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Good vibes

Laetitia Marrot, researcher at InnoRenew CoE; main area of research: renewable materials science


  • Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

I spent my childhood in the suburbs of Paris in a city of about 60 000 inhabitants. Now, I live in the city center of Koper, and I enjoy being able to go almost everywhere (work, shopping, sea, bars, and restaurants) by foot.

  • What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?

I studied material science because it combines chemistry and physics, two of my favorite fields of study.

  • How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

I develop new materials with a lower impact on the environment by using renewable resources like biomass (such as hemp or wood and fungi).

  • What does your typical working day look like?

Tea with Juljia, Balázs, and Vaclav, read scientific articles to gather information on a specific topic, plan experiments, write articles, projects, and proposals.

  • What makes you excited about your work?

Interacting and having fun with my coworkers, contributing to the development of more sustainable materials, being amazed by the new technologies we are capable of developing.

  • And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

The biggest challenge is to work with people having very different backgrounds (computer science, human health, etc vs material science) to find the right terms to understand each other. Communicating in English when it is not our mother tongue is also challenging for understanding.

  • Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

I am fascinated by planes. It’s amazing to be able to make such a heavy object fly, with people breathing, eating, reading, watching movies, and even surfing on the internet on board. They barely notice that they are thousands of meters in the air and can feel perfectly safe.

  • Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

Music is part of my daily life. I listen to music depending on my mood and music has an impact on my mood. I have played classical guitar for years. It is a good way to improve patience, perseverance, memory, and open-mindedness.

  • What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

A documentary about our dependence on plastics and how it impacts the environment. We do not want to open our eyes, and it was really painful for me to face reality. I am afraid that it is already too late.

  • Describe your very first impression of Slovenia.

Lovely. It was in August, when I came for the interview. I felt instantly good when I met Dave, and then Mike and Matt, at the Museum bar, and I had a good feeling with the other InnoRenew people who came to see my presentation and after for lunch. Good vibes. Nice and cheap food. Cute, clean, and peaceful city of Koper, beautiful weather and sea. The only drawback was the huge amount of mosquitoes!

  • What do you like about Slovenia and what do you miss most from your homeland?

I like feeling safe in the streets, having lots of cafes, bars, and restaurants around, being able to communicate with local people because they almost all speak really good English, and having accessible hikes close by. I do not miss anything so far, besides my family and friends from France.

  • Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

Koper. I visited Izola, Piran, and Portoroz, but Koper is the city where I feel at home. I walk by the beautiful flat sea every morning with the sunrise and the boats, and it enlightens my day.

  • What makes you enthusiastic?

Spending time outdoors with my dog and friends, going out for drinks and good food, going to concerts, working on challenging topics, traveling.

  • Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

Don’t worry, be happy. Enjoy life in the present and follow your gut.

  • What does the charm of wood mean to you?

The charm of wood is the feeling of serenity that it conveys. Even if we are city animals now, it always feels good to be around wood.