Scientist and academic, Junior Research Group Leader at Leibniz-Institut for Catalysis
Jola was born and raised in a small town northwest of Hamburg, Germany, where her high school chemistry teachers sparked her curiosity in the chemical sciences. Lessons in making gummy bears and apple cider solidified her interest in organic chemistry. Jola’s career includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Göttingen and a doctorate with honors at the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis associated with the University of Rostock. Intermittent research stays in Stockholm and in Zurich led her to move across the pond to continue her postdoctoral studies amidst cornfields in central Illinois. In late 2016, Jola returned to the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis as an independent research group leader. Her team studies the synthesis of bioactive molecules promoted by light. Her involvement in teaching has taken Jola as far as Vietnam and (across the street) to the University of Rostock. She currently teaches high school teachers the fascinating science of natural products and seeks to foster the next round of curious children.