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Dr. Stephanie Olson

Assistant Professor Dr. Stephanie Olson

Curriculum Vitae
Associated website(s):

Google Scholar , Personal Website , Geology & Geophysics , Planetary Sciences


  • 2018 Ph.D. Geochemistry, University of California, Riverside
  • 2013 M.S. Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University
  • 2011 B.S. Geology and B.S. Geophysics, University of Minnesota

Research Interests

Dr. Olson studies the co-evolution of life and environment on Earth to guide our search for life elsewhere in the Universe. Research topics include Earth's oxygenation, planetary habitability, and exoplanet life detection.

Selected Honors

  • T.C. Chamberlin Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago (2018-20)
  • Chancellor's Distinguished Fellow, University of California (2013)

Selected Publications

  1. Reinhard CT, Olson SL, Kirtland Turner S, Palike C, Kanzaki Y, Ridgwell A. (2020) Oceanic and Atmospheric Methane Cycling in the cGENIE Earth System Model. Geoscientific Model Development.
  2. Salazar A., Olson S.L., Komacek T., Stephens H., Abbot D.S. (2020) The Effect of Substellar Continent Size on the Ocean Dynamics of Proxima Centauri b. Astrophysical Journal Letters 896: L16
  3. Olson SL, Jansen M, Abbot DS. (2020) Oceanographic Considerations for Exoplanet Life Detection. Astrophysical Journal 895: 19.
  4. Alcabes ODN, Olson SL, Abbot DS (2020) Robustness of Gaian Feedbacks to Climate Perturbations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 492: 2572-2577.
  5. Ostrander CM, Kendall B, Olson SL, et al. (2020) An expanded 98Mo record permits recurrent shallow marine oxygenation during the Neoarchean, Chemical Geology 532: 119391.
  6. Checlair JH, Olson SL, Jansen MF, Abbot DS (2019). No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets with a Dynamic Ocean. Astrophysical Journal Letters 884: L46.
  7. Gregory DD, Mukherjee I, Olson SL et al. (2019). The formation mechanisms of sedimentary pyrite nodules determined by trace element and sulfur isotope microanalysis. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 259: 53-68.
  8. Schwieterman E.W., Reinhard C.T., Olson S.L, Harman C.E., Lyons T.W. (2019) A limited habitable zone for complex life. Astrophysical Journal 878: 19.
  9. Schwieterman E.W., Reinhard C.T., Olson S.L., Ozaki K., Harman C, Lyons T.W. (2019) Rethinking CO "Anti-Biosignatures" in the Search for Life Beyond Earth. Astrophysical Journal 874: 9.
  10. Olson SL, Ostrander C, Gregory DD, Roy M, Anbar AD, Lyons TW. (2019) Volcanically modulated pyrite burial and ocean-atmosphere oxidation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 506: 417-427.
  11. Olson SL, Schwieterman EW, Reinhard CT, Ridgwell A, Meadows VS, Lyons TW. (2018) Atmospheric seasonality as an exoplanet biosignature. Astrophysical Journal Letters 858: L14.
  12. Schwieterman EW, Kiang NY, Parenteau MN, … , Olson SL, et al. (2018) Exoplanet Biosignatures: A Review of Remotely Detectable Signs of Life, Astrobiology 18: 663-708.
  13. Olson SL, Schwieterman EW, Reinhard CT, Lyons TW (2018). Earth: Atmospheric Evolution of a habitable planet, in Deeg HJ & Belmonte JA (eds), Handbook of Exoplanets.
  14. Krissansen-Totton J, Olson SL, Catling D (2018). Disequilibrium biosignatures on Earth through time and implications for remote life detection, Science Advances 4: eaao5747.
  15. Reinhard CT, Olson SL, Schwieterman EW, Lyons TW (2017) False Negatives for Remote Life Detection on Ocean-Bearing Planets: Lessons from the Early Earth. Astrobiology 17:287–297.
  16. Olson SL, Reinhard CT, Lyons TW (2016b) Cyanobacterial Diazotrophy and Earth’s Delayed Oxygenation. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:1526.
  17. Olson SL, Reinhard CT, Lyons TW (2016a) Limited role for methane in the mid-Proterozoic greenhouse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:11447–11452.
  18. Reinhard CT, Planavsky NJ, Olson SL, Erwin DH, Lyons TW (2016) Earth’s oxygen cycle and the evolution of animal life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:8933–8938.
  19. Olson SL, Kump LR, Kasting JF (2013) Quantifying the areal extent and dissolved oxygen concentrations of Archean oxygen oases. Chemical Geology 362:35–43.

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