Weekly Space Hangout: November 20, 2019 – Kathryn Bywaters, Research Scientist at the SETI Insitute

Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)

Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

Beth Johnson (@planetarypan)

Michael Rodruck (@michaelrodruck)

Tonight we are very excited to welcome Dr. Kathryn Bywaters, Research Scientist at the SETI Insitute where she is currently working on the development of life-detection instrumentation for future space exploration. Additionally, she is investigating the nutrient constraints microbes would have on Mars as well as performing experiments in Mars analog environments.

As a pre-teen, Kathryn’s family moved from California to St. Petersberg, Russia, and later to France. During this time Kathryn absorbed all of the history, culture, the local people, and everything else these locales could offer young adult. After spending four years in France, Kathryn decided to return to the States where she enrolled in a local community college and began her academic career. Kathryn went on to earn a Bachelors Degree in biochemistry from California State University San Marcos, and her PhD in Environment Science from the University of Nevada, Reno, after which she completed a two year Post Doc at NASA Ames Research Center.

Kathryn’s career includes extensive fieldwork, including four months on Devon Island in the Canadian High Artic as a member of a Mars Society crew living under simulated Mars conditions, as well as the Yungay region of the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth.

Oh – and if all of the above isn’t enough, Kathryn is also the author of a fantasy novel titled The Past is Rising – which she wrote during her doctorate studies and post doc fellowship at NASA!

To learn more about Kathryn and her truly fascinating life, visit her SETI page https://www.seti.org/our-scientists/kathryn-bywaters as well as her personal site: https://www.kathrynbywaters.com/about

You can find out about The Past is Rising by visiting https://www.kathrynbywaters.com/welcome or visit https://www.kathrynbywaters.com/book to read its first chapter online!


The Weekly Space Hangout is a production of CosmoQuest.

Want to support CosmoQuest? Here are specific ways you can help:

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!