Maria is Research Coordinator working with the Urban research theme at SRC, with the projects Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (URBES), Accelerating and Rescaling Transitions to Sustainability (ARTS), and the Green Town Stockholm initiative. Maria also works in the Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management (BEAM) team, with the Baltic Health Index project, part of the global framework Ocean Health Index.
Maria was one of the coordinators of the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook project, running 2012 through 2014, co-editor of the project's scientific foundation published as the open access book "Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities", available from the project website, and co-producer of the short video "An Urbanizing Planet". Previous projects also include the position as Science Officer for the bioSUSTAINABILITY International Programme Office, one of DIVERSITAS four core projects.
Core research interests include development trends in peri-urban areas in Latin America and Asia, sustainable management of the associated social-ecological systems, and the connections between urban areas and the often geographically distant resource-providing areas upon which the cities depend.
An SRC graduate, Maria analyzed in her MSc thesis the potential of city inhabitants' norms and values to protect urban greens, focusing on sacred trees, in Bangalore, India's fifth largest city. Prior to that, Maria studied environmental and social-environmental science at Gothenburg University, specializing in Human Ecology, and spent one semester at the Australian National University, Canberra. Her BSc paper was supported by a SIDA Minor Field Study grant, and explored power structures and the prerequisites for developing adaptive governance in a rural fishing village in Cambodia.