Mariska received her PhD from the University of Hamburg, Germany, in July 2012. Mariska's main research focus is on intergroup conflict and the trust assessment between conflict parties. She is particularly interested in which dimensions shape intergroup trust in order to understand how trust can be built systematically. She is also very interested in interracial relations, and how minority and majority members in society trust each other. Relatedly, she is interested how minority and majority members of society differ in their trust for legal institutions, such as the police.
In a related line of research, Mariska focuses on conflict assessment and how to improve intergroup relations. She has worked as a trainer and facilitator in numerous training and conflict settings, both domestic and overseas. She is part of an international conflict facilitation team that works with municipal delegates from countries with ethnic conflicts such as Cyprus, Israel, Ireland, Iraq, and Kosovo.