Janet Siefert

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Janet Louise Siefert received her PhD from the University of Houston (1997) and is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Statistics at Rice University since January, 1998. She is an origin of life researcher who received her training from Dr. George E. Fox, co-discoverer of the third domain of life. Siefert's work deals with understanding life's origins through microbial ecology and genomic[1] and metabolic evolution.[2][3] She has worked for 20 years in Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico,[4] a desert oasis protected by the Mexican government and known to exhibit endemism equal to the Galapagos. She is the first woman to serve as chairman of the Gordon Research Conference on the Origin of Life and the first female president (2008-2011) of ISSOL: International Astrobiology Society.[5] She is a member of University of Washington's Virtual Planet Laboratory and was recognized as an Astrobiology Pioneer.[6] Her work has been featured on Discovery, National Geographic, and the History Channel.[7][8] Additionally, she heads up an international team of investigators funded by the National Science Foundation looking at the legacy of human occupation in archaeological sites as reflected in the microbial community.


  1. ^ Siefert, Janet L. (2009-01-01). "Defining the mobilome". Methods in Molecular Biology. 532: 13–27. doi:10.1007/978-1-60327-853-9_2. ISSN 1064-3745. PMID 19271177. 
  2. ^ Raymond, Jason; Siefert, Janet L.; Staples, Christopher R.; Blankenship, Robert E. (2004-03-01). "The natural history of nitrogen fixation". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 21 (3): 541–554. doi:10.1093/molbev/msh047. ISSN 0737-4038. PMID 14694078. 
  3. ^ Kasting, James F.; Siefert, Janet L. (2002-05-10). "Life and the evolution of Earth's atmosphere". Science. 296 (5570): 1066–1068. Bibcode:2002Sci...296.1066K. doi:10.1126/science.1071184. ISSN 1095-9203. PMID 12004117. 
  4. ^ Souza, Valeria; Siefert, Janet L.; Escalante, Ana E.; Elser, James J.; Eguiarte, Luis E. (2017-04-27). "The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin in Coahuila, Mexico: An Astrobiological Precambrian Park". Astrobiology. 12 (7): 641–647. Bibcode:2012AsBio..12..641S. doi:10.1089/ast.2011.0675. ISSN 1531-1074. PMC 3426885Freely accessible. PMID 22920514. 
  5. ^ "History", ISSOL.org.
  6. ^ Siefert, Janet (2011). "Astrobiology Pioneers: How a Real Housewife Became an Astrobiologist". Astrobiology. 11: 193–195. Bibcode:2011AsBio..11..193S. doi:10.1089/ast.2011.0611. 
  7. ^ "How the Earth Was Made Full Episodes, Video & More | HISTORY". HISTORY. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  8. ^ Naked Science (2014-03-24), Catastrophe - Episode 1 - Birth of the Planet, retrieved 2017-04-27 

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