Laura is currently a research fellow at the Centre for Food Policy, working on the Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) project in South Africa where she leads the governance for food system transformation in South Africa component. She is also a senior researcher working on the Programme on Climate Smart Livestock in East Africa (PCSL) at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University where she is also the co-PI of the CCAFS scenarios project together with Dr Joost Vervoort. Having completed her DPhil in Geography at Oxford University in 2012, she undertook post-docs in sustainability science at Harvard’s Kennedy School and under the Bioeconomy chair at the University of Cape Town before moving to Stellenbosch University to research development in the Anthropocene. She is interested in the interface between traditional knowledge and innovation, the role of futures techniques in transformative change and developing innovative methods for knowledge co-production in developing country contexts. Her work uses the food system to unpack broader challenges and solutions to the complexity of governance for sustainability transformations.
As well as her focus on food systems, she was a Co-ordinating Lead Author for UN Environment’s GEO-6, a Lead Author for the IPBES Regional Assessment for Africa and is part of the IPBES Task Force on scenarios and models. She currently sits on the board of Health-e, South Africa, and is on the FACCE-JPI Scientific Advisory Board. Laura has an extraordinary appointment at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition at Stellenbosch University and is affiliated with the Stockholm Resilience Centre.