This post is part of the Meet the ETCL Team series, which introduces the wonderful people who work in the lab and who have worked with us in the past.

Jesse (“JT”) Thomas (née Kern) is a graduate research assistant at the ETCL. They are a queer nonbinary early career scholar living on the unceded territory of the Musqueam peoples at the University of British Columbia. They are currently doing an MA at UBC in Archival, Library, and Information Science. In September 2023 they joined the ACA (Association of Canadian Archivists) UBC Student Chapter executive as webmaster and peer mentor. JT received their BA in Philosophy in 2012 and in Classics in 2019, both from UVic.

JT was first introduced to the ETCL as an Open Knowledge Practicum (OKP) fellow in 2019 during their Classics BA and as a Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) attendee. JT started as a research assistant at the lab in March 2021. They are primarily a copyeditor/proofer for the Interdisciplinary Digital Engagement in Arts & Humanities (IDEAH) journal. They are also involved in a number of other lab activities, including DHSI. During their time at the lab, they have had the chance to be part of the team writing open-scholarship related annotations and to co-author three blog posts for the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory on NHDS (Feb 2022), CRKN (Jul 2022); and BOIA20 (Sep 2023).

JT appreciates that the lab has shown them how important practices of trust and care are in academic work, while also giving them the chance to participate in community-led infrastructure and open access publishing. They maintain their own pubpub sandbox ( to test out functions for IDEAH and sometimes share digital tools.

In their free time, they like to listen to audiobooks from Librivox, or cuddle up with their wife to watch an old tv show or a YouTube video. Their favourite genres are American science fiction and English fiction pre-1950. They enjoy making things, tinkering, and teaching their friends and classmates about technology. Their preferred Linux/GNU distribution is Debian and they are currently dabbling in Python and JavaScript and trying to remember CSS.