Jennifer focuses on how engagement, motivation and well-being develop within educational settings and across educational transitions during the first 24 years of life. She coordinates local and international fieldwork on pedagogy and student psychology, analyses international longitudinal secondary data, and designs and evaluates competency based interventions for children, adolescents and young adults. In addition to "Understanding School Transition", Jennifer has written and edited books on schooling and mental health, and the school-to-work transition.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil and PhD in Education and Psychology. Jennifer also holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Before training as a researcher, Jennifer worked as an English Literature and Language teacher with a specialism in the middle years of schooling. Jennifer's multidisciplinary perspectives facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration and enrich her work in developmental science.

Her research at University College Dublin is funded by numerous awards including an Irish Research Council (IRC) grant 'Research for Policy and Society'. She has been a Postdoctoral Fellow on the international Pathways to Adulthood Programme funded by the Jacobs Foundation, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Universities of Bristol and Helsinki, and a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. Jennifer has an established record of working for charities including Concern Worldwide, the Nuffield Foundation and the Paul Hamyln Foundation.