Kiana grew up in Juneau, Alaska and Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Florida where she received her B.S. in Marine Science and Biology with honors. During her time at UM she was an intern at NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center in the Fisheries Oceanography for Recruitment and Climate Ecosystem Studies (FORCES) Lab. She was lucky enough to participate in two oceanographic cruises in the Gulf of Mexico and assist with the sampling of different larval species. During her junior year, Kiana studied abroad in the Galapagos Islands through a partnership with the Intercultural Outreach Initiative on Isabela island. Additionally, she was an intern at Harbor WildWatch, a non-profit organization in Gig Harbor, Washington which promotes marine and environmental stewardship through various community-based programs. Her senior thesis focused on larval spiny lobster in Southern Cuba, mapping population densities across the region using Geographic Information Systems.
Kiana initially came to KAUST in 2017 for the RSRC summer workshop and was inspired by the impressive research being conducted. As a masters student, Kiana hopes to contribute to the implementation of sustainable fisheries initiatives in the region.