Dr Maria Bellringer came to New Zealand from the UK in 2001 to "totally change her life". Maria completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry in England and has a background in toxicology. She came to New Zealand for the summer weather and unexpectedly entered the research world of gambling.
Maria came to AUT in 2003 to work within the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre.
Maria's research explores why Pacific people have a higher risk of becoming problem gamblers. She has been involved with the Pacific community, with health providers and with the people who understand Pacific problem gambling. She has found that Pacific problem gambling risk has not really changed in the last 20 years.
After researching gambling for 14 years, Maria is still fascinated by it. Her inspiration comes from the many different aspects to the research. She hopes to influence policy makers in New Zealand with the aim of helping those who suffer harm from gambling.