About Laura

Throughout my life I have sought opportunities to combine my love of science, art, and adventure.  The more I learned, the more I began to understand the importance of conservation and sustainability.  I strive to make eco-conscious choices for as many aspects of my life as possible, from what I eat to how I travel, plan events and design research and educational activities.  Art and science are extraordinarily complementary fields; through science, I seek to understand the beauty of nature.  Though most of my academic training has been in science, I have always made time to improve and expand my skills in illustration, art, and design. 

After earning my PhD in 2008 I embarked on a variety of research, education and consulting projects in addition to renewing my artistic passions.  Throughout these pages you will find examples of the projects and passtimes I have taken on.  For an overview of these see Portfolio.  For more details on my consulting services, see Consulting.

Academic and Professional Preparation

  • PhD: University of California, Los Angeles- Biology (Sensory anatomy and physiology of stingrays)
  • BS: Cornell University- Biology (Marine science and illustration)
Postdoctoral Positions
  • California Institute of Technology, postdoctoral scholar in bioengineering
  • Florida Atlantic University, postdoctoral research scientist, shark lab
Research Publications
University Teaching Experience
  • UCLA: Lecturer, Living Oceans. Undergraduate, non-majors General Education with discussion section
  • Mira Costa College: Associate Professor, Marine Biology. Undergraduate majors & non-majors, with lab
  • UCLA: Instructor, Myths and truths of elasmobranch biology. Undergraduate GE writing/discussion based course
  • Shoals Marine Laboratory: Teaching assistant, Underwater research
  • UCLA: Teaching Assistant, Marine vertebrate ecophysioogy, Vertebrate biology, Marine science, Vertebrate morphology, Life: Concepts & Issues
  • Shoals Marine Laboratory: Teaching assistant, Field marine science
  • Cornell University: Undergraduate teaching assistant, Biochemistry

To learn about classes I have designed and taught at the University level, including sample syllabi, see Undergraduate Course: Living Oceans for a lecture based class and Undergraduate Seminar: Sharks, skates, and rays, oh my! Myths and truths of elasmobranch biology for a writing seminar.


High School Teaching Experience
  • Sea Education Association: Teaching assistant, Oceanography of the Southern California Bight, Marine ecology
  • The Webb Schools: Instructor, Biology
  • Phillips Exeter Academy: Teaching intern, Biology & Marine biology

For an example of a high school level curriculum I designed, see 9th grade level introduction to biology and integrative science


Other Teaching, Outreach, and Outdoor Education Activities
  • World Below the Waves: Co-founder, workshop development, website design
  • Operation Wallacea: Science coordinator, coral reef ecology instructor, SCUBA
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps: Volunteer educator and aquarist, Marine biology & conservation
  • San Diego Oceans Foundation: Instructor & volunteer, Marine vertebrate biology, snorkeling tours
  • Stoked Los Angeles: Volunteer, snowboarding
  • Shoals Marine Lab & UCLA: Diving & teaching assistant, AAUS SCUBA diving certification
  • Wrigley Marine Science Center: Graduate intern, lab tours, snorkeling, kayaking
  • Rustic Pathways: Consultant- marine biology program, SCUBA diving
  • Longacre Expeditions: Staff, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing/snowboarding

Want to learn more about Laura?

For more details on my education, research and teaching experience please see: