Jean joined SEI in 2019 as a Research Fellow, working on existing citizen science and participatory research projects. She then worked with Kevin Hicks on iCASP INMY Farm (Integrated Nitrogen Management on Yorkshire Farms) and currently works with Steve Cinderby on TransFIRe (Transforming Foundation Industries Research and Innovation Hub) concentrating on facilitating innovative approaches to sustainability, sharing expertise between industries, and engaging industry with communities.
Jean left a successful career as an academic cognitive scientist to pursue her interest in environmental topics in 2015, completing an MSc in Environmental Science and Management at University of York and then a year of postgraduate study at Loughborough University where she was mapping vegetation in peat bogs using multispectral sensors on UAVs (drones). She then worked at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) where she supported the EU-funded RAPID LIFE Project on strategies for controlling invasive species across the UK, particularly in aquatic, riparian and coastal areas.
Before embarking on the career change, Jean was a cognitive scientist, having earned an MSc and PhD from Carnegie Mellon. For almost 25 years, she worked in the UK in psychology departments, research centres and medical schools in Edinburgh, Newcastle and York. Her research mostly was in applied educational topics such as core skills of using external representations for problem-solving, the role of dialogue in learning and how people learn from observing other learners (vicarious learning). She helped set up the Hull York Medical School starting in 2003 where she had various roles including developing the Personal and Professional Development strand in the curriculum, implementing the e-learning strategy for the medical school, overseeing assessment activities as Associate Dean for Assessment, contributing to development and delivery of behavioural and social science learning outcomes in the MBBS, and conducting educational research. She also initiated the postgraduate programmes in Medical Education (Cert, Dip and MSc) as well as supervising dissertations and other independent projects.