"Growing up with a close bond to nature, I have always been fascinated by the underlying mechanisms governing what we can and cannot see. What makes beautiful sunset colors? Where does thunder come from? Why is shark skin rough? Studying physics allowed me to glimpse some of these mechanisms and taught me to think creatively. Curiosity and the appreciation of discoveries are my everyday motivation to keep pushing the boundaries of our knowledge about nature.
As a Ph.D. student at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, I can incorporate my interest in biology with my physics background by investigating colors in nature. Within the field of natural photonics, I work towards understanding how nature produces its incredible color palette and uncovering the driving forces behind its emergence. Brilliantly shimmering blue butterflies, bright green birds, golden bugs, and silvery fish all rely on photonic structures that cause light interference effects, which produce these stunning appearances. Learning from nature how to make colors that don’t fade over time with photonic structures has revolutionized optical technologies and might someday help us live more environmentally friendly. Lastly, I firmly believe that understanding nature’s achievements makes us appreciate and protect our planet, which is now more critical than ever.
As a woman in science, I was lucky and will be forever grateful to have grown up in a time and place without facing sexually discriminating environments. Free in my interests and educational choices, I was supported by my family throughout, and I wish this was not considered a privilege among women. My concern is to give girls and young women an unbiased perspective on their future. Each of them deserves to follow their interests, inside and outside of science, free from conventional role models and sexual discrimination that I hope to see disappear by unitedly standing up against it."