Maria is a conservation ecologist with complementary interests in coral reef ecology and spatial conservation prioritization. Her primary research interest is to integrate field data,spatial models and decision science to find conservation solutions that form a link between theory and practice on coral reefs, working in the Coral Triangle, the Pacific, the Western Indian Ocean, Japan and Australia. She is also involved in projects dealing with fish biomass predictions, climate change science, ecosystem services, and global evaluations of protected areas. Maria currently works on these questions in conservation science:
Integrating larval dispersal into spatial planning and conservation;
How can genetic data inform conservation decisions?
Managing whole life cycles in migratory animals: integrating telemetry into planning;
Manage the weak, eat the strong: conserving coral reef function;
How can we model and manage coral reef resilience?
What are the best places to protect to deal with range shifts?
Multi-taxon community assembly rules along a tropical to temperate temperature
gradient (Australia, Japan)
How do pristine reefs differ (Republic of the Marshall Islands)?
Develop coastal and offshore bioregionalisations (South Pacific);
What is the fish biodiversity here (fish species counts in Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, PNG, Australia, Palau, FSM, Republic of the Marshall Islands, ...)
Maria's work currently happens in collaboration with local and regional conservation NGOs, including The Nature Conservancy (Coral Triangle, Micronesia), IUCN (Pacific, Maldives), World Wildlife Fund (Malaysia), Marshall Islands Conservation Society (Republic of the Marshall Islands). She also works with government agencies, such as the NSW Department of Primary Industries and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.