Hannah Freund


I am bi and I am a PhD student.//


I’ve known I was bi for a long time, but within the last week I finally came out to my parents at 29 years old. It’s amazing how you feel “whole” once you say it aloud – I didn’t realize I was incomplete until I said it.
I just finished the first year of my PhD in a program that focuses in genomics and bioinformatics, both of which are my passions. Currently I am investigating the aeolian (a sexy way to say wind-driven) microbiome of a shrinking, hypersaline lake called the Salton Sea. I hope to determine the composition of the dust microbes and their respective functions in order to understand how these microbes survive such harsh conditions, and how these dust microbes influence ecosystem health and public health.
My path has been far from linear (got a BA in Psychology, went back to school, got a MSc in Biology and now in a Genomics/Bioinformatics PhD program), and I have learned that there is no single path or way to become a scientist. If anyone has questions about forging their own way, or about microbial ecology/genomics/bioinformatics, or coming out as an adult, or ANYTHING AT ALL, please feel free to reach out! Thanks for reading!