I am a Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor based in the Manchester location of the Open University. I am the Qualification Lead for taught postgraduate studies in the School of Physical Sciences, and the chair of the module S818 Space Science.
In the period 2009-13, I led a pilot project (a Student Support Team Pilot Project) to try new approaches to student support for physical science students in a distance learning environment.
I am interested in the structure of the zodiacal cloud (interplanetary dust cloud) and more generally in debris discs around stars. I am currently leading a project that uses optical imaging from the STEREO mission to study the interplanetary cloud. A notable success of this project was the first imaging of a circumsolar dust ring at the orbit of Venus, see "Imaging of a Circumsolar Dust Ring near the Orbit of Venus", by Jones, Bewsher and Brown (2013), Science, 342, no. 6161, pp. 960-963. A shorter account of this work can be found at UK Solar Physics Nugget 49.
Most of my astronomical research has been based on data obtained from space-based instruments and observatories (EXOSAT, Ginga, ROSAT, IRAS, Spitzer and STEREO).
I also have a long-standing interest in the use of new technologies in teaching, which started while I worked as a software designer for the Open University (1993-96) and was in charge of the technical production of the OU's first teaching CD-ROM (for module THD204). At present, I am particularly interested in the ways in which learning can be facilitated by synchronous communication systems. I am (or have been) involved in the following projects:
I am involved in teaching of physics, astronomy and space science at all levels. Notable teaching developments are:
Production team chair for S282 Astronomy, and co-edited these books:
An Introduction to the Sun and Stars (eds. Simon F. Green and Mark H. Jones)
An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology (eds. Mark H. Jones, Robert J. Lambourne and Stephen Serjeant)
Member of the S382 Astrophysics module team and was responsible for developing an online group project based on data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey - reported on at NAM2010.
I was the production team chair of S818 Space science, and I am its current presentation chair.
I have also contributed to the production of the following OU modules: S103, SXR103, S207 and SXP288. I was the presentation chair of the undergraduate project module SXP390 from 2007-2013, and I have tutored at the following OU residential schools: SXR103, S271, S272, SXR207, SXR208, SMXR359.