Jane is a leading geochemist who has made major contributions to Earth and Environmental Science, concentrating on issues of particular relevance to society.
She is an international expert on chemicals in the environment, especially the naturally occurring radionuclides such as uranium and the trace elements arsenic and selenium. She developed the outstanding BGS Geochemical Baseline of the Environment (G-BASE) programme which maps the distribution of many different chemicals over the land surface of the UK and allows their interactions to be studied using geographical information systems or other digital methods. She developed the methods of systematically and reproducibly sampling and analysing sediment, soil and water samples, as well as the first quality-control systems for such data. The standard of the data is widely acknowledged as the best in the world, and the methods have been adopted by the IUGS/IAGC Global Geochemical Baseline Programme, which she leads jointly with the United States Geological Survey. She has used the data for many environmental studies, including issues related to human health and agriculture. She and her team have worked on problems related to human health in Asia and Africa helping, for example, to identify the relationship between a lack of available selenium in parts of China with the incidence of a type of heart disease.
Jane has also led many other fundamental geological and metallogenic studies.