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Hannah Robinson – HC Student Spotlight

Third-year honors biology major Hannah Robinson initially came to Oregon State for its wide selection of interesting majors. What she now loves about the university is the supportive, tight-knit communities it has allowed her to join — namely the NCAA D1 Women’s Rowing team and the Honors College.

During the on-season, rowing becomes a part-time job with regular races and twenty hours of practice per week. The time-consuming nature of the sport has taught Hannah to manage her time well to stay on top of her thesis process.

“Rowing does end up taking up most of my time,” Hannah says. “It’s made me a lot better at time management and general work ethic. You just have to get it done; you can’t put stuff off.”

Hannah’s honors thesis project, Distribution of Bacterial Symbionts in Cold-Seep Vesicomyid Clams, investigates bacterial symbiotes in clam species surrounding deep-sea cold seeps. She first came across this research project while taking MB 314 Aquatic Microbiology with Dr. Andrew Thurber, who is currently her thesis mentor. 

“I just took [the class] on a whim as an elective, but that’s when I first heard about my research,” she says. “I feel so excited every time I go to the lab.”

Hannah finds a lot of parallels between her rowing team and the Honors College community — both allow her to diversify her knowledge, both have a good support system of people who help her achieve her goals and both have allowed her to delve deeper into her interests. 

“[I appreciate] having coaches and an athletic support staff with people who want you to succeed — similar to the Honors College in a way,” Hannah says. “It’s good to have people looking out for you.”

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