Laura is an environmental and development economist with an interest in natural resource management and green finance finance-particularly when aimed at poverty alleviation and climate resilience.

As an environmental economist (that has a soft spot ecological and heterodox economics), Laura is interested in using lessons from theory and empirical evidence in environmental economics, ecosystem service valuation, and natural resource management to assess market and policy instruments that deal with environmental externalities–particularly in the context of rapid urban transitions, growing social inequalities, and increasingly vulnerable environmental resources.

Laura’s work has focused on climate-economy modeling, the identification of positive externalities (or co-benefits) from inclusive and participatory climate action in developing countries, and the identification and measurement of effects that Nature-Based Solutions can have on strengthening the resiliency of energy sectors in the Andean region, on reducing disaster risk in coastal communities in the US, and on enhancing water management strategies to build sustainable cities in Latin America. Her goal is to help turn rigorous, neutral, and thorough research into action.

Laura has a PhD in economics from North Carolina State University. Her bachelor’s degrees are in economics and political sciences, and her master’s degree is in applied economics—all three titles from Montana State University. Laura has technical expertise in systems modeling, ecosystem services valuation, spatial econometrics techniques, and the microeconomics of land use change. Her regions of expertise are Latin America and East Africa. She is fluent in Spanish and English.