Nilhan works as a lecturer at Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Dokuz Eylul University. Nilhan is researching the sea level changes since the last glacial period and recent tectonic activities focusing on submerged ancient harbor remains. She has worked in an international marine research company as a marine geophysicist. She is now a member of underwater archaeological research team.
Nilhan graduated from Dokuz Eylul University, Department of Geophysical Engineering in 2001. She completed her Ph.D. in marine geophysics at Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Dokuz Eylul University in 2010.