graduate student, since Fall 2021
Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
My research focusses on the microorganisms and biogeochemical processes that effect the deep sea methanosphere. In addition, my research includes astrobiology and ocean worlds, specifically focusing on subsurface melt probe development and better constraining planetary habitability models.
I received my Bachelor of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, in microbiology. While at the University of Pittsburgh, my research spanned the fields of biology and environmental engineering. I examined the effect of MAF1 gene expression interference on host-pathogen interactions in Toxoplasma gondii supervised by Dr. John Boyle. Following, I led a team under Dr. David Sanchez that investigated the effect of bioanode material on microbial fuel cell power generation. Before pursuing my doctoral degree at UCLA, I was a Planetary Protection and Systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. There I participated in independent research projects, mission concept development, radioisotope power systems engineering, Planetary Protection for Europa Clipper and Europa Lander, and the Science Definition Team for the Europa Lander mission concept. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, camping, trying new restaurants, and running with my dog.
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, The University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, April 2018
Research and Professional Experience
Europa Lander Mission Concept Science Team Member, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Since July 2020
Systems Engineer (Radioisotope Power Source Program), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Since April 2020,
Science Systems Engineer and Science Instrumentation Lead (JNEXT PRIME), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, n. 2019- Dec. 2020,
NASA Europa Clipper and Europa Lander Planetary Protection Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Since Sept. 2018,
Research Assistant, PI: Kasthuri Venkateswaran, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Topic: Fungal behavior and gene expression in microgravity, May 2018- Sept. 2021,
Jun. 2017-Aug. 2017, Research Assistant, PI: Ryan Hendrickson, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Topic: Mars Perseverance sintered filters evaluation for Planetary Protection
Research Assistant, PI: Dr. David Sanchez, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, University of Pittsburgh. Topic: Microbial fuel cells and bioelectrode materials, Feb. 2015- May 2018,
Research Assistant, PI: Dr. Jon Boyle, Department of Biology, University of Pittsburgh. Epigenetics in Toxoplasma gondii, Apr. 2015- Apr. 2016,
Patents and Publications
Hand, K., et al., (in revision) Science Goals and Mission Architecture of the Europa Lander Mission Concept. Planetary Science Journal
Klonicki, E., Malaska, M., Scott, V., Panning, M., Waller, S., Gasada, P. (in revision) Instrumentation for Planetary Exploration. Springer Handbook of Space Resources
Klonicki et al., CIT 8720-P, “Bulk Metallic Glass Electrodes for Bioelectrochemical Systems,” October, 6th, 2021.
Pope, Welkin & Ahmed, Taha & Drobitch, Marissa & Early, David & Eljamri, Soukaina & Kasturiarachi, Naomi & Klonicki, Emily & Manjooran, Daniel & Chochlain, Aífe & Puglionesi, Andrew & Rajakumar, Vinod & Shindle, Katherine & Tran, Mai & Brown, Bryony & Churilla, Bryce & Cohen, Karen & Wilkes, Kellyn & Grubb, Sarah & Warner, Marcie & Hatfull, Graham. (2015). Genome Sequences of Mycobacteriophages Luchador and Nerujay. Genome announcements. 3. 10.1128/genomeA.00599-15.