He was appointed Graduate Assistant at the University of Ibadan in 1988, rose to the rank of Senior Lecturer in 1997 and Professor of Forest Economics in 2002.
Popoola was Head of Department, Forest Resources Management in 2005-2006 and Dean, Postgraduate School, University of Ibadan from 2006-2010. He was appointed Director, Centre for Sustainable Development of the University of Ibadan from 2010 to 2016.
He is a member of many learned and professional associations including Association of Research Managers, UK; African Sustainable Development Network (ASUDNET); United Nation Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN); International Society of Tropical Foresters; Commonwealth Forestry Association; African Network for Agroforestry Education (ANAFE); Agroforestry Research Network for Africa (AFRENA); Rural Development Forestry Network; African Forest Research Network (AFORNET); African Forest Forum (AFF); West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA), and Life Member and Fellow, Forestry Association of Nigeria.
In the last seventeen years, he has been external examiners to many institutions including Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan-1998 to 2003; Federal College of Forest Mechanization, Kaduna-2004 to 2006; Enugu State University-2002; University of Uyo, Uyo-2003 to 2005; University of Agriculture, Makurdi- 2004 to2006; University of Ado-Ekiti- 2005 to 2010; Federal University of Technology, Akure- 2006 to date; University of Agriculture, Abeokuta- 2006 to date; Federal University of Technology, Yola-2008; Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye- 2008 to 2010; University of Benin, Benin City- 2008 to date; Bowen University, Iwo-2008 to date; Universite Abomey Calavi, Abomey Calavi, Benin Republique 2010; Modibo Adama University of Technology, Yola-2013, 2014; Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi- 2006 to 2008, 2014 and University College, Dublin, Ireland, UK, 2014.
Popoola has many scholastic publications in local and international Journals with over one hundred and fifty (150) publications. He has supervised several Theses/Dissertations. He has also been given professional appointments in various organizations and attended various local and international Fellowships, International Scientific Courses, Conferences and Workshops.
His Award/Honour and Distinction include: Best all round student in academic, sports and character, Saint Patrick’s College, Ibadan (1978); Character and Service Award by the Catholic Bishop, Ibadan Diocese (1978); Postgraduate Scholar, University of Ibadan (1988 -1990); Executive Member, African Network for Agroforestry Education (1999-2001); Award for Invaluable Service in Agroforestry from the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (2001); National Contact Person, African Forest Research Network (2001-2010); National Secretary, Forestry Association of Nigeria (2001 to date); Award for Invaluable Service to the Forestry Profession from the Council of the Association of Nigeria (2002); National Chairman, Inisa Descendants’ Union, the umbrella union for indigenes of Inisa Worldwide (2004-2010).
He was a member of Joint Council/ Senate Selection Committee on the Selection of the University of Ibadan Vice-Chancellor (2005); Chairman, University of Ibadan Council Campus Trees Management Committee (2005-2006); Fellow, Forestry Association of Nigeria (2005); Steering Committee Member of WARIMA (2007 to 2010); Chairman, Committee of Deans of Postgraduate Schools in Nigerian Universities (2008 to 2010); Hitachi Software Engineering (UK) Ltd- Distinguished Leadership Award for the pioneer contribution to deployment of the Hitachi Teaching and Learning Platform in Nigeria (2010); Osun State Merit Award for Excellence in Science, Research and Community Development (2010); General Secretary, West African Research and Innovation Management Association (2010 to Date); Member, Governing Council of the University of Ibadan (2011 to 2016); Member, Academic Steering Committee, International Advisory Board of the Global Master’s in Development Practice Programme (2012 to Date); African Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (AWARD)-Gender and Diversity Programme of the CGIAR in recognition of dedication and Commitment to Mentoring (2012); Co-Director, Nigeria Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and affiliate of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2013) among others.
His interest and hobbies include farming, gardening, travelling, Professional Associations, photography, debate on current thinking in a variety of fields, music, nature walks, meditation, counselling, teamwork and mentoring. He is happily married and blessed with children.