Maru joined Oxford in 2018 as Senior Researcher and Ethics Advisor. Her primary affiliation is with the Ethox Centre where she is developing a programme of research in global ethics, but she also works with Research Services where she is responsible for the development and leadership of a complementary programme of ethics advice to and support for University of Oxford researchers working in low and middle income settings.
Trained in both the life and the social sciences, Maru started her career as a population geneticist, holding academic appointments at Cambridge and UEA. There, she researched patterns of migration, admixture and adaptation in prehistoric and contemporary populations around the world, particularly in East Asia and South America. This work exposed her to some of the ethical challenges of conducting research in developing countries and sparked an interest in development ethics. After a short career break, Maru completed a Masters in Bioethics at King’s College London and moved to the University of Winchester where she became Reader in Science, Ethics and Society. She was also the Chair of the University’s Research Ethics Committee.
Maru’s main research interests lie in the areas of global ethics and international development with a specific focus on the role of science and technology in development and the partnership model as a strategy for research capacity building in low and middle income countries. She is interested in theories of global justice (particularly Sen’s Capability Approach) and how they can be applied to international partnerships and capacity strengthening initiatives. Her current work aims to provide an ethical analysis of international partnerships and a conceptual framework for capacity strengthening in low and middle income countries which draws from the Capability Approach, the Right to Development and concepts of solidarity borrowed from political philosophy.