Kristin earned her undergraduate degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University and spent nine years working in various areas of marine science before returning to obtain her Master of Science from the College of William and Mary. She selected her graduate research due to the fact that mining companies were targeting inactive hydrothermal vents in Papua New Guinea for the valuable mineral content they possessed. Her research helped to characterize deep-sea invertebrates of inactive and active hydrothermal vents in the Manus Basin and provide insight on the possibility of a chemosynthetic food web at inactive sulfide mounds.
In addition to her graduate studies, Kristin has worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute during a genetic research invitation, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science conducting winter blue crab dredge surveys in the Chesapeake Bay, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science monitoring and evaluating coral reef benthic habitat and population assessment, and the National Marine Fisheries Service assisting in the swordfish and tuna database management and data reconciliation of the pelagic longline program.
Kristin joined the Florida Institute of Oceanography team on January 3, 2023.