Frances first became interested in fiddle traditions while she was living on the Shetland Islands between 1994 and 2001. She regularly played music at informal gatherings and sessions with many Shetland fiddlers and learnt many of the local tunes. Whilst studying at SOAS from 2001-2004, she wrote about various aspects of Shetland's fiddle tradition. She has since branched out to include research into the North-East Scottish and West Highland fiddle traditions, and the role of the fiddle 'at sea' among Scottish sailors.
More recently Frances has started working on a new research theme which explores the links between Orkney fiddle players of the past and the Cree fiddlers of today in the James Bay region of Ontario and Quebec.