2014 BBS Leadership Group Shot  

The Leadership Program

Laura Schmertmann


I was born in Berkeley, California but at age 5 moved permanently to Sydney, Australia. In high school, I began to develop a passion for biology (especially marine wildlife) and research. My dream was to eventually do field research in Antarctica. I decided to study veterinary medicine at university as I was advised that this would open more doors in research than a science degree alone. After 3 years of veterinary school, I deferred my studies for 12 months to undertake a research project on Australian sea lion clinical pathology. This involved field work at remote sea lion colonies which made my dream seem more tangible.




I enjoy travelling, hiking, camping and crafts. I also love sport; I may not be especially skilled at any one in particular but am willing to give anything a go.

Career Goal:

After graduating, I hope to gain a year or two of experience in general veterinary practice to cement my practical skills before undertaking post graduate study. I then hope to pursue a PhD and/or residency, ideally involving research relating to wildlife disease. After this, I’m still unsure what I would like to do next, but have considered working as a pathologist or in academia and would love the opportunity to teach.