Jenny Bower


I am queer and I am a soil scientist.//


Hey! I’m a PhD candidate investigating how soil conditions affect the breakdown of minerals in forests. The trillions of tiny minerals in the earth below our feet provide life-essential nutrients to ecosystems and feed us all. Understanding how minerals decompose can help us see how nutrients are released, pollutants behave, and carbon is sequestered. My goal is to increase our knowledge of how soil stewards us, and encourage better stewardship of soil.

Being gay and a woman in earth science has been difficult (and rewarding), which is why I am telling my story. Despite hurdles and setbacks, I am lucky to have been mentored by wonderful humans, and am similarly committed to mentorship and improving inclusion in STEM.

My happy place is in the forest doing fieldwork with a shovel and a hot-pink bandana. In my free time, I enjoy amateur mushroom foraging, playing music, and hanging out with my partner, who is very tolerant of my muddy life.