First Name
Last Name
Assistant Professor
Office Room
Hennings 344A
Lab Room
Hennings 205
Tel (Office)
+1 (604) 822 3853
Research Groups

Bachelor's Degree
Syracuse University, B.S. Physics and Journalism

Master's Degree
University of Massachusetts Amherst, M.S. Physics

Doctoral Degree
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ph.D. Physics (2015)

Employment History
  • Assistant professor at UBC, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 2019-present 
  • Postdoctoral scholar in experimental physics at Caltech, Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, 2015-2019

  • Canada Research Chair in Gravitational Wave Astrophysics - Tier II starting in 2021

  • Physics World 2017 Breakthrough of the Year awarded to the international team of astronomers and astrophysicists that contributed to the first ever multi-messenger observation involving gravitational waves

  • 2017 Breakthrough of the Year awarded by Science magazine to LIGO, Virgo, and astronomer partners around the world for observing the "Cosmic Convergence" of two neutron stars

  • Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research awarded to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration in 2017

  • Bruno Rossi Prize awarded by the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society in 2017 to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration

  • UK Royal Astronomical Society 2017 Group Achievement Award in Astronomy awarded to the LIGO team

  • Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics awarded to contributors to the gravitational wave discovery in 2016

  • Physics World 2016 Breakthrough of the Year awarded to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration

  • 2016 Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize awarded to the LIGO team

Committees and Service


Research Area
Astronomy & Astrophysics

Research Field
Gravitational wave astrophysics

Research Topics
Multi-messenger astronomy, characterization of large-scale physics instrumentation, data science, machine learning, black holes, neutron stars, core-collapse supernovae

Research Title
Discovering the cosmos with gravitational waves


The gravitational waves astrophysics group at UBC is a leader in international LIGO detector characterization and data calibration efforts; both foundational to astrophysics results. Working with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, we contribute to searches for gravitational waves from spinning neutron stars and estimation of the properties of gravitational wave sources like merging black holes and neutron stars. We also develop novel methods to enable multi-messenger astrophysics with the LIGO, Virgo, KAGRA, and LISA gravitational-wave detectors. 

Jess has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2007 and an associate member of the LISA Consortium since 2017.