Jes is a terrestrial ecologist, and essentially classes herself as a greedy scientist who cannot decide what discipline to follow. So, she does a little bit of all of them at once instead of having to choose! She uses zoology, botany, physiology, environmental science, a bit of soil chemistry, a dash of microbiology and general wistful thinking whilst looking at beautiful landscapes, to answer questions about how ecosystems work. She thinks that working out how all the interactions and connections that make nature what it is, is the biggest question she could possibly ask the planet. And especially in places like the Arctic and Antarctic, or up mountains, where ecosystems are the most sensitive to change. And the views are also not bad. Jes likes cats and cheese, in that order and definitely not at the same time. She doesn’t much like alien invaders and is regretting writing about herself in third person, but for the sake of continuity will have to stick with it....
Her fickle nature has led her to a range of places, to look at a range of things: from studying tardigrades in glaciers on Svalbard; Arctic foxes in the mountains of Norway; moss in the upland bogs across the Pennines of England; and midge on a remote island in Antarctica. She loves being in these environments but dislikes being cold, so has developed a strong attachment to her tea-flask. She currently lives and works in Trondheim, Norway where she tries very hard to avoid winters.
Her work currently focusses on invasive species in the polar regions: alien midge in Antarctica and alien plants in the Arctic for instance. Her research naturally overlaps with biosecurity and areas of policy that may mitigate ecological change as a result of alien introductions. She also loves ice, not only in her gin, but also the glacial type, and investigating what lives in it and what importance the terrestrial cryosphere has in shaping alpine and polar ecosystems.
Jes enjoys science communication and sits on the British Ecological Society’s public engagement working group, where she nags people about the importance of digital media. She is also actively involved in Equality and Diversity committees where she advocates for women in science and is opening up discussion on mental health in the workplace for all persons.
You can hear her speaking about herself and her work in first person, like a normal human, here.
Biotic and abiotic interactions - unpicking ecosystems and the influence of climate change
How do these ecosystem drivers survive such tough environments
How are invasive organisms affecting already fragile polar and alpine ecosystems?
Ensuring applied science gets heard, and is valued as a force for positive and affirmative change.
2015 - 2019
University of Birmingham/ British Antarctic Survey
2013 - 2014
University of Sheffield
MSc (Res) Polar & Alpine Change
2008 - 2011
University of Nottingham
BSc (Hons) Zoology