Ellen is a geochemist from the Netherlands. She became interested in chemistry through her love for astronomy and using science to understand the world around her.
What does Ellen do?
Ellen is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Geosciences in the Swedish Museum of Natural History. She is also the Head of a national laboratory for micro-analysis in geosciences.
Here, her research is in the fields of geochemistry, metamorphic petrology and tectonics.
So, what does this involve?
Ellen works with trace elements and isotopes in accessory minerals. She uses them to understand continental crust formation and the tectonics of mountain belts.
She doesn’t spend all her time in the laboratory; she loves to travel the world. Whilst travelling she speaks at conferences, gives presentations at research institutes and does field research in remote areas. It’s a very diverse job!
Currently working in Sweden, Ellen took the opportunity to advance her career. But, knowing that experience is vital, she questioned whether she had the knowledge she needed. Luckily, she has embraced the challenge. She built the national laboratory for micro-analysis from scratch from her own vision.
Ellen has incorporated her love for science and LEGO to inspire the next generation of scientists through ‘LEGO Ideas’. She is the face behind the new LEGO design called “Research Institute” which she has used to promote women in science. “I think displaying women in science in a popular toy can help convey the message to both girls and boys that it is perfectly normal for women to have these types of careers.”