Kira (Withy-Allen) Hughes

Program Management:
UH Foundation Projects
Collaborative Projects

Additional Management Roles:
Press, Outreach & Internships
Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology
46-007 Lilipuna Rd
Kaneohe, HI 96744
Phone: 808-236-7455
Fax: 808-236-7443

Research Interests
I am generally interested in research that can positively impact marine ecosystems through conservation, restoration, and management. Being raised in Hawai'i, I am particularly concerned about our coral reefs. I believe that engaging K-12 students and the general public in conservation issues now will have a lasting impact on future marine resource management. I am grateful to work with a team of distinguished researchers and interact with those who have a vested interest in promoting the health of our coral reefs.

M.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Ecology, San Diego State University, 2010
B.S. in Aquatic Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005

Publications, Selected Technical Reports & Resources Developed

Forsman, Z., Maurin, P., Parry, M., Chung, A., Sartor, C., Hixon, M., Hughes, K., Rodgers, K., Knapp, I., Gulko, D., Franklin, E.,
Del Rio Torres, L., Chan, C., Wolke, C., Gates, R. and R. Toonen. The First Hawai’i Workshop For Coral Restoration & Nurseries. Marine Policy.

Hughes, K., 2016. Online Forum for Teachers Developed in partnership with UH STEM Pre-Academy.

Withy-Allen, K. and K. Hovel. 2013. California spiny lobster (Panulirus interrruptus) movement behaviour and habitat use: implications for the effectiveness of marine protected areas. Marine and Freshwater Research 64, 359-371.

Withy-Allen, K., Mooney, R. and K. Merkel. 2012. Essential Fish Habitat Assessment for Cabrillo Power I LLC, Agua Hedionda Outer Lagoon
Mainetenance Dredge Project. Carlsbad, CA, USA. 22 pp.

Withy-Allen, K., Henderson, H. and K. Merkel. 2012. Baseline Eelgrass Survey and Marine Biological Resources Assessment for the Back Bay Landing Project. Newport Beach, CA, USA. 64 pp.

Withy-Allen, K. and K. Hovel. 2009. An introduction to research on the California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus). The Lobster Newsletter 22(1): 3-5.

Withy-Allen, K. 2007. Life Science Curriculum. Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research Program.

*= Presentation speaker,  † = Invited speaker, § = Poster presentation
†Hughes, K. and RD. Gates. "First Steps to Implementing the Coral Assisted Evolution Project in Hawai'i". Reef Futures Symposium, Key Largo, FL, USA. 2018.

§Hughes, K. and RD. Gates. "Super Corals: A Strategy to Save Our Reefs". Hawai'i Conservation Conference, Honolulu, HI, USA. 2018.

§Hughes, K. and RD. Gates. "Super Corals: A Strategy to Save Our Reefs". National Marine Educator's Association Conference, Long Beach, CA, USA. 2018.

*Hughes, K., *Lenz, B., *Huffmyer, A., *Matsuda, S. and RD. Gates. "Coral Assisted Evolution: Accelerating Naturally Occurring Processes To Enhance Stress Tolerance in Corals". Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology Science & Snacks Seminar, HI, USA. 2018.         

†Hughes, K. and R. Gates. "Coral Assisted Evolution". Hawai'i Coral Nursery & Restoration Workshop, HI, USA. 2017.

§Hughes, K., Withy, K. and R. Boulay. "Hawai'i Science Career Inspiration Program (HiSCI): Engaging K-12 Students & Teachers in Biomedical/Clinical Health Sciences". NIH SciEd Conference, Washington D.C., USA. 2016.

*Withy-Allen, K. and K. Hovel. “Movement and habitat use of California spiny lobsters Panulirus interruptus: implications for marine reserves in Southern California ”. Western Society of Naturalists meeting, San Diego, CA, USA. 2010.

*Withy-Allen, K. and K. Hovel. “Movement and habitat use of California spiny lobsters Panulirus interruptus in Southern California kelp forest habitat”. Benthic Ecology Meeting, NC, USA. 2010.

*Withy-Allen, K. and K. Hovel. “Movement and habitat use of California spiny lobsters Panulirus interruptus in Southern California kelp forest habitat”. Western Society of Naturalists Meeting, Vancouver, BC. 2008. (Graduate Conference Coordinator).

Environmental Management Experience

2010-2015: Associate Biologist/Project Manager - Environmental Consulting (CA)

Education Management & Informal Teaching Experience

2018-Present: Board Member, OCEANIA - Pacific Chapter of the National Marine Educator's Association
2018-Present: Co-Chair, National Marine Educator's Association Conference, July 13-17, 2020 in Honolulu, HI
2016-Present: Gates Lab Outreach Manager
2015-2016: Program Director - Hawaii Science Career Inspiration (HiSCI) Program
     -Center for Cardiovascular Research at University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine
     -Collaborators: DOE, UH STEM Pre-Academy, STEMPlus, UH Office of STEM
2005-2007 & 2015-2016: Waikiki Aquarium,
     -Assisted in Developing “Science of the Sting” Program
     -Instructor for Community Education Programs
2007-2015: Ocean Discovery Institute/Aquatic Adventures Volunteer
2007: University of Hawaii GK-12 Program/Curriculum Research & Development Group
     -Genetics Curriculum Development
2002-2005: UC Santa Barbara, MSI, Research Experience & Education Facility
     -Assisted with Implementation of the REEF Facility
     -Instructor for Touch Tank & Floating Laboratory Programs

Formal Teaching Experience

2010: Adjunct Faculty, Biology, Southwestern College, CA
2007-2008: Graduate Teaching Associate, Cell & Molecular Biology, San Diego State University, CA
2005-2007 & 2015: Science Teacher Grades 6-12, University Laboratory School, HI


2016-Present: Gates Lab Internship Manager
2015-2016: Faith Hamamura, University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine
2008-2010: Leah Segui, San Diego State University/Oregon State University,
2008-2010: Brett Hembrough, San Diego State University/Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Funding Sources

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Paul G. Allen Philanthropies
National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health
California Sea Grant
Unified Port of San Diego
Edna Bailey Sussman Foundation Internship
Robert Harwood Memorial Scholarship


Alana Eagle/Civil Beat