Maria Viteri

Photo of Maria Viteri

Maria Viteri conducts research at the intersection of ecology, conservation, archaeology, and paleontology - using the recent fossil record to address today's biodiversity crisis. Maria earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago in 2016, where she worked in a dinosaur paleontology lab and developed her passion for the natural world. She recently defended her PhD in Biology at Stanford University where she examined human impacts on small mammals over the last few thousand years in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Her past teaching experiences at Stanford, the University of Chicago, and Chapman University include courses and invited lectures on incorporating science into conservation policy, human skeletal anatomy, dinosaur science, and the fundamentals of ecology and evolution. Maria is particularly passionate about leveraging museum platforms, natural history collections, and field experiences to facilitate learning and diversify STEM. For example, she interned at the Tech Interactive Museum in San Jose where she led and developed hands-on biology activities for young learners. She has created multiple specimen-based workshops for students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds such as making casts of dinosaur fossils, dissecting raptor pellets, and forensic animal bone identification. She also served as a mentor for the School of Rock program which is a field and lab-based earth science program for educators.