Maria is an applied sociolinguist by background with a longstanding interest in institutional and professional communication. She has worked in the field of health sciences since 2003 when she joined the Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice at the University of Otago, Wellington (School of Medicine and Health Sciences), New Zealand, initially as a Senior Research Fellow and then as a Senior Lecturer and Research Director.
She currently co-directs the Applied Research on Communication in Health Group (ARCH). This multidisciplinary team uses a range of qualitative methodologies to investigate communication issues in clinical practice using data from the ARCH Corpus, a digitized collection of New Zealand health interactions and associated data for use in research and education.
Maria also serves on the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health) and convenes postgraduate courses on lifestyle communication in primary care in and health sciences research methods in addition to supervising several Masters and PhD projects.