Jo is passionate about sustainability and her research and teaching reflect this. She has written extensively about making tourism travel more sustainable and teaches a Module about tourism development and sustainability. She has also published papers about travel disruption and how people adapt and adjust and is currently researching the connections between wellbeing and sustainability.
Jo is a researcher in the Institute of Transport and Tourism, where she has led a number of projects about tourist travel, focussing on the potential of reducing car travel in rural destinations. She also contributes to the Institute’s role as researchers for the European Parliament. Her interest in language and discourse recently resulted in co-authoring a paper about European tourism planning documents and how they address (or not) the conflict between sustainability and tourism growth. She has also used discourse analysis to examine Slow Tourism and how people talk about car travel and public transport. As Sustainability Lead for the School, Jo not only teaches an undergraduate module about tourism development and sustainability, but gives guest lectures about sustainability on a number of other modules within and outside the School. She firmly believes in equipping young people with the facts about climate change, but also potential alternative ways of organising society to be less destructive to nature and the planet: humans’ habitat.
Jo has always been intrigued by the way transport shapes society, both physically and in terms of power, wealth and opportunity. After her first degree in Geography and Economics, she spent several years at the University of Life, as a volunteer, temporary social worker, postie, English teacher, kitchen, bar and agricultural worker in England, Scotland, Spain and France. She then took a post graduate course in Transport and eventually became Assistant Transport co-ordinator for Norfolk. Dismayed by the dismantling of public transport in 1980s, Jo left her job and threw her energies into campaigning, while funding life as a prison teacher, temporary researcher and by teaching English. As an active campaigner for Friends of the Earth, Jo was asked to lead a national information-gathering exercise about the impacts of bus deregulation organised by a consortium of leading social and environmental charities. This involved numerous TV and radio appearances (eg Today Programme, BBC 6 o’clock News) and conference presentations. After raising a family and more English teaching, Jo was introduced to discourse analysis on a Master’s course and used this methodology for part of her doctorate research into bus and car travel. She has been a research fellow at the University of Central Lancashire since 2004 and in that time has published a number of papers about tourism and sustainability. She is also Vice President (Research) of the International Tourism Masters Network and in that role has attended a number of their conferences and meetings across Europe, always travelling by train, ferry and bus.