I study how rocks break to help improve our understanding of earthquakes. In my research, I create computer simulations of rocks breaking, benchmarked against lab experiments in which small pieces of rock are deformed and measured during the fracture growth process. My recent projects focus on the linking of smaller cracks to form bigger fractures. I have also worked on crustal-scale models of the San Andreas fault, a geologic map of the V18 quadrangle of Venus, and assorted work collecting and processing rock samples for paleomagnetic analysis.
I also have a passion for science communication. In 2018, I began producing and hosting a podcast, Lab Talk with Laura, featuring interviews with scientists across disciplines and career stages with the help of local comics. I was a 2019 AAAS Mass Media Fellow, doing science reporting at King 5 News in Seattle, WA. I have also written for Temblor Earthquake News, and served as the 2022-2023 Science Communication Fellow for the Geological Society of America.