Lauren manages and provides technical, scientific and communications expertise to a range of projects centred on marine biodiversity and ecosystem services, specialising in fisheries management, spatial ecology, and climate change impacts and adaptation. As part of her role, she leads the development of digital knowledge products that contribute to a step-change in global access to, and use of, ocean biodiversity information and spatial data. These products help to support the delivery of global ocean goals and targets, and to support marine spatial planning, conduct environmental impact assessments, produce ecosystem assessments, and enhance ocean literacy.
Lauren has a background in geography, fisheries science, and communications, and is passionate about synthesizing data and information into tools and products that support policy- and decision-making. She completed her MSc in Resource Management and Environmental Studies at the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre (now the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries) in Vancouver, Canada, where she examined the threat of climate change to the fisheries of Canada’s coastal Indigenous peoples. She has also conducted research surveying coastal indigenous fishing communities and reviewing corporate social responsibility, marine spatial planning, and indicators of the human dimensions of fisheries. Prior to her work at UNEP-WCMC, she collaborated with scientists under the “Oceans 2015 Initiative” to produce a review of the scientific literature published subsequent to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, identifying points of agreement and departure regarding the impacts of climate change on coastal sectors through changes in the marine environment.
Lauren has joint oversight over the development of the Ocean Data Viewer and the management and distribution of high-quality marine and coastal data. These datasets are important resources that can be used to ensure compliance with international regulations, such as the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standard 6, and to support decision-making at multiple scales. Her work also focuses on the development of digital knowledge products that contribute to a step-change in global access to, and use of, ocean biodiversity information and spatial data, in order to support the delivery of global ocean targets and the transition to a healthy ocean.
Lauren is contributing to the advancement of marine natural capital accounts, exploring options for developing ecosystem extent and condition accounts in the European context.
Lauren is supporting the Brazilian government in developing a strategy to advance marine protected area coverage and management effectiveness, as a contribution to the Brazilian Blue Initiative. This project draws from relevant research and guidance on the application of innovative marine protected area management strategies in Latin America, the Caribbean and internationally.