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Jessica Wardlaw

Research Associate

I am a Research Associate with the Rights Lab's Slavery Observatory project. My research interests span Geography (including Web GIS, cartography, spatial cognition and knowledge construction, health geography) and Human-Computer Interaction (from applied aspects such as user-centred design, usability engineering and design practice, to cognitive aspects including sense- and decision-making, information visualisation and affective interaction design), especially as it applies to geographical and so-called "Big" data. I am especially interested in the boundary between amateur and professional, and human and machine, capabilities.

From 2015-2017, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI), University of Nottingham, involved in the development of an online Citizen Science project to identify and classify changes on the surface of Mars. The research received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme FP7 (2007 - 2013) under grant agreement no 607379:



Practical Expertise

Academic Positions:

  • April 2015 – March 2017. Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI), University of Nottingham.
  • Development of an online Citizen Science project to identify and classify changes on the surface of Mars. The research received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme FP7 (2007 - 2013) under grant agreement no 607379:

Teaching Experience: 

  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Design course on the MSc in GIS at UCL in 2010 and 2011.

Conference/Symposium Organisation:

  • Ada Lovelace Day 2016 at the University of Nottingham.

Digital Project:

Selected Publications

Wardlaw, J., Sprinks, J., Houghton, R., Muller, J-P., Sidiropoulos, P., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. (2018) Comparing experts and novices in Martian surface feature change detection and identification, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 64, pp. 354-364. DOI:

Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J., Houghton, R., Bamford, S., and Morley, J. (2017) Task Workflow Design and its impact on performance and volunteers’ subjective preference in Virtual Citizen Science. Int. J. of Human-Computer Studies, 104, 50-63. DOI:

Wardlaw, J., Cox, A.L. and Haklay, M. (2013) Adaptation of Method-resources Between Projects: A Case Study From a Dynamic and Complex Work Domain. Law, E.C., Hvannberg, E.T., Vermeeren A.P.O.S., Cockton, G. and Jokela, T. (eds.) Proceedings of CHI 2013 Workshop “Made for Sharing: HCI Stories of Transfer, Triumph and Tragedy, pp. 4-9.

Skarlatidou, A., Wardlaw, J., Haklay, M. and Cheng, T. (2011) Understanding the influence of specific Web GIS attributes in the formation of non-experts’ trust perceptions. Ruas, A. (ed.) Advances in Cartography and GIScience. Volume 1. Selection from ICC 2011, Paris. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Springer Berlin, pp. 219-238. DOI:

Jones, S., Wardlaw, J., Carolan, M. and Crouch, S. (2011) Modelling catchment areas for acute providers: a case study. Health Care Management Science, 14(3), pp. 253-261. DOI:

Farr, M., Wardlaw, J. and Jones, C. (2008) Tackling health inequalities using geodemographics: a social marketing approach. Int. J. Market Research, 50(4), pp. 449-468.

Book chapters:

  • Haklay, M., Wardlaw, J. and Mazumdar, S. (2018) Citizen Science for observing and understanding the Earth. In: Mathieu, P.P. and Aubrecht, C. (Eds). The International Space Science Institute (ISSI) Book on Earth Observation (EO) Open Science and Innovation. Springer.
  • Wardlaw, J. (2010) Principles of interaction. In: Haklay, M. (ed.) Interacting with Geospatial Technologies, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, pp. 179-198.


Conference presentations:

Wardlaw, J., Jackson, B., Foody, G.M., Boyd, D.S., and Marsh, S. (2018) Designing a Crowdsourcing Project for Processing of Remotely Sensed Data. American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing Annual Conference, Denver, USA.

Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J., Houghton, R., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. (2016) Better the Martian you know? Trust in the crowd vs. trust in the machine when using a Martian Citizen Science platform. Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress (DPS/EPSC), Pasadena, USA.

Houghton, R., Wardlaw, J., Sprinks, J., Giordano, M., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. (2016) Martian Factors: A Systems Ergonomics Approach To Citizen Science. Human Factors in Complex Systems Conference, University of Nottingham, UK.

Wardlaw, J., Sprinks, J., Houghton, R., Bamford, S., Morley, J. and Marsh, S. (2015) iMars: Crowd-Sourced Analysis of Imagery for Geological Change on Mars. Annual Meeting of the Geological Remote Sensing Group, Frascati, Italy.

Sprinks, J. Houghton, R., Bamford, S., Morley, J. and Wardlaw, J. (2015) Is that a Crater? Designing Citizen Science Platforms for the Volunteer and to Improve Results. EPSC, Nantes, France.

Wardlaw, J., Haklay, M. and Cox, A.L. (2014) Inside the ‘Big Data’ Factory: Lessons from Health Informatics. The Sixth ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems, Rome, Italy. Workshop: HCI Engineering - Charting the Way towards Methods and Tools for Advanced Interactive Systems.

Wardlaw, J. and Haklay, M. (2009) Mapping in the UK Health Informatics Sector. The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association GIS in Public Health Conference, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Conference posters:

  • Muller, J., Sidiropoulos, P., Tao, Y., Putri, K., Campbell, J., Xiong, S., Gwinner, K., Willner, K., Fanara, L., Waehlisch, M., Walter, S., Schreiner, B., Steikert, R., Ivanov, A., Cantini, F., Wardlaw, J., Sprinks, J., Houghton, R. and Kim, J. (2017). EU-FP7-iMARS: analysis of Mars multi-resolution images using auto-coregistration, data mining and crowd source techniques: A Final Report on the very variable surface of Mars, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 19, EGU2017-18917-1, 2017. European Geosciences Union (EGU), Vienna, Austria.
  • Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J. and Priestnall, G. (2017) MarsCAPE: Exploring the Martian Landscape through PARM (Projected Augmented Relief Model), Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 19, EGU2017-16620-1, 2017. EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J., Houghton, R., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. (2016) Mars in Motion: An online Citizen Science platform looking for changes on the surface of Mars. DPS/EPSC, Pasadena, USA.
  • Wardlaw, J. and Haklay, M. (2012) Supporting Decision Making Through the User Interface: Health Information Technology in a Public Health System Context. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Health Care Symposium, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
  • Wardlaw, J., Haklay, M. and Jones, C.E. (2009) Developing a New Approach to Geovisualization for Health Professionals. GIS Research UK Conference, Durham University.

Public Engagement Activities

  • 28/01, 04/07/ and 10/11 2016; 20/11/2017: Space industry career talks, National Space Academy, National Space Centre, Leicester;
  • 04/15-Present: Active STEMNET Ambassador and Royal Geographical Society Geography Ambassador at secondary schools;
  • April 2017: workshop with 100 secondary school children visiting the University of Nottingham with the Smallpeice Trust;
  • Presented MarsCAPE at a range of public engagement events, from research showcases at the University of Nottingham, to family days organised by the Nottinghamshire branch of the British Science Association and Fun Palaces. For a full list visit:


  • 2016: UK Space Agency – ‘Space for All’ Community Funding Scheme: Mars Communicated through an Augmented Physical Environment (MarsCAPE). £6,000 to build an interactive physical model of the Martian landscape.
  • 2016: Runner up for table-top demonstrations for MarsCAPE at the Engineering Research Showcase, University of Nottingham.
  • 2015: EPSRC Big Data Funding £2,700 for Geospatial Big Data workshops in collaboration between NGI, UCL and Oxford.
  • 2010: Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (£82,500 over three years). This included presenting a poster to the Princess Royal.
  • 2008: Collaborative Research Award at the Market Research Society’s Research Awards.