Kilian holds a B.A. in Archaeology and Greek and Roman Civilization and an M.A. in Classics from University College Dublin. He spent three summers at the Priniatikos Pyrgos excavation near Istron, Crete. His master's thesis examined the economy of Roman East Crete in terms of production, consumption, and the island's social, political, and physical infrastructure. He subsequently moved to Seville, Spain for two years to teach English before later completing a Post-Baccalaureate in Classics at UCLA. After coming to Stanford he participated in the Burgaz underwater harbor excavation in south-west Turkey as a post-excavation manager and pottery specialist, and later excavated at the Roman Republican military camp at Renieblas, Spain. He is interested in a broad range of issues in Roman Imperial and Late Antique Archaeology, History and Literature, such as:
-The Geography of Wealth and Poverty in the Ancient World. My dissertation investigates the role of institutions and organizations (using Late Antique Western Christianity as a case study) in geographic differences in the distribution of wealth.
-The Transformation and Decline of the Roman Empire: Changes in standards of living, technology, and economic complexity. Changes in culture, and from pagan to Christian religion. Regionalism and the growth of regional identities.
-Digital Humanities, GIS, 3D Reconstruction, Mapping, Data Visualization.
-Social and Economic Archaeology: trade, port cities and corridors of communication. Ceramic analysis, instrumenta domestica, lamps, and other personal artefacts.
-Literature: Augustine, Virgil, Lucan, Ovid, Homer.
-Pedagogy/Education for Archaeology and Classics.