Saiontoni has a B.S. in Environmental Sciences & Biology and a Certificate in Global Health from Duke University. As a Master’s student at the University of Washington School of Marine & Environmental Affairs, she has worked on a multi-country research project to understand lessons learned from the Coral Triangle Initiative. For this project, she coordinated surveys and interviews with marine resource users, national government officials and staff of non-governmental organizations in the Solomon Islands. Saiontoni is particularly interested in working on marine and coastal management issues in developing areas. Her interests include the impact of climate change on coastal communities and the relationship between fisheries and food security.
As a Research Technician from Fall 2011 to Summer 2012, she utilized microsatellite markers to study population genetics of pen shells that are harvested in small-scale fisheries in the Gulf of California by members of two communities (Seri and Kino). This work sought to improve our understanding of biological aspects of marine social-ecological systems in this region. She also assisted with various editorial and administrative tasks for Dr. Basurto’s lab.