Jake Higgins

He/Him/ They/Them

I am bisexual and queer and I am a graduate student in physical chemistry at Uchicago.//

Right now I consider myself bisexual, which to me means that I could be attracted to any gender.

I study photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, which is a technique that allows us to observe the time-dependent behavior of molecules in the excited state. I try to understand how the protein environment interacts with the pigments to facilitate efficient molecular processes, like energy transfer. I also spend a lot of time ruminating on mixed electronic-nuclear dynamics and how we can more clearly observe them using this technique.

My queerness is one of the parts of my identity that majorly shapes the way I view and move through the world. (Others include being raised in the middle class in a rural southern town, my whiteness, and my gender.) I have been out for a while now, but I only recently made the decision to start taking up the space that is my own. It can still be very hard at times, but since doing so I’ve felt a level of creativity and joy that I never would have thought was there.