Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) got her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf Coast of Tampa and performing behavioral experiments at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, she left research to pursue a career in science writing. As The Scientist's managing editor, Jef edited features and oversaw the production of the TS Digest and quarterly print magazine. In 2022, her feature on uterus transplantation earned first place in the trade category of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.