Maria developed an interest in the Byzantine world during her undergraduate course at Birmingham, and an interest in numismatics during her MA. While undertaking her AHRC-funded PhD on the numismatic iconography of the period of iconomachy, she was involved as a student volunteer in the production of the exhibition Faith and Fortune: Visualising the Divine on Byzantine and Early Islamic Coinage. She also helped to catalogue much of the Barber’s holdings for the period 685-867 during this time.
She became interim curator of the coin collection at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in September 2015, and was made permanent curator in December 2016. In this post she has overseen two exhibitions: Buried Treasures: Uncovering Hoards, which looked at how coin hoards inform our understanding of history and ran from May 2016-February 2017; and Excavating Empire: Gold, Silver and Bronze in Byzantium, which has been open since March 2017 and explores Byzantine history through its coins, and was linked to the 50th anniversary Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. The second exhibition was produced with the assistance of four postgraduate volunteers.