Pinaud is an expert on South Sudan and Africa. Her research concerns the history of the relationship between women, civilians at large, and the armed groups in South Sudan's second and third civil wars. It explores the wartime processes of social class formation and violence. Trained as a political scientist and a historian, her approach is inter-disciplinary and her findings are based on two years and a half of field research in South Sudan, where she worked for international aid agencies. Her dissertation was on the history of women's relationship with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) during the second civil war in South Sudan (1983-2005). Her published articles explored various aspects of her research including the making of national history, the SPLA's military history and predatory behaviors, and marital practices. Pinaud's book project focuses on a socio-economic history of South Sudan's second and third civil wars (2013-) inclusive of women. This project illustrates a broader interest in the relationship between violence, predation, military allegiance and gendered processes of social class and state formation, in wars across different times and spaces.