John Poynton is Professor Emeritus of biology at the University of Natal, South Africa, a research associate of the Natural History Museum, London, and a scientific fellow of the Zoological Society of London. His main research has been in African zoology and biogeography; he has also published in the philosophy of science and in psychical research. He served on the council of the South African Society for Psychical Research, and subsequently served on the council of the Society for Psychical Research in London, where he was the Hon. Secretary from 1997 to his election as President in 2004. On standing down as President in 2007 he resumed the post of Hon. Secretary, and in 2015 was elected for a second term as President.