Kakani Katija

Kakani Katija is a Bioengineer dedicated to developing underwater technologies to better observe biological and physical processes where they happen in the ocean. Her research and engineering development efforts have contributed to our understanding of nutrient cycling, biologically induced mixing of the oceans, the ecology of gelatinous and soft-bodied invertebrates in deep-sea environments, and bioinspired design. She is currently a Principal Engineer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and leads the Bioinspiration Lab. The Bioinspiration Lab and collaborators develop tools and platforms that include: (1) advanced imaging tools to measure biological-physical interactions in the ocean (DeepPIV and EyeRIS), (2) electronics tagging packages to deduce organismal behavioral response to a changing environment (ITAG), and (3) autonomous underwater vehicles using stereo tracking to address a wide range of marine science questions (Mesobot). With a background in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington, Katija received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology. Katija was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011 and a Kavli Research Fellow in 2013, and she has received generous funding support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, NOAA, the Schmidt Ocean Institute, and the Moore Foundation.