Jena Meinecke

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Jena Meinecke

Junior Research Fellow

Jena is a laboratory astrophysicist studying the origins of magnetic fields. Using high-energy lasers such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser, she recreates astrophysical objects in the laboratory such as supernovas-- centimeters rather than parsecs in diameter. 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 developed turbulence, respectively.

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)