Dr Laura Lesar

Senior Lecturer

College of Business, Government and Law

place Law & Commerce
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Laura Lesar is a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University. A fusion of her multidisciplinary background, Laura specialises in sustainability and resilience in tourism and wine business. Her areas of expertise include the quality control tools that translate sustainability and resilience into business practice. Laura's recent state-of-the-art articulation of these tools identified over 100 sustainability tools for industry. Other research endeavours stem from a solutions-oriented grant research project surrounding sustainable destination management that assessed tourism impacts, social carrying capacity indicators, and the utility of innovative technology (aerial drones) to facilitate impact monitoring. Dedicated to excellence in research, Laura’s research can be found in leading academic tourism journals including Journal of Travel Research (highest ranking of A* in ABDC) and Journal of Sustainable Tourism (A*). Laura is also an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Travel Research (A*).

Through research and industry projects, collectively, Laura has worked with sustainability and tourism projects for the public and private sectors in the USA, South-East Asia, South America, Central America, and Australia. She has been involved with projects for Sustainable Travel International, Expedia, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Hostelling International, and Gemtree Wines. Laura also holds professional accreditations an eco-certification auditor, sustainable tourism consultant, and corporate sustainability manager. Sparking her passion for the wine industry, Laura has also held entry-level to managerial positions in the wine and spirits industry. She has undertaken intensive food, wine, and spirit courses, and sommelier training and holds WSET Level 2 accreditation.

Laura enjoys opportunities for industry engagement and knowledge-sharing. With her extensive background in sustainability and associated practical tools, she has facilitated numerous industry workshops and presentations. Most recently, she was an invited sustainable tourism panelist for the World Tourism Summit in Hawaii and for the U.S. Department of State’s East-West Professional Fellows Program at the University of Hawaii.


PhD in Sustainable Tourism, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus

Masters of Science in Travel Industry Mangement, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies (Honours, thesis component), University of California, Santa Cruz

Honours, awards and grants

Research and Teaching Awards

Research Excellence Award for "Outstanding Achievement by an Early Career Researcher", 2021. College of Business, Government, and Law, Flinders University, AU

Teaching Award for School of Travel Industry Management (Elective Course) 2020, School of Travel Industry Management, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA

Academic Awards and Achievements

-Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management -

Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (GUPRS) for PhD

Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (GUIPRS) for PhD

-University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Travel Industry Management-

School of Travel Industry Management "Outstanding Graduate Student Award" Recipient

School of Travel Industry Management "Department Merit Scholarship Award" Recipient

Graduate Student Organization Award Recipient for the School of Travel Industry Management

High Honours 3.95/4.0 Cumulative GPA (Masters of Science)

-University of California, Santa Cruz, Environmental Studies-

Cum Laude

Honours in the Major

College Honours

Honours Thesis

Teaching interests

My teaching interests include sustainability and resilience, tourism, and wine business.

Topic coordinator
BUSN8007 Sustainability, Governance, and Ethics
BUSN2024 Sustainable Resource Management
BUSN3043 Sustainability, Governance, and Ethics
BUSN2106 Successful Strategies in Wine Tourism
Supervisory interests
Environmental management
Sustainable tourism
Tourism impacts
Wine industry
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