Maria Gunko is a Research Fellow at the Department of Socioeconomic Geography Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Her research interests are related to urban planning, including participative planning, DIY urbanism, and regeneration/revival in small cities. In 2015, Maria was a visiting research fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig, Germany, contributing to the project ira.urban Urban Reconfigurations in Post-Soviet Space. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator of the project The Role of Local Initiatives in the Regeneration of Small and Medium-sized Peripheral Russian Cities (Russian Fund for Basic Research, 2018-2019) and a holder of Oxford Russia Fellowship,  awarded in support of research into urban shrinkage in the Arctic. Her publications are featured in such reputable journals as Cities, European Planning Studies, and Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie.