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UAB in Antarctica
Hanna Oswalt
Graduate Research Assistant 
UAB Department Of Biology

As a child, Hannah could often be found playing in her backyard, collecting the discarded exoskeleton shells of cicadas. To her, these shells were nature's most fashionable brooches. Her parents did not agree. Her fashion career may have been put on hold, but Hannah's love of nature and science was sparked. Throughout the rest of her adolescence, she buried herself in every nature documentary she could get her hands on. She was especially fascinated by the relationships between different species and their relationship with their own environment.

During her undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Hannah had the opportunity to work part-time as a recitation leader for an introductory biology course. This experience enlightened her to the joys of sharing her science knowledge with others. She enjoyed teaching so much that she added education as a second major to her studies. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology and Secondary Education, Hannah joined Chuck Amsler's lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to pursue her Ph.D. studies. There she learned how to scuba dive and completed her first expedition to Antarctica where she focused on the impacts of ocean acidification on amphipods and seaweeds.

As an adult, Hannah remains an admirer and crafter of the natural world. She enjoys crocheting stuffed animals but hasn't created one of her beloved cicadas... yet. She is the proud pet-parent to two cats, Tica and Coco, and equally loves her family's dogs. During the field season, Hannah can often be found singing in the aquarium room or battling her co-scientists in a hidden sticker war. In her spare time, she can be found reading fantasy novels or cross stitching.

This year, Hannah is returning to the ice for her second expedition to continue her dissertation research. When asked what she is most excited about this season, Hannah said, "I can't wait to get back to Palmer. It is an incredibly beautiful place to work and provides one of the few places you can regularly see a penguin while you work. Most of all, I'm looking forward to the cold!"