Laura is a Senior Manager with the Forest Team. She leads our work in Madagascar and supports strategy development and fundraising for WRI’s forest program in Africa. She is leading the strategy for new feature development for the Forest Atlas platform and Mapbuilder technical tools.

She graduated from Vassar College in 2004 with a double major in Biology and French and went on to live in Madagascar on a Fulbright fellowship. She's been hooked on Madagascar ever since and returned to complete her Ph.D. research on the ecology and evolution of plant reproductive systems in the Malagasy flora. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California-Irvine in 2011 and then enjoyed doing postdoctoral research at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. There she worked on the restoration of an endangered dry forest threatened by coal mining activity and became convinced that she needed to be working on forest restoration and conservation much more actively and urgently.