Johanna M. Taylor,

Cert.Sci.Nat: 118815

Professional Profile

Wildlife professional and animal scientist with diverse conservation experience wild a broad range of different species for monitoring, research, education and wildlife management. Proficient at working as part of a team and working solo. Strengths include:

  • Field work and research
  • Carnivore conservation
  • Detailed and organised record keeper
  • Large and small scientific public presentations and education

Professional Experience

Freelance Ecologist
South Africa
Research Technician
September 2017 – Present

Certificated natural scientist through the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions. Compensated and voluntary ecology work assisting various governmental, NGO and private organisations. Work includes cheetah reintroduction programme transport and post-release monitoring, elephant collaring, wild dog capture, collaring and monitoring, rhino notching and DNA collection, camera trap survey consulting and GPS cluster analysis of satellite collared leopards.

Cape Town, South Africa
Research Technician
June 2017 – Present

Research technician setting up and managing camera trap surveys as part of an ongoing leopard population density study. Responsibilities include selecting sites, camera trap placement, managing ecology and volunteer groups assisting with surveys, working with reserve management, analysing camera trap data, statistical modeling in R for density, public education, writing blogs, videos and posts for social media outlets and managing and working with citizen scientists.

North West Parks Board Honorary Officer
North West Parks, South Africa
Monitoring and Data Analysis
January 2019 – Present

Voluntary position. Honorary officer for North West Parks Board’s Madikwe Game Reserve Counter Poaching Unit and general, monitoring and ecology work in Pilanesberg National Park. Duties include monitoring, data collection and analysis for priority species, public support, fundraising, CPU support, outreach and education and event planning and organisation.

Cheetah Conservation Fund
Otjiwarongo, Namibia
Asst. Operations Manager, Scat Detection Dog Programme Trainer, Volunteer and Intern Programme Supervisor
August 2016 – February 2017

Responsibilities included scheduling staff, volunteers and interns, daily husbandry for detection dogs and resident cheetahs, operant conditioning training, ecological field work, monitoring black rhinos and giraffes through camera trapping and on the ground tracking, organisation and analysis of data, creating research proposals, writing grants, creating blogs and posts for social media, assisting on educational programmes, and writing, compiling, and editing mid-year and annual organisational reports.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Mammal Keeper, Lead Hoof stock
May 2015 – August 2016

Responsibilities included management of animal buildings, observation of animals, husbandry care, area maintenance, assisting in veterinarian medical procedures and conducting tours for educational programs and the general public for Amur leopards, Amur tigers, African lions, cheetahs, clouded leopards, snow leopard, Northern black rhinos, Masai giraffe, Dama gazelle, springbok, ostriches, Caribbean flamingos, and Visayan warty pigs.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort 
Uniontown, PA, USA
Wildlife Coordinator II
March 2013 – June 2015

Animal care staff at Nemacolin Wildlife Academy at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Responsible for the care and husbandry of a variety of mammals, reptiles, and birds, maintenance of exhibits, guide for safari tours zoo-train tours, horseback trail rides, dog sled tours, and writing scripts and performing in educational exotic animal shows both on and off property, supervising and training of interns.

Frostburg State University
Bismarck, ND , USA
Wildlife Technician
June 2012 – August 2012

Project coordinator for range assessment surveys for river otters and a research survey of public attitudes about the impact American beaver have on the environment and properties. Required meeting with organizational heads, interviewing anglers in person, mailing out questionnaires and recording data. I assisted the ND Game and Fish on various projects including deer necropsies, fisher scat analysis, and removal of nuisance beaver lodges.

National Geographic Society
Washington, DC, USA
Big Cats Initiative Intern
June 2011 – August 2011

Organised big cat grant applications, press releases, publication, and grantee information and communications, assist in organising the 2011 Big Cats Educator’s Event and the 2011 National Geographic Explorers Symposium. Participated in local outreach and education through the “Cause An Uproar” programme.

Banfield Pet Hospital
Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Veterinary Technician
June 2009 – August 2010 intermittent

Veterinary assistant in medical procedures from general health checks, to administration of vaccinations and medications, to assisting anesthesiologist nurse during surgeries.

Other Relevant Experience

Wild Acres Farm
Poolesville, MD, USA
Farm Manager
September 1997 – May 2012

I managed a small family farm raising horses, sheep, goats, swine, Texas longhorn cattle, and chickens. I was responsible for the care and management of the livestock which included assisting with breeding, births, veterinary care, training, showing, and record keeping.

Lipsitt Training Services Inc.
Poolesville, MD, USA
Apprentice Dog Trainer
May 2001 – August 2001

Worked as an apprentice dog trainer training basic and advanced obedience, agility, show performance, and socializing puppies for livestock guardian dog duties utilising operant conditioning training. I assisted in general kennel maintenance, cleaning, and basic grooming for boarding dogs.

Skills and Abilities

Field Research

  • Wildlife surveying and monitoring
  • Managing volunteer and ecology teams
  • Data collection and analyses
  • Experienced with GIS (QGIS), GPS, maps and compass use
  • Mammal and avian physical capture traps: mist netting, net guns, box traps and foot hold traps.
  • Research design and proposal writing
  • Data collection
  • Tagging and banding experience with small mammals, birds, hoofed stock and fish
  • Stream sampling methods including backpack electroshocking, boat electroshocking, and kick net sampling
  • Proficient at safely handling and shooting large caliber rifles, semi-automatic assault rifles, shotguns and pistols

Administrative Skills  

  • Council Board and scientific committee member for the Southern African Wildlife Management Association
  • Microsoft Office
  • Statistical analysis in R
  • Web design and maintenance; HTML
  • Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and graphic design
  • Social media for professional outreach
  • Customer service
  • Grant proposal writing
  • Supervising and training new staff and interns


University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa
Master of Science Candidate: Conservation Biology
Thesis: Influence of Camera Trap Deployment on Spatial Capture Recapture Estimates of Servals (Leptailurus serval) in Ithala Game Reserve

West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
May 2012
Bachelor of Science
Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
Minor: Conservation Ecology