Marama Muru-Lanning holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Auckland. Her research is primarily concerned with debates and critical challenges in social anthropology where she focuses on the cultural specificity of iwi-Māori and their unique sense of place and belonging in New Zealand. What distinguishes Marama nationally as a social scientist
is her specialisation in water, environment and indigenous rights. She is currently conducting research with Chilean scholars that examines the impacts of increased privatised geothermal and hydro electricity generation on Mapuche who reside in southern Chile. Marama is from Tūrangawaewae Marae and is of Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto descent.