Laura is interested in how the rapidly developing field of genetics can contribute to the field of conservation biology. During her PhD-research she applied various genetic techniques to gain insight into the distribution of genetic diversity in the lion. These data provide a rational basis for prioritising populations for conservation efforts, but also give insight into evolutionary drivers which may have contributed to the current genetic make-up. Phylogeographic data can contribute to defining management strategies, both for in situ conservation and for breeding of captive stocks.
She has explored different sources of DNA e.g. by non-invasively collecting hair and scat samples and by using ancient DNA approaches for specimens in natural history collections. Analogue to this, she also worked on a project on environmental DNA, in which the applicability of DNA isolated directly from aquatic samples for water quality monitoring is assessed.