Lab Girl


Hope Jahren

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Hope Jahren

The author and narrator of Lab Girl, Hope Jahren is an award-winning paleobiologist and research professor. She conducts her research with her lab partner, Bill, whom she met as a graduate student and with… read analysis of Hope Jahren


Bill is Hope Jahren’s lab partner and closest friend. The two met when Bill was an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and Jahren was a graduate student, assisting on a field trip… read analysis of Bill


Clint is Hope Jahren’s husband, a mathematician who also works at the University of Hawaii. The two met at a party in Baltimore, while Jahren was working at Johns Hopkins University. After they got… read analysis of Clint

Jahren’s Father

Jahren’s father is the source of her first experiences in science: she spent nearly every evening of her childhood in her father’s science lab, at the local community college where he worked. He… read analysis of Jahren’s Father

Jahren’s Mother

Jahren dedicates Lab Girl to her mother, yet notes in the memoir that the two women had a strained relationship. Jahren’s mother was also intelligent and interested in science at a young age, and she… read analysis of Jahren’s Mother
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Jahren’s Son

Before her son was born, Jahren was worried that she would not be able to give a child all of her love; however, she adores her son, and he has changed her outlook on parenting… read analysis of Jahren’s Son

Jahren’s Brothers

Jahren refers to her older brothers only to mention that she hardly noticed when they left home for college, because they hardly spoke to her when they lived at home. Growing up, Jahren’s family life… read analysis of Jahren’s Brothers

Walter, the Department Chair

When Jahren was working at Johns Hopkins University, she and Clint had a baby. While she was pregnant with her son, her department chair banned her from her own lab, citing liability issues… read analysis of Walter, the Department Chair


One of the undergraduate students in her lab at Georgia Tech, Teri agrees to join the group on a trip to California to get Jahren to a conference in San Francisco. She is the one… read analysis of Teri


Ed is an older professor and science researcher who is very close to retirement. He was a friend of Jahren’s dissertation advisor, and she considered him like an uncle to her. After she set… read analysis of Ed