MaryCarol Hunter

Associate Professor


PhD, State University of New York at Stony Brook (ecology)

MLA, University of Georgia (landscape architecture)

BA, University of California at Berkeley (zoology)

BA, University of Detroit (communications)

(734) 615-1413
3572 Dana


Dr. MaryCarol Hunter is a landscape architect and ecologist with a research program that encompasses social, psychological and ecological aspects of sustainable urban design.  Recently funded work focuses on the design of resilient urban green space under climate change and current work focuses on the impact of nature experiences on mental wellbeing.  She also develops research-based design guidelines in support urban sustainability by creating places that people appreciate and protect.

  • 2013-2018: TKF Foundation, “The mechanisms and design elements of restorative experiences at Open Space, Sacred Places (OSSP) sites”, with PI Marc Berman and Co‐PI John Jonides,    $678.2K

  • 2013-2014: University of Michigan MCubed Grant, “A “nature pill” for healthy ageing in urban areas“, with co‐PIs Sara Warber & Brenda Gillespie, $60,000

  • 2012-2015: USDA‐FS, McIntire‐Stennis Award, “Public urban green spaces: The impact of proximity to home, landscape structure, and ecological diversity on mental wellbeing”, USDA‐NIFA‐MSCFR‐TBA, $72,000

  • 2011-2012: SNRE Research Seed Grant Program, “Spatially Contagious Distribution of Easement Gardens in Ann Arbor: motivations and cultural impact”, $7000

  • 2009-2010: USDA‐FS,  McIntire‐Stennis Award, “Supporting Ecological Services Provided by Urban Forest Habitat in Residential Areas”, USDA‐NIFA‐MSCFR‐002655,  $67,500 

Select publications: 
  • Hunter, M.R., B.W. Gillespie, S.Y. Chen. 2019. Urban nature experiences reduce stress in the context of daily life based on salivary biomarkers. Frontiers in Psychology April 2019,  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00722
  • Ibarra FF, Kardan O, Hunter MCR, Kotabe HP, Meyer FA and Berman MG. 2017. Image Feature Types and Their Predictions of Aesthetic Preference and Naturalness. Frontiers in Psychology 8:632. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00632
  • Hunter, M. R. and A. Askarinejad. 2015. Designer’s approach for scene selection in tests of preference and restoration along a continuum of natural to manmade environments. Frontiers in Psychology 6:1228  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01228).
  • Hunter, M.C. and D.G. Brown. 2012. Spatial contagion: Gardening along the street in residential neighborhoods. Landscape and Urban Planning.  105:407-416.
  • Hunter, M.C. 2011. Using ecological theory to guide urban planting design: An adaption strategy for climate change Landscape Journal 30(2): 173-193.
  • Hunter, M.C .and Hunter, M.D.  2008. Designing for conservation of insects in the built environment.  Insect Conservation and Diversity.  1(4): 189-196.

Read more publications here.