top of page


If you are like my dad and always bummed you missed one of my talks...

donʻt worry you can get a taste of my research and enthusiastic presentation style from one of the videos below!

Nā kilo Ao Māiki: Observing the Microbial Realm

By better understanding the microbial mookuauhau of our aina - bridging cultural and historical knowledge systems - we can begin to decode the insight left to us by our kupuna and better evaluate overall ecosystem health, inform current monitoring, and perpetuate the restoration, sustainability and resilience of our native ecosystems @ Kanaina Building at Iolani Palace on August 22, 2018.


The Na Moolelo Lecture Series is an opportunity for the public to learn from Hawaiian cultural experts, historians and other museum professionals who prompt discussion of Hawaiian history and culture as well as museum practices. The free series supports Iolani Palace’s mission to preserve and share Hawaii’s unique cultural and historical qualities with the community.

Redefining Waiwai from Microbes to Mahinga Kai

Invited Keynote. World Indigenous Business Forum, Rotorua, NZ. 10/12/2018.

Microbial Dynamics of Hawaiian Fishponds

Invited. Seminar in Eia Hawaii Series, University of Hawaii. Hilo, HI. 04/13/2017.

Ka wai ola: Microbial Ecology of Hawaiian Waters

Microbes - the most abundant and diverse organisms - shape ecosystems from ridge to reef and play crucial roles in mediating food web dynamics, biogeochemical cycling and water quality. Here, I will share some data on the diversity, density, distribution, and metabolic characteristics of microorganisms within our Hawaiian watersheds specifically highlighting the importance of microbes in groundwater aquifers and their influence on coastal ecosystems. This work is of critical importance to local stakeholders as we begin to develop a deeper understanding of how our watersheds – running from mauka to makai – are interconnected and influenced by processes occurring at microscopic level.

Moʻolelo & Microbes with Dr. Kiana Frank - THe Bookshelf

Puʻuhuluhulu University@ Mauna Kea

Puuhuluhulu University

@ kupuna tent

Kane and Kanaloa are coming: How will we Receive Them? A kanaka take on climate change.

Keynote Panel Lahui Hawaii Research Conference. Oahu, HI. 03/30/2019. Dr. Rosie Alegado, Dr. Noelani Puniwai, Dr. Kiana Frank and Dr. Oceania Francis moderated by another great wāhine scientist, Dr. Kealoha Fox.

Poni Manaʻo Podcast

Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 5.10.58 PM.png

In this episode, Kalei and Kiana talk story about her passion for microbial biology as well as the value and practice behind kilo that led her to win the 2017 Purple Prize! Stay tuned for Part 2 of our conversation with Dr. Frank in the next Poni Mana'o episode. Poni Mana'o celebrates and shares the stories, experiences, and knowledge of indigenous innovators and thought leaders at the forefront of culture, technology, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship.

Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 5.14.36 PM.png

What does indigenous wealth look like in the 21st century? In Part 2 of “Regenerating Kilo,” Kiana shares her manaʻo on measuring waiwai, or wealth, in indigenous innovation. Kalei and Kiana also continue their conversation about Innovative Iʻa Kilo’s work incorporating machine learning and kilo. 

SELECTED oral presentations

Frank, K.L. (2019) Biogeography of aquatic pathogens in Hawaiian watersheds. Korean-American Kavli Symposium. Invited Poster. Incheon, Korea.


Frank, K.L. (2019) Ka wai ola: The living waters of Hawaii. Grand Water Challenge SENCER Conference. UH West Oahu, HI. 5/14/2019.

Frank, K.L. (2019) Hulahula and Science: Innovative Cultural Framework for Science Education. National Science Teacher Association Meeting. Featured

                               Keynote. St. Louis. 4/12/2019.

Frank, K.L. (2019) Nā Kilo ao Māiki: Observing the Microbial Realm. He Au Honua Conference. Kahului, Maui. 03/21/2019.

Frank, K.L. (2019) Indigenous Environmental Resource Management. Pacific Emerging Leaders Conference. Invited Panelist.  Fiji. 03/07/2019

Frank, K.L. (2018) Moʻolelo and Microbes: A cultural approach to frame the scientific process. Invited Seminar. University of Hawaii Maui College,

                               Kahului, Maui. 10/29/2018.

Frank, K.L. (2018) Managing Microbes for Momona Futures. Invited Keynote. Hawaii Farmers Union United Conference, Kula, Maui. 10/26/2018.

Frank, K.L. (2018). Moʻolelo and Microbes: Cultural understanding of biogeochemical cycling. Invited. Hawaii Conservation Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii.


Frank, K.L. (2017) Microbes and Moʻolelo: Researching ʻĀina, Perpetuating EA in Science. Invited keynote. Lāhui Hawaii Research Center Conference, 

                               University of Hawaii, Mānoa. 10/22/2017.

Frank, K.L. (2017). Microbial dynamics from ridge to reef. Invited. US japan Joint Symposium on Coastal Oceanography. Honolulu, Hawaii. 10/8/2017.

Frank, K.L. (2017) Microbial dynamics of Hawaiian fishponds. Invited. Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium Colloquium, University of Guam. Guam.


Frank, K.L. (2017) Mehanu and Microbes: Microbial dynamics of Hawaiian fishponds. Invited Plenary Keynote. Pacific AAAS conference, Waimea, HI.


Frank, K.L. (2017) Microbial dynamics of Hawaiian fishponds. Invited. Seminar in Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury. Christchurch, NZ.     


Frank, K.L. (2016) The Power of Storytelling: A Native Hawaiian approach to science communication. American Geophysical Union Fall 2016

                               conference, 12/14/2016, San Francisco, CA.

bottom of page