Mariah Avila was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, where she began working part-time for an oceanographic consulting company. She completed a B.S. in Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a M.S in the laboratory of Kevin Esvelt. Her thesis involved the development of high-throughput screens for the engineering of CRISPR Cas12a systems in mammalian cells. She joined the Moore Lab in Fall of 2021, where her interests include the applications of synthetic biology techniques and continuous evolution to marine natural products and human health research.