Laura is a marine ecologist, who obtained a PhD in Zoology (Marine Ecology) from the University of Cape Town in 2010. Her research focused on quantifying the effects of a spiny lobster invasion in kelp forests/temperate reefs using field data and ecosystem models. Her research showed that lobster increases in certain areas have transformed the entire reef ecosystem, with serious implications for local fisheries. She then went on to model the system and showed that it was only because historic overfishing of linefish took place, that lobsters could expand their range. Following her PhD, Dr Blamey did a postdoc at UCT looking at regime shifts in environmental and biological data series, linked to fishing and climate variability. In 2014 she was awarded a competitive Research Career Advancement Fellowship to pursue her research on nearshore reef ecosystems.
Laura was with the University of Seychelles from July 2017 to June 2019, where she was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environment and a research member of BERI. Her main interests lie in coastal ecology, species interactions, ecosystem change, as well as ecosystem modelling and statistical ecology. Her research centres around coastal ecosystems, with a strong focus on macro algal systems and nearshore reefs and the key species inhabiting these systems. Using both empirical and modelling approaches she tries to understand the interactions between key species in these ecosystems, shifts in ecosystem states, drivers of ecosystem change and how these changes might influence important fisheries.