The Kruger to Canyons region has a long tradition of research in the biological and social spheres by both institutions based within the area and researchers associated with outside organisations. Most initiatives were formulated and executed long before the Biosphere Reserve Initiative in the Lowveld began. Consequently past research has not necessarily fallen within the framework of a Biosphere Reserve.
Two particular institutions - the Hans Hoheison Wildlife Research Station and the Range and Forage Institute - have focused the majority of their research on achieving a better understanding of the Lowveld Savannah ecosystem. Their results formed a significant input in determining the boundaries of the Biosphere region itself.
The University of Witwatersrand "Wits" Rural Facility (WRF) is beginning to utilize the concept of the Biosphere in shaping some of its work; its staff have stated their willingness to take cognisance of the Biosphere Reserve's management needs in future research where possible.
The Kruger National Park continues to take the approach that research is a vital tool in investigating, supporting and questioning management policies in the park. These criteria are applied to all applications for research to be endorsed by the Parks management.
The Biosphere Reserve now aims to help co-ordinate, identify and support future research initiatives. This section summarises past, present and planned work in the spheres of biotic, abiotic and socio-economic research. The major institutions involved in research within the proposed Biosphere Reserve area are included, but it should be regonised that a great deal of their work is in partnership or collaboration with external and international organisations as well as private consultants.