Emily Klonicki

Planetary Protection Engineer

Cell: 626-344-4934


Emily Klonicki received a B.S. in Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the Planetary Protection Group, Emily developed a diverse research background that spans the fields of epigenetics, microbiology, and environmental engineering. Her significant involvement in microbial fuel cell research and engineering for sustainable design led to her selection as an Innovation Fellow for the Institute of Design at Stanford University.

At JPL she has been actively involved in filter evaluations for Mars 2020 and fungal studies in simulated microgravity. Recent research activities include investigations into dry heat microbial reduction for embedded spores and short-duration, high-temperature sterilization as part of the Europa Lander Planetary Protection implementation team. Emily is also involved in several collaborative research projects focused on water chemistry monitoring systems and biosensors.

Research Interests

  • Microbial Sterilization and Reduction Techniques
  • Microbial and Environmental Monitoring
  • Instrument Development
  • Planetary Protection Implementation in Aqueous Environments

Professional Experience

  • Planetary Protection Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, September 2018- Present
  • Summer Research Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology SIP Program, 2018
  • Summer Research Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology SURF Program, 2017
  • Research Assistant, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, University of Pittsburgh, February 2015- May 2018
  • Research Assistant, Department of Biology, University of Pittsburgh, April 2015- April 2016
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Pittsburgh, January 2017- May 2018


2014-2018, BS, Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh

Selected Awards

Summer Research Fellowship, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2018

California Institute of Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, 2017

Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2016

University Innovation Fellowship, Institute of Design, Stanford University, 2016- 2018

Randall Family Big Idea Competition Second Place, University of Pittsburgh, March 2015

HHMI Summer Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2015

Selected Publications

Pope, W. H., Ahmed, T., Drobitch, M. K., Klonicki, E.F., . . . Hatfull, G. F. (2015). Genome Sequences of Mycobacteriophages Luchador and Nerujay. Genome Announcements, 3(3). doi:10.1128/genomea.00599-1

CL#: 17-1953, 18-1585

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