Lara is on a mission to save the penguins from extinction, the coral reefs from fading, the glaciers from retracting and the polar bears from drowning. She is the Chief Climate Change Scientist for the unit having done research on the biological effects of global change since 1990. The bulk of her WWF work has been on vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies. When Lara is back from the field, she is often explaining the effects of climate change varied audiences - the U.S. Senate, the media and academic classes. Prior to WWF, Lara researched impacts of climate change on corals for the US EPA. In other research she has examined the impacts of UV-B on micro-organisms in Alaska, California and the Pacific.
Her primary focus is: to redesign conservation strategies in order to meet the needs of an ever changing environment. She circumnavigates the globe to investigate, measure and mitigate the effects of global warming. Once in the vanguard, she is now at the center of a vital international issue.
"Everything on the planet is being affected by climate change," she warns. "It's not a problem of the future, it's a problem of now."
She studied marine biology and acquired a doctorate degree in ecology and worked for the Environmental Protection Agency before joining the WWF in 2001.