Maria is the deputy Head of Food Databanks National Capability (FDNC), based at Quadram Institute Bioscience. FDNC is a national coordinating ‘hub’ in food, nutrition and health and the leading national provider of new and continuously updated data, tools and services vital for public health, research and innovation. FDNC's Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset (otherwise known as McCance and Widdowson data), the food bioactives composition datasets, and the associated tools are used by academia and industry and are vital for UK public health with respect to understanding the effect of diet and its dietary components on health, as well as in the development of healthier food products.
Maria’s research interests lie in understanding the role of plant-rich diets in improving health. She is committed to improve and facilitate the adoption of dietary assessment technology (diet apps, Mobile Health etc.) in clinical nutrition research and the assessment of plant-derived bioactives alongside nutrients in diets. She has an active interest in understanding the role of diet in regulating gut microbiome and using data-driven approaches in personalised nutrition.