Prof Mary Scholes, a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, is currently a full professor in the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences and serves as the Assistant Dean for Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Science. Her research activities focus on soil fertility and biogeochemistry in savannas, plantation forests and croplands. She serves as the vice-chairperson for the International Committee of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security as well as the Secretary General for the Scientific Council on Problems in the Environment. These activities involve extensive collaborative research with a number of overseas and local institutes. Her publication record is extensive and she serves on many editorial boards. She has mentored over 60 postgraduate students and she teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University. She is the recipient of a number of national and international awards including being elected as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. She is married to Bob Scholes, a systems ecologist, and they have a 14 year old son. Mary likes to support her family as well as swimming and reading.