Mathias Tobler, Ph.D.

Director of Population Sustainability

Dr. Mathias Tobler serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as the Director of Population Sustainability. As a wildlife ecologist, he has a strong interest in the population and spatial ecology of large mammals and the development and application of new technologies and analytical methods for wildlife studies. He has an extensive background in tropical ecology with many years of research experience in the Peruvian Amazon. He also has a strong quantitative background and is interested in the application of new statistical methods to ecological research and conservation. His main research interests are to 1) understand the impact of different land use types on the community of large and medium-sized mammals in tropical forest ecosystems, 2) advance analytical methods such as multi-species occupancy models and spatial capture-recapture models and their application to camera trap data, 3) elucidate the spatial and population ecology of large keystone species to better inform conservation planning, and 4) develop database applications to help manage biodiversity data.

Mathias is currently leading a long-term study on large mammals including jaguars, tapirs, and peccaries in the Peruvian Amazon. Another project in Peru helps Peruvian herbaria digitize their collections, making specimen data and images available through an online database. He also co-directs a study on bighorn sheep and landscape connectivity in northern Baja California, Mexico, and will help with a new tiger research program in Sumatra. He has developed Camera Base, database software for managing and analyzing camera trap images. Mathias is the current chair of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Mathias earned his master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and his doctorate in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. Some of his most recent research focuses on the impact of selective logging on large mammals in the Peruvian Amazon.