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Janet Louise Siefert received her PhD from the University of Houston and currently is a Senior Faculty Fellow in the Department of Statistics at Rice University. She is an origin of life researcher who received her training from Dr. George E. Fox, co-discoverer of the third domain of life. Her work deals with understanding life's origins through microbial ecology, working primarily in Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico, 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 president of ISSOL: the International Astrobiology Society. Her work has been featured on Discovery, National Geographic, and the History Channel.