Jane Wright was born in Ontario, Canada. She received a BSc (Hons) in 1976 from Queen's University, Canada. She studied lady beetle biology at the University of Guelph, Canada, and received an MSc there in 1978. In 1984 she was awarded a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, where she researched the biology of a parasitic wasp.
In 1984 Wright took a position with CSIRO Entomology and is still with that organisation. She spent 1984-1988 working on the biological control of dung-breeding flies in South Africa and Brisbane. In 1988 she moved to Canberra as an insect ecologist and behaviourist with CSIRO Entomology’s Stored Grain Research Laboratory (SGRL). At SGRL her work has included trapping and detecting insects in stored grain products and the distribution, ecology and control of the warehouse beetle. Wright was Head of SGRL from 1997-2005. After a stint commercialising fumigant technology from SGRL and another managing the operations of CSIRO Entomology, Jane retired in 2009.
Since then, Jane has been an Honorary Fellow at CSIRO, leading a project to introduce more dung beetles to Australia, in an effort to finish the job started so ably by her predecessors.