Dr. Laurel Standley is an environmental chemist and author of a self-help book on reducing exposure to toxic chemicals. She is also the author of works of fiction with a focus on dystopian, eco-thriller, and historical genres. Laurel’s short stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did That?, Underground: A Collection of Short Fiction, and Asylum: A Collection of Short Fiction. In addition to her writing, Laurel now teaches wellness classes on reducing toxic exposures and advises authors on science in fiction and nonfiction. She is currently a member of the National Academy of Science's Science & Entertainment Exchange.
Laurel conducted research at the Stroud Water Research Center (Avondale, PA) and the Silent Spring Institute (Newton, MA). Over the course of her research career, she studied the fate of natural and human-made chemicals in aquatic ecosystems and the potential for human exposure to toxic chemicals in drinking water and household products.
After serving on numerous environmental boards and advisory committees, Laurel decided to leave research and earn a policy degree to facilitate her work on solutions to the problems she’d previously studied. Her work in this area included development of a strategy for a large nonprofit to engage companies in conservation efforts and a customized water conservation and management plan for a government agency in the United Arab Emirates.
Laurel received her B.S. in Chemistry from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1979), her Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from Oregon State University (1987), and her M.A. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware (2003).