Jennifer O’Neill, MSc

Research Scientist

Jennifer is a Research Scientist with over a decade of experience.

Jennifer O’Neill, MSc – Research Scientist

Jennifer is a Research Scientist with over a decade of experience conducting research for various academic institutions, federal government entities, and not-for-profit agencies. She combines a background in Aquatic Research, Applied Optics, Geomatics, and Communications with experience in the realms of artisanal mining, small- and large-scale fisheries, and habitat management to form a multidisciplinary approach. Prior to joining the AGC in early 2017, Jennifer worked on a broad range of issues, including ecological response to environmental disturbance, the feasibility of natural resource mapping and monitoring using satellite and aerial imagery, and the integration of social and environmental considerations in resource conservation and marine spatial planning.

Jennifer was Project Manager for “Sustainable Development of ASGM in Indonesia” and “Reducing Mercury Use in Papua New Guinea’s ASGM Sector”. As a research scientist and field lead, she carried out mercury inventory and exploration of the formal and informal ASGM sector around the world. She also facilitated workshops for governments, academic groups, and NGOs on the topic, enabling Parties of the Minamata Convention to formulate data-backed mercury reduction strategies. With a specialization and industry experience in remote sensing, she led remote mapping projects, from image acquisition through calibration, analysis, map creation, and on-the-ground validation. Jennifer has worked with miners and stakeholders in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Ecuador, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Kenya, and Mozambique.

In a synthesis of these activities, Jennifer is the lead author of “Estimating Mercury Use and Documenting Practices in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining,” a guidebook and suite of data tools that may be used to explore and understand the sector at a country scale and produce defensible estimates of mercury used, gold produced, and miner population. She was also involved with the AMAP UNEP Global Mercury Assessment 2018, which aims to provide up-to-date information on worldwide atmospheric emissions, aquatic releases, and the transport and fate of mercury in the global environment.

She holds a B.Sc. in Biology and Geography and a M.Sc. in Geomatics from the University of Victoria, Canada.