I’m a chemistry professor, a novelist, an Iowan. When I was a girl my high school guidance councilor told me that women couldn’t be scientists and so of course that’s what I wanted to be. I went to the University of Iowa–I’m not one to roam–and studied both chemistry and creative writing.

I live in the small town of Pella in an old house that needs fixing up and I fear I’ll never escape. Like the women in my family before me (K haplo group by the way), I can make a home so cozy that it’s like a black hole. Writing is a way for me to free myself from and laugh about this place–Iowa– where there are more hogs than people. An intelligent friend once urged me to flee the country and I didn’t. I was caught up in motherhood and the chemistry I was doing at the time. Perhaps that’s why I now see absurdity at every turn and have a particular sympathy for female protagonists in unsupportive societies.

I’ve always been “curiouser and curiouser”. Chemistry is my profession and I love being a chemist and understanding what’s in stuff. Like any nerd, I’m glad to talk about it, too.

Follow me on Twitter here and I’ll follow you back. I post about science and women’s rights and now and then about books.

If you’re more of a Facebook fan, go here.


My latest novel is Mixed In.

“Hilarious, life-affirming, politically provocative . . . I loved seeing the world from the viewpoint of a chemist! A page-turner plot and clever writing.”

“Meet an author not afraid of mixing genres, Catherine Haustein! Drawing on her background as a chemist, she infuses comedy into serious tales about female scientists.” City Owl Press site

I’m the author of Natural Attraction, a science based tale set in 1871. Follow Clementine’s adventures as she chases her dream of being a naturalist when society stands against her.

“The novel reminds me of Jane Eyre, where you’re tempted to think it’s an ordinary love story. But, instead, it takes you on a twisted ride that harkens back to the Victorian period and all its eccentricities. Remarkably funny, so much so that I laughed out loud; a relatable heroine that will strike a cord with many women; and a satisfying romance that isn’t so predictable.” (Goodreads review)

I’m also a chemistry professor and with the help of my students have developed a lab manual that uses low hazard chemicals. Cleaner, Greener Labs provides fifteen safer, greener labs for teaching chemical analysis. Take a peek at my students performing these labs on Instagram here.

You can read one of my short stories, the inspiration for Mixed In, here.



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