Janet’s interests are in ecological processes that occur over space and time. Dispersal, colonisation and establishment of species are important processes that may influence conservation management decisions, habitat creation and enhancement of ecological communities: they may also influence biodiversity in the wider landscape. Experiences in 1990’s in facilitating community participation, river restoration research and floodplain habitat surveying in Northamptonshire has led to her current interests in sustainable land use practices in wet places and the planning and management of multifunctional Green Infrastructures.
Janet and her colleagues in Environmental Science began to research and monitoring in urban extension to Northampton at Upton in 2003. This development includes a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS): a roof to river surface run off retention system to prevent additional flood risk in Northampton. Along with colleagues in the School of Social Sciences and in Science Education, an interdisciplinary team have been researching biodiversity and ecological values; ecosystem functions and services and sediment transport within these new urban wetlands and are currently researching people’s perceptions of water in the landscape and sustainable development policy.
The Upton development also provided the research team with opportunities to examine concepts of best practice behind the Sustainable Communities policy including: urban design, construction, ‘eco-friendly’ living, resource efficiency and renewable energy production (including energy from biofuels). Recently, Janet has been involved as a joint partnership initiative to develop the “Sustainable Home Innovation Network [SHINE]”; in collaboration with Universities of Loughborough and Nottingham. SHINE associated funding applications are focussing on modelling and testing the application of renewable technologies in occupied dwellings coupled with the development of education and training packages for industry and residents.