Laurie Bonnici is an Associate Professor College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama. As an information naturalist, Laurie’s research involves observation of users in social media environments. Her interest is the construction and use of knowledge by members in specialized social media groups and topics. Specifically, she examines user adoption of second hand knowledge as a source of information in critical decision contexts, especially issues related to health and personal welfare. To garner a deeper interpretation of user behaviors in small, specialized knowledge groups, she focuses on small datasets to enlighten individual observations in information crisis contexts. The broad aim of her research is to provide people with tools and strategies to evaluate information constructed in social media contexts, and to understand how second hand knowledge facilitates decisions in conditions where there is a deficit of formal knowledge.
During her time in residence at the lab, Laurie will be exploring ways to use social media data and social media analysis tools to examine how pet owners are using the affordances of social media to deal with pet loss and mourning.