Laura obtained her B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Colorado, and went on to pursue an M.S. in biology from John Carroll University. Her research focused on identifying and describing freshwater diatom and cyanobacteria species of the Hawaiian Islands, and she has a recently published book on the subject. Laura has also worked at the University of Otago in New Zealand, researching physiology and community structures of marine phytoplankton. In her spare time, Laura enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, exercising, and discovering new places.