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Lea Nienhaus

Maid of Honor

When Lea first joined the Bawendi Lab as a postdoctoral associate, Jess mentored her on lead sulfide synthesis and lab safety practices. Lea returned the favor by teaching Jess how to make the best German schnitzel and spaetzle of all time, and the finest wines to pair with each step in the process. Jess obviously got the better end of this deal, and has tried ever since to demonstrate that she is worthy of such a talented friend. In their after-work yoga class, Jess would show off complicated arm balances, while Lea would literally cartwheel around her and perform handstands and splits with ease. The two eventually realized they were strongest when training together, and started spending hours long sessions together at the Harvard Stadium and Watertown Gym. Even after workouts, they would collaborate on consuming the Double Lobster Roll Special at Charlie’s Kitchen in Harvard Square. Their training culminated in an epic biking voyage along Trapelo Road, which Google described as “mostly flat” almost certainly out of irony.

Lea and Jess have reached their retirement phase of training, with Lea living in and Jess visiting Florida. Jess still learns from Lea, most recently how to make pasta from scratch, and the two always have a beach trip in the plans.

Lea is now an Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry at Florida State University, a frequent winner of C&EN’s science photo competition, and a Google Scholar.

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