Population genetics of carnivore species
(with Prof Raquel Godinho, EWT)
Laura is particularly interested in using genetics as a conservation tool, by looking at genetic diversity, inbreeding and genetic differentiation in populations. Laura has focused much of her research on African wild dogs, for instance by looking at connectivity between reserves in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier conservation area, and investigating the effect of reintroductions and translocations on genetic diversity in South Africa.
She is currently busy with a large-scale study that looks at population connectivity and dispersal routes of wild dogs across the whole of southern Africa. She is also interested in species that are vulnerable to human-wildlife conflict, and have research projects involving black-backed jackals, caracals and leopards. In particular, she is looking at the impact of hunting on genetic diversity and structure.