mary picture June 2018

Mary Scholes

Professor, University of Witwatersrand

I have 25-years of forestry research experience, starting with Sappi and now with various forestry stakeholders including government, NGO and FSA. My work focuses on the sustainability of plantations, optimising growth of trees while minimising ecological harm. It is aligned with the International Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In particular, I look at Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus and how these elements impact sustainability, as trees do not grow without them. I therefore, look at them across the system as a whole, using system analysis to measure as many components as you can, from soil levels to the levels found within the wood. An important aspect of the work I do is to look at the impact of Climate Change and the impact this will have on forestry moving forwards.

“Over the years I have trained researchers and students of all levels, from post-graduates working towards their PhDs and Masters to undergraduates and highschool learners. I believe anyone can be involved in forestry work. You do not need to be “super smart” and certainly, your gender does not matter, what you need is passion and drive.”

“Science is not a mans world, any women can become a successful forester and scientist. What’s more, you will be making a very important contribution to the economy, global sustainability and how the Industry adapts to Climate Change.

Share the Post