Jena Meinecke

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Jena Meinecke

Junior Research Fellow

Jena is a laboratory astrophysicist studying the origins of galactic and intergalactic magnetic fields. Using high-energy lasers such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF), she recreates astrophysical environments in the laboratory such as supernovas that could fit in the palm of your hand. This allows her to study phenomena which develops over hundreds, thousands, even millions of years within a few microseconds. In particular, Jena focuses on the generation and amplification of magnetic fields by both the Biermann battery mechanism and both developed turbulence and dynamo.

Press: IOP Physics World link
Video Clip: BBC Sky at Night link
Documentary: Science Channel link
Blog: IYL 2015 link


  • Junior Research Fellow of Christ Church College, University of Oxford (2015-present)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford University, SLAC (2015)


  • DPhil in Atomic and Laser Physics, University of Oxford (2016)
  • B.Sc. in Physics, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA (2011)

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Advisor: Professor Gianluca Gregori
Collaborations: TDYNO (Turbulent Dynamo) experiments on NIF, ACSEL (Collisionless Shocks) experiments on NIF and Omega/EP
Facilities: National Ignition Facility (NIF), Vulcan laser at the Central Laser Facility (CLF) at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, LULI laser at Ecole Polytechnique, Omega/EP in Rochester, Janus/Titan at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and LCLS at Stanford University


  • Young Researcher NIF User Group Executive Board Member (2015-present)
  • Graduate Representative for Physics, Oxford (2014-2015)
  • Graduate Academic Affairs Officer, Oxford University Student Union (2014-2015)
  • Equality and Diversity Representative, Oxford (2013-present)
  • Graduate Representative for Atomic and Laser Physics, Oxford (2012-2014)

Promoting Women in Science

  • Founder and former President of the Oxford Women in Physics Society (2013-2015)
  • Founder of the Oxford Women in Physics Mentoring Programme (2014), Coordinated by Natalie Fuller
  • Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) UK (2014)
  • Co-Founder of the ScienceGrrl Oxford Chapter (2014)

Science Education

  • Founder of Making Waves, 1hr outreach programme
  • STEM Ambassador
  • Oxford Pathways Graduate Tutor
  • Reddit Science AMA Series on using the National Ignition Facility for Discovery Science
  • Institute of Physics (IOP) Very Early Career Woman Physicist of the Year Award (Oct. 2015)
  • Television appearance BBC Sky at Night "Was the star of Bethlehem a supernova?" (Dec. 2015)
  • Radio appearance BBC Breakfast World Series (Nov. 2015)
  • Invited talk at the Conference on Laser Energetics (CLE) Yokohama, Japan (April 2015)
  • Research named Top Ten Breakthrough of 2014 by Physics World
  • Opened London Stock Exchange with the Women of the Future Programme (Feb 2015)
  • Invitation for Tea with the Speaker of the House of Commons (Feb. 2015)
  • Television appearance on Discovery Channel's How the Universe Works (Dec. 2014)
  • American Physical Society (APS) Woman Physicist of the Month (Oct. 2014)
  • Finalist for the Women of the Future: Science Award (Oct. 2014)
  • Finalist for the Institute of Physics (IOP) Very Early Career Woman Physicist of the Year Award (Oct. 2014)
  • Cover Feature on BBC's Sky at Night Magazine, "How to Make a Supernova"
  • Invited talk at the European Physical Society (EPS) Conference (June 2014)