Mary Black

Mentor: Dr. Brian Child
College of Center for African Studies and Geography
"I enjoy research because it ties together prior academic knowledge and dealing with issues hands on. After working as a biological technician in a lab at the McKnight Brain institute, I was inspired to conduct my own research in a different field. I chose to delve into wildlife research because it is an area that has always interested me. "





Research Interests

  • Water resources
  • GIS
  • Wildlife conservation

Academic Awards

  • N/A


  • Wetlands Club
  • AWRA


  • Paynes Prairie State Park Invasive Plant Removal
  • Current Problems

Hobbies and Interests

  • Horseback riding
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Cycling

Research Description

Impact of African Elephants on Marula Trees in the Lowveld of South Africa
Marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) populations are decreasing at an alarming rate in the regions surrounding Kruger National Park. African Elephant populations in this area are far beyond carrying capacity; 18,000 to 19,000 elephants currently populate an area that can sustain only 7,000 elephants. This has led to severe destruction of habitat. My research focuses primarily on determining the pattern of damage and whether or not male or female trees are targeted more frequently.