He was born in 1969 in Bakırköy / İstanbul. He graduated from Çorlu Bakırca Village Elementary School in 1980 and from Lüleburgaz Kepirtepe Teacher Training High School, which had been a village institue, in 1986. He studied at İstanbul University Faculty of Forestry Department of Forestry Engineering between 1986-1991. In 1991, he started to work as a Research Assistant at İstanbul University Faculty of Forestry Department of Pedology and Ecology and completed his Master’s in 1992 and his Doctorate in 1997 at the same department. He was appointed  Asst. Prof. Dr. in 2000, Assoc. Prof. Dr. in 2004 and Prof. Dr. in 2011. He worked as a guest lecturer at İstanbul Technical University Department of Landscape Architecture between 2004-2012 and at İstanbul Medipol University Department of City Planning and Landscape Architecture in 2021. In 2018, with the division of İstanbul University and the transfer of the Faculty of Forestry to İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, his position was also transferred there. His fields of work include Climate Change, Pedology, Ecolgy, Environmental Pollution. He is a member of the scientific committees of Turkish Foresters Association, TEMA Foundation, Ege Forest Foundation, Permatürk Foundation and Yuvam Dünya Association. He has been involved in multiple research projects supported by TÜBİTAK and other institutions as executive and researcher. He has multiple national and international scientific publications on ecology, environmental issues, forestry and climate change.

He stills serves as the department head of İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Forestry Department of Forestry Engineering Department of Pedology and Ecology.

Prof. Dr. Doğanay TOLUNAY has been serving as a member of ZAK since 2023