Over the past 25 years she has pursued research interests in the acceleration of scientific innovation through: distributed computing, workflows and automation; knowledge management and the Semantic Web; social, virtual environments; software engineering for scientific software; and new models of scholarship for data-intensive science. Since 2001 she has directed a large, mixed team of researchers, computational scientists and software engineers that specialise in e-Science.
As an applied computer scientist she has always worked alongside other disciplines. She pioneered ontology-based systems for data and model curation, the integration biology data resources and provenance. She has applied the state of the art in distributed, service-based computing and social collaboration to bioinformatics, particularly Systems Biology. She is responsible for many widely used open source e-Science software and she has been a strong advocate for putting software innovations into real practice. She co-founded the UK's Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute and the Software Sustainability Institute UK.
She is leading activities in European e-Infrastructure for Life Sciences and is Deputy Director of the UK's ELIXIR Node and WG leader for data/model management of Infrastructure Systems Biology Europe. She is a member of the BBSRC Council, and has served on advisory and funding boards for ERC, STFC, BBSRC, EPSRC, Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, as well as numerous oversight committees including the Dutch National Bioinformatics Centre, the EU Enabling Grids for E-Science, NERC Environmental Virtual Observatory and the Software Carpentry Advisory Board.
In 2008 she was awarded the Microsoft Jim Gray e-Science award for contributions to e-Science. In 2012 she was a nominated finalist for the Benjamin Franklin award for contributions to Open Access in Life Science.
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