Zotov was born in Vladivostok, Russia and emigrated to New Zealand in 1924. He attended Feilding Agricultural High School from 1925-1927. In 1928 he began working at the Plant Research Station in Palmerston North, which in 1936 became the Plant Research Bureau within the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and continued working in the Botany Division of this organisation until his retirement in 1968.
Zotov's primary research interest was in New Zealand grasses, writing papers on canary grasses, Arundinoideae and especially Gramineae. He was also interested in the vegetation of the Tararua Ranges where he enjoyed tramping, and additionally published on soil erosion.
- Dell, R. K. "Zotov, Victor Dmitrievich 1908 - 1977". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- Thomson, A.D., 'Obituary: Victor Dmitrievich Zotov (1908-1977)', New Zealand Journal of Botany (1977) v.15:781–784 http://www.rsnz.org/publish/nzjb/1977/54.pdf
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