Lankford was a Human woman, a member of Starfleet in the 2370s. She held the rank of Ensign and served aboard Deep Space 9 and the USS Defiant. Lankford served aboard the Defiant during its historic exploration mission in the Gamma Quadrant in 2376 and was a relief helm officer.
During the encounter with the Cheka and the Yrythny, Lankford uploaded the star charts obtained from the Cheka into the navigational database of the Defiant. (DS9 novel: This Gray Spirit)
Several weeks later, Lankford was piloting the Defiant when it encountered a D'Naali starship and a Nyazen starship. (DS9 novel: Cathedral)
Lankford also piloted the Defiant on its journey home and was at the conn when the ship encountered Weyoun's starship. (DS9 novel: Lesser Evil)
In early 2377, Ezri Dax offered to have Lankford take Benjamin Sisko back to Bajor in a runabout, although he declined the offer. (DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry)
Several weeks into the Gamma Quadrant mission, Lankford participated in a poker game with Julian Bashir, Nog, Sam Bowers, Prynn Tenmei, Jeannette Chao, Cassini and Gordimer. (DS9 novel: This Gray Spirit)