Jennifer works in the fisheries department of the Marine Institute and is involved in prawn sampling and counting by underwater television survey.
During the summer, the Institute surveys prawns by throwing a sledge into Dublin Bay with a camera attached. The live feed is then examined and recorded to DVD.
Prawns live in special sediment as they make burrows. By counting the burrows the researchers can work out the number of prawns in an area. Jennifer does this by watching DVD footage of the surveys and manually counting the burrows using a hand counter.
While the surveys take place in the summer, Jennifer carries out prawn sampling in the laboratory in the winter, where she examines live specimens. She analyses the sex and maturity of the prawns.
The Marine Institute makes this work a priority as prawn fishing is a major part of the fisheries industry in Ireland.
Jennifer studied science in NUI Maynooth, specialising in biology and maths. She says she realised she was a “field-work type of person” and faced with many choices she chose to do a higher diploma in fisheries management in UCD.
Her position also involves going to sea for extended periods and Jennifer describes her work as "hi-tech without being too hi-tech".
Jennifer’s many hobbies include hiking and football. However her first love is snorkelling, which she enjoys doing wherever she is travelling around Ireland.