Dr Laura Sonter

Laura Sonter


Associate Professor


School of the Environment

Areas of research & interest:

  • Biodiversity & conservation
  • Carbon offsets & markets
  • Climate change
  • Critical minerals & resources
  • Energy & fuels
  • Environment
  • Land use & planning
  • Sustainability


  • Agriculture & environment
  • Carbon & environmental markets
  • Energy & infrastructure
  • Industry & business solutions
  • Land Use & Regional Planning

Research Institution:


Reconciling biodiversity conservation with development pressures is one of the world's greatest sustainability challenges. This is particularly true given the myriad ways that human wellbeing directly depends on well-functioning ecosystems. Associate Professor Laura Sonter’s research seeks to understand where, when and how to manage and conserve landscapes, so as to benefit both nature and people. She uses land use change models, coupled with remote sensing and GIS datasets, to predict how future development projects (e.g. mines, hydropower dams, transportation infrastructure) will impact biodiversity and ecosystem services. This information allows us to compare the costs and benefits of alternative management interventions and, ultimately, provides the knowledge needed to make more informed decisions. Her research benefits from collaborating across disciplines (ecology, economics, engineering) and working alongside government and non-government organizations. She is currently conducting projects in Australia, Brazil and the USA.