Mogens Trolle is a Danish mammal researcher turned wildlife photographer and the winner of the Animal Portraits category of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 competition.
His passion for wildlife was spurred when he as a young man while travelling around South America was offered a job as a guide in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil, the best place on the continent to see wildlife. He ended up living in the Pantanal for two years, getting involved with wildlife research and conservation projects. Ever since wildlife has been the focal point of his career.
Mandrill alpha male from the wild (Gabon, Central Africa)
Mogens Trolle holds a master’s degree in biology, zoology and mammalogy (the study of mammals) from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. For a number of years, he conducted mammal research in unexplored areas of the Amazon and the Pantanal, pioneering the use of camera traps for scientific purposes in South America, studying species like ocelot, puma, maned wolf and tapir, and discovering a new species of deer in the rainforest of Peru.
In 2004 he began working full-time with public engagement, ‘wildlife communication’ and wildlife photography, among others leading wildlife trips across the globe (including to Africa, Madagascar, South America, Antarctica and Australia) and publishing books on the wildlife of the Galapagos, Africa and Greenland, respectively (the two former being illustrated to a large extend by his own photos). Since 2008 he has been employed at the Natural History Museum of Denmark where he works with science communication and exhibition development.
Proboscis monkey zen mode (Borneo)
In 2013 he moved to Africa to spend a whole year photographing wildlife in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. During this year, he became fascinated with taking portraits of mammals focusing on their facial expressions and eyes. This resulted in a large photo exhibition in Denmark, ‘Eye Contact – Portraits of African Wildlife’.
Mogens Trolle has continued his Eye Contact photographic project and the quest for capturing the unique personalities of the animals he photographs. For the last six years, he has specialized in primates and this has brought him to destinations as diverse as Gabon, Ethiopia, India, China, Vietnam, Borneo, Sulawesi and Japan. During this period, he has taken around 40,000 portraits of primates in the wild, one of which, an image of a proboscis monkey, became the winner of the Animal Portraits category of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2020.
Most of the primates Mogens Trolle has photographed are threatened and many are not well known to the public, and he uses his portraits to shine a light on these species, hoping that his project will help inspire people to care for them and support conservation efforts.
Winner of the Animal Portraits category of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 56 (2020)
Wildlife of Africa (published in Denmark and Sweden; 1st edition 2010, 2nd expanded edition 2019)
Wildlife of Greenland (published in Denmark; 2012)
Wildlife of the Galapagos (published in Denmark; 2008)
100 Fantastic Animals (children’s book; published in Denmark and Sweden; 2007)
Born to be Wild – Biodiversity through Nordic lenses” at the TCG Nordica cultural centre in Kunming, China (2021).
Eye Contact – Portraits of African wildlife” at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (2014).
Eye Contact – Portraits of African Wildlife (Zoological Museum and Valdemar Castle, Denmark 2014)
Wildlife of Africa (Naturama Natural History Museum, Denmark 2012)