Forces of Change

Jennifer King

Jennifer King

Assistant Professor
of Biochemistry
University of Minnesota

From toads to rice paddies to ultra violet rays, Jennifer King has followed a fascinating path. She works in a new field called biogeochemistry that explores how all Earth’s systems affect each other.

How did you become interested in how the Earth works?

My grandmother was a biologist. When I was very young, I caught frogs and toads with her. That’s how I became interested in biology and the natural world. In college, I studied rice paddies in Texas and then entered the field of biogeochemistry.

What are you trying to find out?

We are trying to understand the interconnectedness of the whole Earth system. For example, we’re learning how the Sun’s rays affect soil.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

Discovering new things and understanding how the world works is really exciting. I love sharing knowledge, teaching, and mentoring.