of the Institute of Zoology in advancing the science of zoology and informing the applied work of ZSL and other conservation organizations and practitioners around the world. His own research interests focus on the ecology and conservation of large mammals in terrestrial ecosystems, and he currently has active research projects in the savannas of southern Africa and rangelands of the western USA.

Born and raised in rural Zimbabwe, Johan completed his university studies in South Africa with a BSc (Hons) in zoology (University of Cape Town) and a PhD in animal ecology (University of the Witwatersrand).  He went on to a postdoctoral fellowship in the USA (Utah State University) before returning to his African roots to take up a lecturing position at the University of Zimbabwe. From there, his next move was to South Africa as Director of the Mammal Research Institute and Austin Roberts Chair of African Mammalogy at the University of Pretoria. 

After a productive and enjoyable spell in Pretoria, serendipity led him back to the USA where he was appointed as Head of the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University.  He was also Co-Director of the federally funded Berryman Institute, which seeks solutions to human-wildlife conflict and at that time had units at Utah State University and Mississippi State University. Then, in 2023, Johan moved to London to take up his present role as Director of Science at ZSL, which includes responsibility for the Institute of Zoology. 

In addition to being a professor in IoZ he is also an honorary professor in the Department of Genetics, Evolution, & Environment at UCL, an emeritus and adjunct professor in the Department of Wildland Resources at USU, and an extra-ordinary professor in the Department of Zoology & Entomology at the University of Pretoria.

Professional history
  • 2023-present: Institute of Zoology, ZSL, Director of Science
  • 2005-2023: Utah State University, Professor
  • 1999-2005: University of Pretoria, Professor
  • 1990-1998: University of Zimbabwe, Lecturer/Senior Lecturer
  • 1988-1989: Utah State University, Postdoctoral fellowship
  • 1984-1988: University of the Witwatersrand, PhD Student
Selected Publications

View Professor Johan T. du Toit's full list of publications on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.