Torn between studying math or physics and her passion for glider flying, Daniela Jacob ultimately decided to study meteorology at the Technical University Darmstadt in Germany. After completing her PhD at GKSS Research Center, Daniela moved to Boulder, Colorado, to work at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). As a visiting scientist, Daniela simulated snowstorms with the Clark model using the two-way nesting technique. In 1993, she moved to Hamburg, Germany, where she carried out research at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. It was there that she first developed the regional climate model that could be used to calculate the regional impacts of climate change. Daniela proved distinct excellence in regional climate modelling and is the current director of the country’s first institute for climate services called Climate Service Centre Germany (GERICS).
‘Think about what is important for you and what makes you happy - if you are happy at work, success will come, too.’
Throughout her career, Daniela has experienced difficulties with men in higher positions who distrusted her skills as a scientist. She challenged their perceptions by consistently demonstrating excellence in research as well as persistence in her argumentation – she would keep on talking until they were convinced.
Nowadays, as a leading scientist and director, she encourages equal opportunities for all staff by promoting a healthy work and life balance and offering flexible working hours. She also makes sure that an equal share of male and female staff members are hired.
Daniela advises those who want to pursue scientific careers to think about what is important for to them and would make them happy – if you are happy at work, success will come.