Biography

Laura is a PhD candidate in the Environmental Engineering & Science program of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Her research is focused on quantifying children’s exposure to environmental contamination through multiple transmission pathways. Her research is motivated by the more than 2,000 children who die every day from preventable diarrhea. She seeks to reduce mortality and morbidity due to diarrhea by testing and implementing scalable interventions. Her research is in Bangladesh, where she has lived for over a year, collaborating with local researchers and attempting to communicate in Bengali. 

Laura also works on alternative sanitation systems, conducting formative work on opportunities for dry sanitation in Bangladesh and participating in toilet design with other collaborators from re.source. She has also worked on novel marketing strategies to increase the sale of dry toilet in Lima, Peru. 

Proud of her Minnesota roots, Laura graduated from the University of Minnesota with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology, taking time during her undergraduate to study in Hong Kong, Greece, and mainland China. After living in Egypt as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, she worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in D.C. on the setting and implementation of national water quality standards and improving the emergency response plans of water and wastewater utilities. She subsequently moved to California, where she earned a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford. 

Laura is currently a Woods Institute Goldman Graduate Fellow and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Scholar. She has also been a 2013-2014 Boren Fellow for National Security, 2012 Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow, and 2010-2011 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.