Her work covering the Hong Kong protests has earned her an honorable mention for the International Women’s Media Foundation's Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, a Society of Publishers in Asia prize for excellence in arts and culture reporting, and an Emmy nomination.
Laurel is particularly interested in exploring the relationship between people and nature. She is currently working on a long-term project on traditional Chinese medicine, culture, and the environment and is a candidate for a MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at Christ Church, Oxford University.
As the founder of the HK Explorers Initiative, she is also an advocate for conserving Hong Kong's biodiversity and educates the public about the importance of connecting urban populations to nature. In 2013, Dr. Jane Goodall appointed her as an ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute HK.
She has worked on western lowland gorilla conservation in the Central African Republic, Chinese white dolphin research in Hong Kong and undercover investigative documentaries on the wildlife trade in Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.
During her time at VICE, she produced the special episode “Year of the Dog” about migrant workers traveling home for Chinese New Year, winning the Overseas Press Club of America's David A. Andelman and Pamela Title Award for “best international reporting in broadcast media showing a concern for the human condition” in 2019.
Prior to that, she was the managing editor for Coconuts Hong Kong, where her photos of the 2014 Umbrella Movement earned a nomination for the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Award for Excellence in News Photography, while her feature on a young aspiring rugby referee with a skin disease won a SOPA Award for Feature Photography.
In 2017, she played in the Rugby World Cup as a member of the first Hong Kong team to ever qualify.
Laurel graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BS in International Health and a certificate in international development.