Paul Loth is a tropical ecologist who has always been involved in nature conservation. As a Wageningen University undergraduate he assisted Marc van Roosmalen during his PhD research on the black spider monkey in the forests of Suriname. Fascinated by the agility of these marvellous monkeys, Paul intended to become a primate ecologist. His study under the auspices of the late Prof. dr. Rudi Drent on Brent geese foraging behaviour on the Wadden Sea island Schiermonnikoog, laid a solid ecological basis. He then was trained at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (University of Twente) in the use of remote sensing data, since Paul recognized its potential for habitat mapping. During this training he joined Herbert Prins, when Prins did his PhD study on the African buffalo in Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania. Paul prepared a vegetation map for Prins’ study.
After his study Paul continued to work in Africa, first as a consultant for UN Environment Programme. He prepared a vegetation map of Kora Game Reserve, Kenya, where the charismatic George Adamson had his camp to re-introduce captive lions into the wild. After several years Paul joined FAO in Zimbabwe as an ecologist and remote sensing specialist in a food security early warning system, covering the SADC countries. Eight years later Paul started his own PhD study in Lake Manyara NP under the supervision of Prof. dr. Herbert Prins. Paul used his old vegetation map to study the impact of elephants on vegetation dynamics. Together with Herbert he wrote a proposal for the extension of Lake Manyara NP. Once graduated Paul joined the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University, where he worked with Prof. dr. Hans de Iongh on nature conservation projects in West Africa. After leaving CML Paul visited Africa a couple of times, the last time in 2014 on a mission for a drinking water company in preparation of a research proposal to combine underground water storage with nature conservation.