Stephanie Connon

Senior Research Scientist, California Institute of Technology
Los Angeles, CA, United States

About Stephanie



Oregon State University
Ph.D. Microbiology, 2003
Washington State University
B.S. Environmental Science, 1996, cum laude
B.S. Biology, 1996, cum laude

Current, Senior Research Scientist. California Institute of Technology
• Manage Dr. Victoria Orphan's lab and conduct research on microbial life at methane seeps on the sea-floor.

05/2008 to 09/2009, Staff Scientist. NASA-JPL / Caltech Dept of Chemistry
• Managed research project to examine the ability of bacteria to exist under Mars-like conditions.
• Returned samples collected from Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,331 ft) Tanzania. Spent 4 nights at the top working under extreme conditions of altitude and temperature.

05/2005 to 05/2008, PostDoc. NASA-JPL / Caltech Dept of Chemistry
• Developed highly sensitive DNA extraction methods and PCR assays for detection of microbial signatures of life in Mars analog environments.
• Organized 2 expeditions to the Atacama Desert, Chile, and designed field ready experimental procedures for the assessment of life detection and microbial diversity.
• Awarded a NASA Certificate of Recognition for creative technical innovation in collaboration with a team of scientists and engineers.

11/2002 to 05/2005, PostDoc. Idaho State University
• Collaborated with a large multidisciplinary team of geologists and scientists to map the Alvord Desert basin in Oregon and to study the microbial diversity in thermal springs.

1996-2002, Graduate Student. Oregon State University
• Patent 20020164677 acquired for development of a high through-put culture process.

• Current. Board member for Third Millennium Awakening (TMA) an organization that provides clean water and education to impoverished people living in rural villages in India.



Areas of Expertise

Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Stephanie Connon
Posted 12 months ago
What were you favourite bands when you were a kid or a teenager? What do you think that says about you and your community?
I was a teenager in Seattle Washington during the grunge rock craze. Lots of kids there were really into Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Mother Love Bone. These were a few of the favorites in my peer group. We really identified with this sound in large part because it was local and the band members were our age or a little older. Lyrics often included local references and when commentators wondered about the 'darkness' of the sound we could laugh at their ignorance of the effects of living in a climate with 10 months of cloudy weather a year. A quick Internet search says Seattle averages 58 sunny days per year. Lots of my friends were also into Jimi Hendrix, who grew up in Seattle, and is a local icon. It was a source of pride that all this amazing music was being born in our hometown. I still love Nirvana and it never ceases to bring back the nostalgia and 'darkness' (I mean that literally) of my youth. After living in sunny Los Angeles for the last decade, I know I can never move back to cloudy weather.