Dr Maria Vasardani is a Lecturer in Geomatics, at the Dept of Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne. Her research interests are in qualitative spatial representation and reasoning, and spatial cognitive engineering. Maria was born in Athens, Greece were she completed her BSc in Geology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She holds a PhD in Spatial Information Science and Engineering from the University of Maine, USA (2009).During that time she was also a Research Assistant for Dr. Max Egenhofer, specializing on qualitative spatial reasoning with complex 2D spatial regions. She also holds a MSc in Geographic Information Science from University College London (UCL) in London, UK, where she worked on GIS Web Map Services for emergency response. After completing her MSc and before returning to academia, she worked for GI-Geointelligence, a GIS consulting and customized software solutions company in Athens. Previously to commencing as a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Maria completed a post-doctoral research in the same department, as well as at the Department of Industrial Engineering, at Dalhousie University, Canada, employing spatial analysis for a biomass flow related project. Her current focus is on spatial cognition and in natural language processing for the extraction of geographic information and more generally, in the retrieval of geographic information from various sources, including the web and social media. She is also looking into smarter communication between people and machines (eg., in cases of emergency response, or navigation applications) by enabling automatic services to deal with qualitative descriptions of geographic places.