Jillian grew up on a lake in Maine and her love for water started at an early age. Snorkeling with manatees at the age of 9 solidified her desire to work with marine animals. An internship with Mote Marine Lab’s Center for Shark Research sparked her continuing exploration & research of sharks around the world.
After graduating from the University of New England with a degree in behavioral biology, she took a job as divemaster/naturalist & crew on a research vessel based in Key West. Onboard Jillian worked with National Geographic, Mote Marine Lab, Wes Pratt & Jeff Carrier, Sylvia Earl, NOAA, National Marine Sanctuaries, Dr. Samuel Gruber and REEF. It was during this time that Jillian was first introduced to underwater photography and video.