Laurel holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Master of Arts, both from the University of Waterloo. While working on her Masters' thesis, entitled Climate Policy and International Tourism Arrivals to the Caribbean Region, Laurel was drawn to the legal and policy aspects of her work. These interests ultimately lead her to the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law.
Laurel’s doctoral research draws on different disciplines to explore how the economic measure of productivity can better reflect the (mis)use of natural capital. The results of this work generate a discussion about law and policy that is reliant on conventional economic measures and work towards informing future government priorities. Within this research, Laurel is also looking at the Canadian System of National Accounts and the way this system assists in producing environmentally adjusted economic measures. Laurel’s work is also closely related to principles of sustainability such as intergenerational equity and polluter pays given their close connection with the use of natural capital.