Researcher Biography

Laura Simpson Reeves is a PhD candidate, research assistant and sessional academic. Her research and teaching engages with marginalised and vulnerable populations both in Australia and abroad, including those experiencing poverty and/or homelessness and those identifying as LGBTIQA+.

Laura's PhD examines cultural perceptions of poverty by exploring ideas of ‘the good life’ amongst Samoan and Tongan populations in Brisbane. She has previously worked as a senior research officer at ISSR, a research communication adviser with SMERU Research Institute (Indonesia’s premier think tank on poverty-related issues), and a research assistant with the Centre for Communication and Social Change.

Outside of research, Laura's professional background spans print media, publishing, and developing materials for development and humanitarian professionals and practitioners. She was also a 2017 Global Change Scholar.

PhD topic

Cultural perceptions of relative poverty


  • Associate Professor Cameron Parsell (Principal)
  • Associate Professor Shuang Liu (Associate)

Research interests

  • Poverty and inequality
  • Participatory development
  • Visual research methods
  • Marginalised and vulnerable populations
  • Gender
  • Qualitative research methods