Laura’s interest in physiology goes right back to childhood summers spent exploring rock pools, collecting shells and listening to oystercatchers in Galloway, Scotland. Living by the wind and tides she learned to sail, and wondered why everyone’s lips went purple when they got cold?
Having told her mum she was going to be a scientist when she was 12 years old, she graduated with a BSc in physiology from University of Glasgow and had completed her PhD at the University of Southampton by the time she was 24.
Laura’s post-doctoral research into salt intake and long term control of blood pressure, coincided with the time of the publication of the NACNE report. The subsequent “food scandal” all of which combined to initiate an interest in public health nutrition that continues to this day. Laura took a break from laboratory science to have her three daughters, training as an antenatal educator and yoga teacher along the way – sparking her interest and enthusiasm for promoting healthy lifestyle choices, effective management of stress and building resilience.
Returning to work in 1989, she has been teaching in post- compulsory education sectors ever since. As a senior lecturer and director of studies in one of the biggest colleges in the UK, she led and coordinated teams of lecturers who have introduced and delivered innovative programmes including Combined Arts and Sciences degree programmes, Access to Medicine, Access to healthcare practice, Foundation degrees and Health & Well-being degrees.
For the last 20 years, Laura has focused on teaching and training of frontline healthcare professionals including Advanced Practitioners, nurses, midwives, Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) and paramedics. Her unique approach to explaining the components of health and well-being is therefore holistic, person-centred and based on sound scientific principles. She was an early member of the Education & Teaching theme group of The Physiological Society and helped to establish the Bioscience in Nursing education (BiNE) group of the Higher Education Academy.
Now semi-retired, Laura works part-time at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). This means her writing and teaching are always based on the most up to date evidence from science.
Living in Norfolk with her partner, Laura is a member of a large extended family. When she’s not working or writing, she plays golf, knits, makes bread and potters in the garden to recharge her batteries. Camping takes her further afield; she loves to travel and explore new places. She still returns to the beaches and rock pools of Galloway every year.