Hannah Reich (’15) Undergraduate

Hannah Reich

My research interests all stem from my love for the outdoors and wanting to preserve our environment.  As an extremely eager senior in high school, I approached Dr. Baker, wanting to begin research in conservation biology as soon as possible.  As it turns out, I was able to do this!

During my time here at Clark, I’ve grown interested in the freshwater pearl mussel, Margaritifera margaritifera. This species is distributed along the east coast of North America from Newfoundland to Maryland and is also found in Europe where it is endangered.  It is likely that the pearl mussel is declining in some regions of North America, but there appear to be healthy populations in the East Branch Swift River in Massachusetts.  Even in this river it is likely that the populations are fragmented by dams that restrict the movement of fish that serve as an obligate host for the glochidia stage of the life history that is the dispersive stage.  I am planning to collect DNA samples that will enable me to evaluate the degree of fragmentation and population differentiation.  My ultimate goal is to complete research that will contribute to conservation of this globally threatened species of freshwater mussel.

Outside the laboratory: I am originally from Danvers, Massachusetts.  My love for playing in water has grounded me throughout my life.  It has enabled my interest in preserving aquatic ecosystems and intense passion for swimming to blossom.  I am a proud member of Clark’s varsity swim team and enjoy swimming distance freestyle and butterfly races.  My other hobbies include photography, traveling, reading atlases and playing flute.  During the fall semester, I will be studying abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands with the School for Field Studies.  My program focuses on marine resource studies and allows me to take part in directed research.  I look forward to learning how to use snorkeling and SCUBA diving as research skills!


  • LEEP Pioneer Award 2013
  • Maurine Milburn Fellowship Award 2013

Send Hannah an email at hreich@clarku.edu