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Hannah Rigoni


My current research interests are understanding how water chemistry and microbial communities influence food webs in aquifers and aquatic cave and karst ecosystems.


University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Ph.D. – Geology. Expected 2023

Academic Advisor: Dr. A. Engel

Areas of emphasis – Geochemistry, geomicrobiology; Current GPA 3.88

New Mexico Tech, Socorro, New Mexico. Degree – B.Sc. Earth Science. Completed December 2017.

Undergraduate Advisor: Dr. J. Harrison

Areas of emphasis –Geobiology, Geology; Overall GPA 3.61

Professional Service


  • University of Tennessee. Graduate Teaching Assistant. August 2019 –present

Courses: Geology 103: Earth’s Environment

Responsibilities: Preparing and teaching laboratory course material to help students understand

concepts; organizing and planning course content and resources for teaching; grading assignments.

  • United States Geological Survey. Research Assistant. June 2018 – June 2019.

Responsibilities: Analyzed sediment and water samples to understand how recent and catastrophic wildfires affect the efficacy of bottom sediments in removing pathogens and micropollutants in river water filtration systems.

  • New Mexico Tech. Research assistant. June 2017 – December 2017.

Responsibilities: Cultured and isolated eukaryotic algae from artificial lighting fixtures in Carlsbad Caverns. Tested methods to control algal growth using a variety of pesticides and light wavelengths.

  • New Mexico Bureau of Geology. GIS Technician. April 2015 – December 2017.

Responsibilities: Digitized geologic maps of varying sizes. Corresponded with field geologists. Created map packages using ArcGIS software for peer-review • Freeport-McMoran Inc., Geology Internships. Summer 2015, Summer 2016. Responsibilities: Created ore control shapes using MineSight software and mapped structural features for pit design and mine planning. Classified ore type based on rock sample lithology and ore grade. Contributed to creating and determining rock alteration series for ore characterization model.


  • University of Tennessee, Sub-aerial biofilm sampling. June 2019 – July 2020. Assisted in the collection of biofilm, water, and gas samples for student thesis research.
  • New Mexico Tech, Dipole-dipole surveys. May 2016. Determined the porosity of calcite cement in a normal fault zone for student thesis research.

Awards and Recognitions

• College of Arts and Sciences Fellowship, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, $1666.66 (2020)

International Society for Subterranean Biology 25th International Conference on Subterranean Biology Student Travel Grant, €500 (2020)

• University of Tennessee Graduate Student Senate Summer Travel Award, $880(2020)

• Anne Mayhew Endowed Travel Fund, College of Arts and Sciences $350 (2020)

• UTK Global Catalyst Travel Grant, $1500 (2020)


Engel, A.S., Paterson, A., Rigoni, H. (2020) Water filtration with peristaltic pump or syringe & DNA preservation. ABSTRACTS (* denotes presentation I gave) Rigoni H., Bilandžija H. Engel, A.S. (2020) A preliminary stable isotope investigation of food sources and trophic levels for stygobitic fauna in Croatian karst. 25th International Conference on Subterranean Biology, Sibiu, Romania. Cancelled. *Rigoni, H., Underwood, J., Harvey, R. (2018) Impacts of Fires on Microbial Biomass in the Russian River Watershed, Sonoma County, California, Presented at the Fall 2018 Virtual Poster Showcase, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC.

Contact Information