Mariella is the Chair of the IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo Specialist Group. After graduating from University of Zurich, Switzerland, she obtained a doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine from University of Zurich (thesis: Biology and Maintenance of Armadillos, Dasypodidae). In 2007, she concluded her Ph.D. in Conservation Biology at University of New Orleans (dissertation: Natural History of the Pichi (Zaedyus pichiy) in Mendoza Province, Argentina). She is now an Adjunct Researcher with CONICET in Mendoza Province, where she studies the conservation biology and conservation medicine of pichis. She is also an associate researcher of Fundación Omacha, Colombia, and the scientific advisor of the Conservation and Management Program for the Armadillos of the Llanos of Colombia.