Catharine Anastasia Conley was NASA's Planetary Protection Officer from 2006 to mid 2014.
Conley received her bachelor's from MIT, a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Cornell University in 1994, and obtained a postdoctoral fellow position at The Scripps Research Institute studying proteins involved in muscle contraction. Conley conducts some of her research using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. 
In 1999 Conley became a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center. Her research focuses on the evolution of motility, particularly animal muscle. One of her experiments was on board during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The experiment, the fourteenth Biological Research In Canisters (BRIC-14), survived re-entry and the nematode cultures were still alive. Some scientific data was recovered.
In 2006, Conley was appointed as NASA's Planetary Protection Officer (see Planetary protection).    In June 2014 NASA posted a vacancy for the position of Planetary Protection Officer.
- Catharine Conley
- Person Report: Catharine Conley
- International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment: Physiological Study of Nematode Worms in Weightlessness (ICE-First) 2009-02-20
- International Ceonorhabditis elegans Experiment First flight : Science Goals and Objectives
- Columbia Survivors 2006-01-01
- In NASA’s Sterile Areas, Plenty of Robust Bacteria 2007-10-09
- Shades of Gravity: Interview with Catharine Conley 2007-11-05
- Planetary protection considerations for mars sample return March 2008
- Meet Cassie Conley
- Spaceward bound: Cassie Conley
- Catharine Conley Pipl Profile
- Shen, Dan (12 June 2014). "NASA HQ Vacancy: Planetary Protection Officer". Planetary Exploration Newsletter (Astrobiology Web). Retrieved 2014-08-19.