Zia grew up in Seattle with a pet cat named Kizzy. Zia spent her childhood looking after animals and studied pre-veterinary medicine at Berkeley. She dreamed of working at Jurassic World in the dino-healthcare field. However, Zia never set foot on Isla Nublar because not long after accepting an internship at the park, Masrani Global and InGen created the Indominus rex and the incident occurred.
Some time later, she joined the DPG and became its dinosaur biology expert. Though never having seen a dinosaur in person before, Zia not only hoped to be able to study and work on the animals once the group had accomplished its goal of rescuing them from their exploding home, she hoped to fulfill her ambition of bringing the subject of dinosaur health to the public and teach people about it.
Zia goes to Isla Nublar with Claire Dearing, Owen Grady, and Franklin Webb. She encounters a Brachiosaurus in Main Street alongside Owen, Claire, and Franklin, alongside all the other mercenaries, commenting on how she has not ever seen a dinosaur before. Later, she ventures through Nublar's jungles with Owen as he tracks Blue, but it turns out to be a double-crossing. After Blue is shot by a soldier, Zia is taken captive by the mercenaries so she can operate on Blue and Owen is tranquilized. When Owen, Claire, and Franklin escape the eruption of Mount Sibo and the destruction of Isla Nublar, they meet up with Zia and she performs emergency surgery on the raptor, with help from Franklin who holds her down. She pulls a bullet from her hide and gives her a transfusion of Tyrannosaurus blood with the help of Claire, Owen, and Franklin who managed to escape the island. Soon after, Zia is brought to Lockwood Manor, where the captive dinosaurs were to be sold, and chained to Blue's cage by Henry Wu. She is rescued from Wu by Franklin, who was also taken captive but mistaken as a fellow crewdecker. Zia lets Blue loose on two unsuspecting guards. Whilst escaping with Franklin under a table she loses her glasses, rendering her to not be able to see very well. In the ensuing fray, a container of hydrogen cyanide is breached, which threatens to kill all the dinosaurs in the manor's sub-basement. Zia tries to help Franklin save the dinosaurs from being poisoned by the gas, but both are unsuccessful. So Maisie Lockwood opens the cage doors and frees the dinosaurs, despite Owen’s warning.
- In a deleted scene, it was to be revealed that Zia is a lesbian. However, since this was cut for pacing reasons, it can not be taken as canon.