My name is Mary, and I am a soil scientist. It’s funny how this happened. I didn’t study science or agriculture or soil the first time I went to college, instead I took french and theater. I didn’t really use it after I left school – but while living in Brooklyn one day, I suddenly had the sense that I needed to learn about plants. It made no sense, but it drove me. I began reading and playing, trying to grow what I could until I eventually quit my job, and moved in with my parents to re-do what I had already finished – this time to get the science background I would need to go to graduate school. I eventually realized that soil was probably the most interesting and mysterious substance on the planet – and so that is what lead me to here. I now study nutrient cycles in agricultural systems – and how these can be optimized in organic and low-input systems in developing countries.
Most of this blog centers on my work doing research on legume based cropping systems in Malawi. If you want to know more, read the blog.