Maria graduated from Universidad de Valle de Guatemala in December 2011 with a BSc in Biology and an MSc Biodiversity and Conservation program at the University of Exeter. She spent a semester abroad at the Duke University Marine Laboratory in 2011.
Her career has given her incredible field experiences, including studying cetaceans off the Pacific Coast of Central America, sexing hooded seals with PCR at Duke University Marine Lab and investigating humpback whales in Puerto Rico. Since 2012 she has been an associate investigator with ProDelphinus, working with artisanal fishermen to reduce bycatch of endangered animals. She is currently working with river dolphins in Peru.