Centre for Integrative Ecology
Deakin University, Burwood campus
221 Burwood Hwy, VIC 3125
Maria is a marine ecologist, project manager, and science communicator based at Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab. She is originally from Colombia and received her PhD from James Cook University, Queensland in 2017. Maria has worked for 10+ years in marine and coastal ecosystems, including coral reefs, mangroves and tidal marshes.
After joining the Blue Carbon Lab, Maria established the award-winning Blue Carbon Citizen Science program – which has engaged 350+ citizen scientists into coastal wetland research across Australia and New Zealand. To date the program has collected over 1000 carbon stock samples from 12 sites and surveyed more than 300 plots of mangroves and saltmarsh. The program began as a partnership with HSBC Australia and Earthwatch Institute targeting corporate executives from Australia’s top industries, but has now expanded to include community groups and schools.
Maria is the project manager for the ‘Roadmap to Blue Carbon opportunities in Seychelles’ program (funded by the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust) and the ‘Building Adaptive Capacity in the Gippsland Region: Wetland Restoration Citizen Science‘ program (funded by DELWP’s Community Climate Change Adaptation grants). Additional to her experience managing large research teams and undertaking stakeholder surveys/interviews, Maria coordinates the science communication strategy for the Blue Carbon Lab (website, social media, media releases). She has 12+ peer-reviewed publications and has received $280K+ in research grants.
Malerba ME, MM Palacios, YM Palacios Delgado, J Beardall, DJ Marshall .2019. Cell size, photosynthesis and the package effect: an artificial selection approach New Phytologist 219: 449-461
Palacios, MM, SS Killen, LE Nadler., JR White & MI McCormick 2016. Top- predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 1078-1086
Palacios, M.M., D.T. Warren & M.I. McCormick 2016. Sensory cues of a top‐predator indirectly control a reef fish mesopredator. Oikos 125: 201 -209
Palacios, M.M., C.G. Muñoz & F.A. Zapata. 2014. Fish corallivory on a pocilloporid reef and experimental coral responses to predation. Coral Reefs 33: 625 -636
Palacios, M.M. & F.A. Zapata. 2014. Fish community structure on coral habitats with contrasting architecture in the Tropical Eastern Pacific. International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation 62(1): 343-357
City bankers forego afternoon tea in pursuit of innovative climate change solution (Sunday Star Times, Auckland)