As soon as Maria joined the BioSCAN Project in 2015, she started learning about the local phorid fauna of L.A. from entomologist Emily Hartop. Maria has now taken over the challenge of identifying the "impossible" genus Megaselia and spends most of her days looking under the scope, looking at phorids from around the world and as well as the BioSCAN samples from urban backyards across Los Angeles. As part of the UNRC, Maria also works on digitizing the land and freshwater snail collection in the Malacology Research Department. Maria holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Purdue University.