Laura is a marine scientist with the Coastal and Freshwater group at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson and received one of the inaugural PhD scholarship from the NZFSSRC in 2017. Her projects aimed to investigate the source and transmissions of tetrodotoxin in New Zealand shellfish and marine food webs.

During her time at Cawthron Laura has worked in various roles, including in the food chemistry IANZ accredited laboratory, as senior research technician for the Environmental Toxicology and Technologies team, and as scientist researching seafood safety and toxic microalgae (with a specific focus on toxic cyanobacteria and marine dinoflagellates and their impact on aquaculture species). Laura has expertise in the use of molecular techniques to monitor and understand aquatic organisms and habitats (high-throughput sequencing, qPCR, ddPCR and metagenomics) and is working on a range of research projects funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (e.g., Safe New Zealand Seafood Programme, Lakes380). Laura also leads the Early Career Research group at the Cawthron Institute.