Peter Taylor

Chair in Biodiversity Value and Change
Peter Taylor
[email protected]     


Born on 25 January 1963 in Zimbabwe (currently a South African citizen), I am a mammalogist specializing in the systematics, ecology and conservation biology of small mammals, in particular rodents, shrews, bats and carnivores. I was employed as Curator of Mammals and Acting Director at the Durban Natural Science Museum from 1989 to 2010. Since February 2010, I have been employed as Associate Professor (2010-2012), Professor (2012-present) and South African Research Chair on “Biodiversity Value & Change in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve” (2013 to present) at the University of Venda. I serve on the editorial board of four international scientific journals and have been elected to the boards of several scientific societies including the International Federation of Mammalogists (Board of Directors: 2008-2013), IUCN Species Survival Group Specialist Groups on Chiroptera (2001-2003) and Non Volant Small Mammals (2009-present), the Southern African Society of Systematic Biology (Founder Member and Executive Council: 2005-present), the Zoological Society of Southern Africa (President: 2010-2012) and the Bat Interest Group of KwaZulu-Natal (Founder and Life Member). I have authored three scientific books and around 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. I have supervised 12 MSc and 8 PHD degrees. My H-factor is currently 17 (based on Thomson’s ISI).


  1. Ecosystem services of bats in macadamias.

    Bats are major predators of crop pests worldwide. Our research in collaboration with the South African Macadamia Growers’ Association has shown that the diet of bats roosting or feeding in macadamia orchards in Levubu frequently contain pest green vegetable stinkbugs (Nezara viridula). Stinkbugs cause losses of R50 million annually to the macadamia industry. Almost certainly, […]
  2. Drivers of Biodiversity in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve.

    The Soutpansberg Mountains of northern South Africa run from west to east for some 210 km, ranging in altitude from 200 m to 1748 m (at Mt Lejuma); together with the Blouberg Mountains (which rise to 2050m) and the Makgabeng Plateau they form the core of the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve. Rainfall varies from 367 mm […]
  3. SPACES Limpopo Living Landscapes

    SPACES North Limpopo Living Landscapes – Understanding the dynamics of ecological and cultural landscapes, in the face of global change, in the northern Limpopo region of South Africa. Within the agricultural landscapes of Limpopo Province, the Limpopo Living Landscapes project aims to understand and predict the combined effects of land use and climate change processes […]
  4. StopRats: Sustainable Technology to Overcome Pest Rodents in Africa Through Science.

    The Chair is one of the Southern African partners in this project initiated and led by Dr Steven Belmain from the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute and working in Namibia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania.  The overall objectives of the project are to strengthen science, technology and innovation about rodent biology […]
  5. Spatial Biodiversity Assessment of the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve

    The Department of Environmental Affairs are appointing consultants to undertake an Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve (Vhembe District and Blouberg Local Municipality) which will include an analysis of the current zonation (core conservation areas and buffer zones), suggest future conservation areas and publish land use guidelines. The objective of the EMF […]