Julia Jakel Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies
Hometown: Essen in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany
Educational background: I studied clinical psychology with a thesis on the long-term goals homeless Bolivian mothers have for their children. My PhD in developmental psychology focused on Turkish immigrant preschool children. I then began a long postdoc phase in the UK and Germany and received my higher doctorate from the Ruhr-University Bochum in 2015.
About her research: I am studying human development across the life course. For example, I investigate how early biological and environmental factors influence adult health and success. My main interest is protective factors that help at-risk children develop their full potential.
Together with my colleague Hillary Fouts, I study African refugee mothers’ protective infant care practices. My husband, Nils Jaekel (TPTE), and I investigate how bilingualism influences executive functions, and I also conduct randomized trials evaluating educational interventions.
Favorite thing about living in Knoxville: Everyone is incredibly friendly! I love the Southern climate (eating outside all year around) and being close to the mountains. Maybe most importantly, Knoxville is a great place for kids. My three sons enjoy playing soccer at Lakeshore Park, exploring Ijams, and we love having picnics and barbecues with other families.