During her professional and academic career, she has conducted several research on street gangs, organized crime, human trafficking and prostitution. She is the author of three books on the subject: La face cachée des gangs de rue,Gangs de rue inc and Milena Di Maulo. Fille et femme de mafiosi.
Since 2011, Maria Mourani has been interested in the phenomenon of youth engagement in jihadist groups. She is currently doing a PhD at the University of Ottawa on becoming-jihadist in Western countries, particularly in Canada, France and Belgium.