Maria Zarimis was educated at UTS (BBiomedSc), UNSW (BA hons 1) (DipEuroStud), and also UNSW (PhD).
She worked as a biomedical scientist at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital for 17 years prior to 2000. Then at UNSW she would complete her BA in Modern Greek Studies and Diploma of European Studies followed by her PhD (2007) which would be the groundwork for her monograph Darwin's Footprint: Cultural Perspectives on Evolution in Greece (1880-1930s), History of Medicine Series (2015, Central European University Press). The book explores the impact of Darwinism in Greece, investigating how it has shaped the country in terms of its cultural and intellectual history; and it 'opens up an area of study that has been sadly neglected in Greek cultural life' (Emeritus Professor Peter Bien, Dartmouth College).
She has continued to research and publish in this area. With the momentum of the 2009 bicentennial and sesquicentennial anniversaries of Charles Darwin's birth and of his Origin of Species publication respectively, she was invited to participate and contribute the Greek perspective to a research project established by Emeritus Professor of History Thomas F. Glick of Boston University and Senior Research Fellow Elinor Shaffer of the University of London. This project comprehensively surveyed the enduring cultural impact of Charles Darwin throughout the continent. The project resulted in the two tome Literary and Cultural Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe (2014, Bloomsbury).
Maria has taught Modern Greek at all levels from 2001-2012 at UNSW and is former Convenor of the Modern Greek Studies program there (2009-2011 inclusive). She was also instrumental in establishing and heading its successful summer course on Greek mythology (Gods, Heroes and Heroines).
Her other research areas include the culture and language of Greek communities. In collaboration with Assoc. Prof. James Lee she worked on the project 'Cultural and Language Transmission in the Greek-Cypriot Community in Sydney'. This has been funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus.
Maria Zarimis currently holds the position of Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales.