Laura Estrada

Research Ecologist
Conservation Research Program

[email protected], she/they

Laura is the Research Ecologist for the Conservation Research program, where she leads and mentors seasonal staff in all aspects of data collection and management. During the field season she works to provide an enjoyable and productive work environment while also providing professional development to seasonal staff. In the off-season Laura also takes part in hiring, data management and analysis, and report and proposal writing. Before working with the Institute for Applied Ecology, Laura graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. These degrees provided practical opportunities for her to strengthen as an aspiring field biologist in restoration and conservation of plant and animal communities. During her undergraduate program she harnessed her interest in wildlife and plant interactions by writing a peer-reviewed paper on squirrel responses to oak-hickory restoration in southern Indiana. After graduation she observed Northern Idaho ground squirrel responses to habitat restoration in montane meadows. From there she began leading botany crews on the South Sound prairies in Washington state, providing additional data on how restoration efforts effect oak prairie habitats. This then led Laura to the ponderosa pine forests of northern Arizona, leading botany crews on projects that revolved around fire restoration and plant community responses. These opportunities throughout her career have strengthened her dedication toward habitat restoration and conservation.

When Laura is not working you will find her outside with her partner and 4-legged best friend enjoying the great outdoors. If they are not on the coast surfing and hiking, they are backpacking in the mountains. On days that Laura wants to stay home in her cozy travel trailer, you better believe that she is drinking a lot of coffee, cooking a feast, and drawing.